Devorah Asher is blessed with beauty, brains, and a great collection of Georgette Heyer novels. What 30-year-old Devorah doesn’t have is one of the most highly prized commodities in her Orthodox Jewish community—a husband. Even when an eligible man does appear on the scene, she fumbles the opportunity by falling off a chair…and landing in Miss Heyer’s Regency England.
She is taken under the wing of the very rich and very charming Duke of Ravenscroft, who suspects that Devorah is Jewish and would therefore be the perfect wife for his Jewish tenant, Jonathan Whyteman. First, though, the Duke needs to enlist Devorah’s aid with fending off the advances of the very persistent Lady Albinia Brinkburn.
While the world thinks the Duke is planning on marrying Devorah, she is slowly becoming attracted to Mr. Whyteman. But it’s the wrong place and the wrong century. So even though she has finally found The One, how can she straighten out this convoluted match?
“Just when you start to think, where is this going, you get taken on to an interesting twist. I just loved the use of language. Schaefer did her homework regarding language and customs authenticity and it is fun.”
“I admit it…I am a regency romance addict and adore the books of the queen of the genre Georgette Heyer. This wonderfully well written story that pays homage to the queen, the genre, and also providees a delightful ‘what-if¨’twist.”
“I also enjoyed learning more about what it means to be an orthodox Jew and the challenges these people deal with in both 21st century life as well as those faced in regency England. The romance is sweet and the time travel aspect was fun.”
CIR: What gave you the idea to have a 21st century Orthodox Jew travel back to regency England?
SCHAEFER: I started reading Georgette Heyer novels during a difficult period of my life because they provided pure escapism. Because Miss Heyer’s novels are so rereadable, I began cycling through them every year or two, until I could quote many passages by heart. At some point I thought–What if? What if someone who is addicted to Georgette Heyer novels, a someone who is also an Orthodox Jew, ends up in aristocratic Regency England and goes through her own “Georgette Heyer” experience. From there, the plot snowballed. I then decided to write this book as homage to Georgette Heyer, who created the Regency romance genre. The 40th anniversary of Miss Heyer’s death is July 4, 2014.
CIR: Would you compare this to Georgette Heyer’s novels?
SCHAEFER: I kept some of Miss Heyer’s zanier romance novels, such as Sylvester or The Wicked Uncle, in mind while writing Me & Georgette. I also tried to incorporate many of Miss Heyer’s stock literary devices, such as a plethora of insufferable and ridiculous characters, an elopement that wasn’t, and even the precocious child character that appears frequently in her books. If Me & Georgette were to be made into a movie (and I can really picture it as a movie), I would call it a combination of the Frisco Kid (the Jewish aspect) and Romancing the Stone (a romance author ends up in her own romance adventure), but–aside from the time travel aspect–with a Georgette Heyer look and feel.
CIR: What do you hope your readers will get out of this book?
SCHAEFER: I want my readers to have FUN. And so far, most of the reviewers have said they’ve really enjoyed it, kosher food and all. Also, for any of you readers who like the classics, I hope you enjoy all the literary asides.
CIR: Tell us about this Orthodox Jew lead character–something not so common in regency romances.
SCHAEFER: Devorah is a highly intelligent, independent woman who wants to conform to her own community’s standards–which means marrying and starting a home and family. But, she has trouble finding a man who measures up. She is placed in a situation that totally removes her from “real life”, and I think she performs admirably under the circumstances. She sticks to her morals but manages to hold her own and avoid too many dangerous or embarrassing mishaps when she suddenly finds herself alone and defenseless in an early 19th century British duke’s country home.
CIR: Any chance there is there more coming?
SCHAEFER: I have started initial work on what I plan as the next book in the series. It will be about a different member of the duke’s family. While Devorah, due her mysterious background and sudden appearance, will be mentioned in future books, I am not planning any additional books about her at this time. Instead, the series will revolve around the Ravenscrofts and stay in the Regency era.
Learn more about D. B. Schaefer at www.dbschaefer.com
Lia London, host of this site, read this novel and found it an answer to her daydreams. See the review here.