Review at

Nice review posted at yesterday:

This book may be short, but it’s brimming with charming philosophy, poignant words of advice and witty guidance from an old friend. Smith speaks sister-to-sister, and it’s her enchanting way of communicating that makes her a trusted companion, alongside Austen. She draws examples from Austen’s life—one of solitude and substance. (read more)


I want to win this.

I really, really want to win this.

Athleta is giving away a Boga paddleboard, Dakine bags, and a bunch of their favorite summer styles.  Here’s my entry.  (AP – I stole your line about feeling like a zombie.)

Now that they have a store in Reston Town Center, my budget is in serious trouble.  I went in the other day and bought this hat:

How cute is that!  And this skort:

And an adorable beach cover-up which I can’t find a great pic of online.  That was my version of restraint.  Going to have to stay away from that place for a while.

Booksigning tomorrow: B&N in Fair Lakes

I’m looking forward to signing books tomorrow at Barnes & Noble in Fair Lakes, VA.  (It’s in the shopping center with Nordstrom Rack – love that place!)  I’ll be there from 1-3. I’m hoping to do a short reading as well, but they’re putting me right at the front of the store, without a lot of room for people to congregate, so I’ll have to play that by ear.  Here’s all the info (although they did get my name wrong; they seem to be confusing me with someone…).

Meet Liz

You have to meet Liz Owen.  How cute is she?

And this is her daughter Jane — who was named after Jane Austen!  (Those cheeks!  Oh my goodness, those cheeks!)

And this is Liz’s wonderful book, My Not So Storybook Life.  I read it and wanted to be Liz’s friend.  So I emailed her.  (Don’t you love the Internets?)

Liz did a giveaway for my book on her blog this week, and I wanted to let you know about it before it was over — but I think it’s over tomorrow morning. 🙁  I wasn’t able to blog the way I wanted to this week.

But still, I think you will want to meet Liz, and see the beautiful pics on her blog, and read her lovely book.

If you need any more convincing, here’s her new “Weasley” china cabinet.

A new review for Walk with Jane

I was thrilled to read this review earlier this week.  I reached out to Rachel, a book blogger and fellow Christian and Austen lover, on the off chance that she might be interested in the new book.  She was interested in the Guide, and also in A Walk with Jane Austen. And, as it turns out, we appear to have been living eerily similar lives.  She immediately connected with Walk with Jane, and wrote the kind of review every writer dreams of.  This is the thing that makes writing worth it, when you really connect with someone, someone you’ve never met before, who just happens to have your book in their hands.  Thank you, Rachel, for this beautiful — and beautifully written — review.

There are certain books that tug your heart strings and catch your throat and make you squeal aloud at every moment where you realize that the author has taken words and thoughts out of your mouth and heart and slapped them on a page. A Walk with Jane Austen is very much A Walk into Rachel’s Psyche.  It is Smith’s blatant and commendable honesty, her frustratingly poignant stream-of-consciousness and her willingness to spill her thoughts and pangs like a tipped-over inkpot that make this story the most poignant caption of a literary infused life I think I have ever read.  (read more)

Thankful for the unexpected blessing of connecting with a new friend.

Blog tour: featured The Jane Austen Guide to Life today, with a summary of many of the life lessons from the book:

Many modern women enjoy the classic romance novels written by English author Jane Austen in the 19th century, because Austen’s astute understanding of human nature have imbued her stories with a timeless appeal. Austen, who has come to be considered a sort of patron saint of romance, was a Christian whose faith is reflected in the spiritual lessons that her novels and the story of her life can teach readers today.

Here’s some advice Austen might give you if she were alive today… (read more)

Fun events this week

Two big events this week — first, a book signing at the beautiful Le Village Marche in Shirlington for Girls Night Out on Thursday night.  Sweets, bubbly, a jewelry show… you have to come!

Then, a great Book Fair with the DC Chapter of the Jane Austen Society this Saturday from 1-4 at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda.  Seven different Austen authors will all be reading from our books, taking questions from the audience, and signing.

All the details on the new Events page.  And if you’d like to book me for an event, just drop me a note — lori AT writerlorismith (dot) com.

Update: The Thursday night event in Shirlington at Le Village Marche has been postponed due to flooding in the building, which forced the store to close. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s rescheduled! Jane on the Brain

Featured today in an article on about the recent group of Austen advice books:

Jane on the Brain: Austen Advice-Book Trend Peaks

For Lori Smith, whose Guide to Life is her second Austen-related book, it boils down to women’s desire to find a role model who is the opposite of those presented by reality-television and its hangers-on. “[Austen] really wanted her heroines to be women of substance, which I think is an idea that is kind of lost today,” she says. “There’s so much there that’s in contrast to our own culture where we’re looking for our 15 minutes of fame.” Austen, she points out, didn’t have any desire for fame or riches.  Read more

Well, maybe she had a small desire for riches…

Beach week

Last week was quiet here as I was at the beach with three great friends from college and their families.  We had a wonderful time — played games, rode waves, laughed, ate way too much. Had forgotten how it feels to be tumbled feet over head by a wave.  Emerged slightly shaken with a bathing suit full of sand. Love spending time with their kids and watching them grow up.  Youngest is two, oldest is about to turn sixteen (ack!).  Wanted to share this one picture.  Actually, it’s a double rainbow, but not sure you can see the double here.

Blog tour: Interview at My Jane Austen Book Club

I really enjoyed doing this interview for Maria Grazia’s lovely site, My Jane Austen Book Club:

In your new book,  your second Austen-dedicated one, The Jane Austen Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons for the Modern Woman , you point our how much Jane Austen has to teach to contemporary women. What is lesson number one, the basic one?

I think the first, most basic lesson Austen has for us is about becoming women of substance—which is not something we readily think about today.  We may think about being happy or having fun, but not so much about being substantive, about forging our character and developing the kind of self-knowledge Austen wanted all of her heroines to have.  She couldn’t abide foolishness (a la Lydia Bennet).  Her heroines were strong women who did the right thing, who saw through the social heirarchy to a person’s true worth, who could carry on an intelligent, meaningful conversation.  That’s worth aiming for.