Posts Tagged ‘Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict’

The following guest post is written by Laurie Viera Rigler, author of the wonderful novel Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.  Laurie will be sending books to the two randomly-chosen winning entries (see the quesion and all the creative and thoughtful answers here).  Be sure to visit Laurie’s website and blog, the aptly named “Jane Austen Addict.”
Thanks, Dawn, for putting together such a fun giveaway! I’ve had so much fun reading everyone’s comments. Living in Jane Austen’s world–would it be a dream come true, a case of be careful what you wish for, or maybe a little of both? This is something I pondered quite a lot while writing Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. And it’s still very much on my mind as I write the sequel/parallel story, which focuses on Jane, the 19th-century woman who is taking over Courtney’s 21st-century Los Angeles life. Talk about culture shock!
For me, there are many things about the world of my favorite author that sound appealing. Like wearing a beautiful, Regency-era gown while dancing in the Assembly Rooms in Bath. Picnicking on Box Hill. Watching Sarah Siddons perform in Covent Garden. Driving my little phaeton. The peacefulness of the country. The quiet of life without the mental noise of our overly wired world.  I would, however, find it challenging to accept the social and economic restrictions placed upon women. I would mind that more than doing without all the little conveniences of modern life, like hot showers, cellphones, and really good moisturizer. Still, if I could be mistress of Pemberley or Donwell Abbey or some other great estate equipped with an Austenian hero, I would, as Elizabeth Bennet said to Lady Catherine, “have such extraordinary sources of happiness necessarily attached to [my] situation, that [I] could, upon the whole, have no cause to repine.”  
Congratulations to the winners–may you have a pleasant journey to 1813 England!
All my best,

And thanks to you, Laurie, for generously hosting this giveaway!  I’ve also enjoyed reading all the ideas (and felt more than a little superficial that I had stated my biggest challenge would be not knowing how to conduct myself at a Regency Ball!)  Now, the winners of the books are …

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

33 35

Timestamp: 2008-09-06 12:44:42 UTC

Marissa and Wendi B.,  Congratulations!  Please contact me with your mailing address; I’ll forward them to Laurie who will personally inscribed the books to you and pop them in the mail.






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Monday 9/1 – September 1st!  Happy Labor Day!  Today I begin the LT Author Challenge, inspired by the Boston Bibliophile’s question last week, “who are your LibraryThing authors?”  A full explanation of the challenge is here; I’m still working on my list of books for the challenge, and will post it within the next few days.  What’s on your list?

Tuesday 9/2 – I learn more about LibraryThing in answering Marie’s weekly questions; what will it be today?

During the week I plan to post reviews for Debra Dean’s The Madonnas of Leningrad and Michael Greenberg’s Hurry Down Sunshine; perhaps a children’s book or two, as well.

Wednesday 9/3 – This week’s guest post for the Spotlight on Bookstores series is written by Lisa Roe, online book publicist.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is priceless; you’ve got to see the video clip that goes along with this post!

Thursday 9/4 – I’m the “baby” in the family, and still carry the weight of that nickname today.  The three sisters in Ellen Meister’s The Smart One were also given labels that they carried into adulthood.  Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a gift package appealing to the pretty one, the smart one and the wild one in all of us!

Friday 9/5 – Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for two copies of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler; the winners will recieve the book personally inscribed by the author!

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Earlier in the week I posted about time travel in books, and introduced it with a reference to the WABAC machine in Mr. Peabody’s Improbable History.  Several people commented that they enjoyed the reminder of innocent Saturday mornings spent watching cartoons; several others said that they weren’t familiar with Mr. Peabody and his friends.

Whether you’d like a blast from the past, or you’re seeing the WABAC machine for the first time, you might enjoy this YouTube clip from the show itself.

One of the time travel books I mentioned is Laurie Viera Rigler’s Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (my review).  This book really appealed to me, someone who doesn’t consider herself a fan of science fiction.  Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict focuses on the situation the protagonist is in (going to sleep in her studio apartment in present-day L.A. and waking up as part of the upper class in 1813 England), instead of the nuts and bolts of how she got there.  The result is a thoughtful novel about the main character, Courtney Stone, how she manages in her new surroundings, and what she learns about herself and the relationships she left back in Los Angeles.

Author Laurie Viera Rigler has generously offered personally inscribed paperback copies of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict to two of my readers!

How can you get in on the fun?!?  Simply leave a comment mentioning what you would find most appealing and most challenging about living in Jane Austen’s world.  Here’s my answer:  most appealing (assuming I landed, like Courtney, in a well-to-do family) would be not having to do the mundane household chores – cooking, cleaning and laundry – that take up a good part of my day now.  Most challenging would be carrying myself at a formal party or ball; with my two left feet I’d be an embarrassment to myself and my partner!

Now it’s your turn!  Enter by midnight on Friday September 5; a random drawing will be held, and the winner announced on September 6.  I’ll look forward to reading your ideas!

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Who remembers the WABAC Machine?  This was from Peabody’s Improbable History, a show-within-a show during the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of the 1960s (disclaimer:  I watched the re-runs!).  Peabody would set the WABAC machine to a date in the past, and give unsuspecting viewers a history lesson!  For a blast from the past, read the Wikipedia article on the subject.

A few weeks ago I bought the July/August 2008 issue of Bookmarks magazine, which had an extensive article on Time Travel in a cover-grabbing article called “Great Science Fiction”.  Science fiction, moi?  Apparently, oui, as several books on my bookcase involve the subject of time-travel.

In the past few months I’ve reviewed Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, a fun novel about a present-day Los Angelean who wakes up in Regency-period England, and Miss Alcott’s E-Mail (here), a clever biography of Louisa May Alcott.

Other time-travel books on Bookmarks’ list include:

  • Time and Again by Jack Finney (I’ve read this one, too!)
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
  • “A Sound of Thunder” a short story by Ray Bradbury
  • Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger

What other time travel books have you read?  Are there other suggestions for a non-science-fiction reader like me?  I enjoyed the three that I’ve read because they focus on the result of the time-travel, not the technical process of getting there …

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  • Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (August 2, 2007)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0525950400
  • SheIsTooFondOfBooks Rating: 4 Stars

    Who is your favorite author?  Does he or she write about a particular time period that appeals to you…one that you could imagine living in?  Laurie Viera Rigler creates this kind of fantasy world in her novel Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.   She, like the heroine of the novel, is an avowed Jane Austen fan. 

    The novel opens as Courtney Stone, a 30-something contemporary woman, goes to sleep one night with a career and ex-fiance in Los Angeles.  She wakes up in the bed of one Jane Mansfield,  member of an upper-class family in 1813 England.  It takes Courtney several days to accept that this is not a dream, but rather a trip back in time to the Regency period she has so long admired in the novels of Jane Austen.  As intriguing as that premise might have seemed back in L.A. curled up on the couch with Pride and Prejudice, Courtney finds the thought of a never-ending visit to the 19th century a bit intimidating.  Her dry wit and pithy self-talk follows her through peaks and valleys: “…what if it’s forever? – I will not allow myself to entertain that thought.  Yeah, right.  I’m not only entertaining that thought, I’m taking it out to dinner and a movie.”

    It’s very easy to invoke the necessary suspension of disbelief and fall into the rhythms of the novel.  Rigler uses Courtney’s voice as a first-person narrator.  We are privy to not only her thoughts, but her raw emotions and reactions as she encounters obstacles and pleasant surprises.  This is a light-hearted and entertaining journey into an alternate existence.

    Most of the story takes place in the summer of 1813, but there are a few longer flashbacks (flashforwards?) to the circumstances of Courtney’s broken engagement and her subsequent strained relationship with a man she formerly considered a good friend.  This gives the reader the backstory  to Courtney’s present situation; perhaps the key to solving her 21st century “man trouble” lies in helping Jane to sort out her 19th century relationships.  Aside from trying to figure out how and if she can get herself back to her own life, Courtney must make the best choices for Jane Mansfield, whose body and life she has temporary custody of.

    The novel is as interesting and engaging to a Jane Austen novice as it is to a full-fledged fan.  Rigler keeps the storyline accessible to all by using general references to Regency period England as well as more pointed allusions to Austen characters such as the Bennet and Darcy families.  Again, the voice of Courtney Stones blends these mentions seamlessly into the novel; they don’t distract from Rigler’s story. 

    Prior to publishing this first novel, Rigler co-authored two non-fiction books:  He Rents, She Rents, a gender-specific movie rental guide, and Popping the Question, a collection of marriage proposal anecdotes.  She is currently working on a sequel to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, which will explain how Jane Mansfield manages Courtney’s life in L.A.  This parallel story is yet-untitled; discussion about possible titles and more information about the author and her work can be found at the Jane Austen Addict website.   I read the book in preparation for a phone-in interview on Book Club Girl.  Jennifer Hart the hostess of BCG conducts author interviews about once a month, and encourages readers to call in with questions for the author.

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