Hello dear readers,
Here I am once again, this time hosting lovely Linda Beutler on her book tour with her new book, “My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley” and I am very excited to be involved in this tour! I will jump straight into the fray and give you all a book blurb about her new book! Happy Reading!
Book Blurb: One never quite knows where the inspiration will strike. For award-winning author Linda Beutler and My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley, the moment of genesis arrived in a particularly contentious thread at the online forum A Happy Assembly. What is the nature of personal responsibility? Where do we draw the line between Mr. Bingley being too subject to Mr. Darcy’s “persuasion” and Mr. Darcy playing too heavily on Mr. Bingley’s “sensibility”? This is a conundrum guaranteed to raise even more questions. What happens to the plot and character dynamics of Pride & Prejudice if Mr. Bingley is given just a dash more spine? Or if Jane Bennet decides enough embarrassment is too much? How does Mr. Darcy manage the crucial apology a more stalwart Mr. Bingley necessitates he make? What if Mr. Darcy meets relations of Elizabeth Bennet’s for whom she need not blush on their home turf rather than his? Suffice it to say, this is a story of rebuked pride, missing mail, a man with “vision”, a frisky cat, and an evening gown that seems to have its own agenda.
I would personally say this sounds very intriguing! I do think it sounds like a very interesting and very catch on read, especially considering a Bingley with a spine, a Jane Bennet who might have a change of heart or a broken heart, a very contrite Darcy and an Elizabeth who doesn’t know if she can trust Darcy when she can’t even trust her most beloved sister. I can reveal that I am in progress of reading “My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley” and it’s well worth a read! I am continuously surprised about Jane Bennet, and how she is developing, and how Jane decides that enough is enough, and ultimately how she acts around Mr. Bingley considering her broken heart. Mr. Bingley is developing a very nice spine, while he is trying to stand on his own two feet.
Welcome to my blog, Linda and thank you for visiting! Linda has her passion in writing and her horticultural interests, which includes green fingers, and she is a national speaker- she is also president of the International Clematis Society and she is a West-coaster in America, from Oregon. I will let Linda take over from here, so here she is; Linda Beutler!
Thank you for hosting a blog tour day for My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley, and for being so accommodating when I asked to interview Jane Bennet. As I said when I suggested it, writers must feel Jane is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sort of character. For such a gentle and serene soul—clearly meant by Jane Austen for be a foil for the more lively and “prejudiced” Elizabeth—it is surprising how little leeway readers allow in modifying her character. Clearly, even a chapter or two of “vain Jane” can never be redeemed! But oh, the complaints if she is a mush-mouthed milk-toast! There’s no winning! In Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth attributes everything good to her sister: perfect unassuming manners, alert mind, looks for the best in everyone, and is well informed. Yet somehow Jane is read as being passive, quiet, even what one might call shy and not very smart. But there is no evidence for any of that negativity in P&P!
Before we get on to the interview, here is a little excerpt from the story, taken from the moment when Mr. Bennet has finally gotten through to Jane, following a little show-and-tell with the barn cats. (One of which, Circe, was interviewed at Half Agony…Half Hope on day three of the blog tour.) Whatever cloud Jane was drifting along in was effectively dispersed.
To her credit, Jane Bennet was not squeamish. She had not spent much time with cats since playing with kittens as a child, and she was morbidly fascinated until the weight of the metaphor bore down upon her. Shaking and in tears, she turned to her father. “Th-this…is what you think of m-me?”
“It is, though I think rather better of Mr. Bingley than to call him a rat. It was the sort of creature that suited the purpose.”
“Oh dear…” Jane murmured.
Mr. Bennet had a handkerchief at the ready. He took Jane’s other hand and slowly led her back to the house. Before entering, he pressed his point. “My love, what I think of you is only partly the issue. What I fear, and what you should fear, is that this is what Mr. Bingley is beginning to think of you.”
Jane’s eyes widened. “I see.”
“What I mean to do is write a note to Mr. Bingley asking him to meet me in my library tomorrow morning. When he arrives, you will be in the room, not I. That is, if you do mean to accept him.”
She nodded. “I do.”
“Jane, you must let a gentleman be a man. And if you think you can manage it, try to make it appear as though it is his idea. Do I make myself clear?”
Jane met her father’s eye. “Yes, sir!” With that, Jane darted into the house to have a good cry and pick out her prettiest day gown. It was as if she felt herself walking out from under a spell. My manners! Oh, to think what I have put Mr. Bingley through! Wretched, evil Jane! Well no, he had it coming, but I must know when enough is enough. Throughout the remainder of the day and into the evening, her opinion of her father was radically and forever altered for the better.
For this interview, I asked Jane to meet me for tea at Lady Di’s British Shop & Tea Room in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Your readers will want to know what she wore, I expect.
“Yes, I do believe the females of my readers would love to know what Jane Bennet wears, which colors and which style, Linda.”
Her gown was pale blue muslin with springs of green leaves in tambour stitch scatted over the whole. Her spencer was deep blue, enhancing her eyes, and her bonnet had a straw brim with smocked fabric rising over her hair and gathered at the back of her neck with a green grosgrain ribbon. The bonnet was the same blue as the spencer. There was a simple ornament of lace and leaves over her left ear where the straw met the fabric. She caused quite a stir with the ladies who work at Lady Di’s, but when we explained our need for a private conversation, they graciously withdrew.
LB: Miss Bennet, thank you for visiting the future to speak to me today.
Jane: You are most welcome! Your family is well, and the cat and dog?
LB: We are all very well, thank you. I understand from the point in the story I have just excerpted, your sister Elizabeth is from home.
Jane (looking pensive): Indeed, she is. I fear she did not think well of me when she departed to stay with our cousin and Charlotte. Upon reflection, she ought not to have thought well of me. (Jane sighs heavily.)
LB: Would you care to explain?
Jane (after a sip of tea): If I could explain my actions to myself, I might have an easier go of explaining them to you, or Lizzy, or poor Mr. Bingley! (Her chin shivers; she blinks back tears.)
LB: Yes, he seemed to be growing disheartened, you must admit.
Jane (vehemently): Of course I do! I truly did wish to dance with him at the St. Valentine’s Day assembly, but with the heat and all of the eyes upon us, it is as if I entered a trance. The next morning, I could hardly believe what I had done! When he called, all I could think of was stating my feelings, since I had been accused of not showing enough before!
LB: No one would think less of you for scolding him a little. It seemed to take him an inordinate amount of time to know his own mind.
Jane (looks rueful): You are kind to say so, but it does not forgive my subsequent actions. But Lizzy—and Mama!—would not relent. It was Mr. Bingley this, and Mr. Bingley that, morning, noon, and night. (Her eyes take on a look of wonder.) Why, I suppose I might say I became rebellious!
LB: You? Jane Bennet? Rebellious?
Jane: That is how it felt at the time. Everyone was pushing! Even Papa, in his way… I have always sought to be obedient, truly I have.
LB: I believe you.
Jane (gives me a small smile): Are you teasing me?
We both laugh.
LB: Please, go on.
Jane: Once I started along the path of defiance, it was too hard to stop. I wished to be sure of Mr. Bingley, and felt my influence over him ought to be the strongest, if we were to marry, but I went about it very ill. And now Papa has had to remind me of my place, but I am glad he did.
LB: Mr. Bennet was quite worried. Tell me, would you call your father indolent? Neglectful?
Jane (sips her tea and ponders a moment before replying): I can see how others might. Lizzy and I do think he is not as attentive to Kitty and Lydia as he ought to be. And he does love to tease. I suppose that’s where Lizzy gets it. But without fail, and as you just read, he always comes forward when he is truly needed. He can be very wise and protective. He would not have arranged that little performance unless he loved me very much, and I know I have tried his patience. (She shakes her head, and I can see her puddling up again.)
LB (quickly changing the subject): How do you think Lizzy is getting on with Mr. and Mrs. Collins?
Jane (smiling fondly): She will make the best of everything, although I am curious about Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Can she possibly be as good and noble and…majestic as our cousin says? I fear he is given to exaggeration. (There is a Bennet-family twinkle in her eye.)
LB: Gee, ya think?
Jane (looking at me oddly): Pardon me?
LB (having forgotten that modern idiomatic irony might be beyond her): No, pardon me. English has suffered as a language in the last 200 years. But at least we have bookends. (Clears throat.) So tell me one last thing: what will you say to Mr. Bingley in the morning, when you meet him in your father’s library?
Jane (blushing): My father said to allow a gentleman to be a man. I’m not certain I comprehend his meaning entirely, but as best I can, I shall let Mr. Bingley do the talking. I only hope I have not ruined everything. (She becomes sly.) But I suppose you know how it will go? You couldn’t…?
LB (feigning shock): Miss Bennet! Are you asking for a hint?
Jane (quietly): Yes, I am.
LB (whispering): That would be telling!
Jane laughs weakly. We are quiet as we finish our tea, but I find myself grinning like the Cheshire Cat!
Thanks a million, Sophia, for welcoming the blog tour, and allowing me to get inside Jane Bennet’s head a bit for your readers! —Linda B
Linda, it was my pleasure to host you here! You are welcome to come back anytime!
And that dear readers, was my visit with Linda, for this time, at least. Now to the giveaway…
The eBook is available on Amazon. The Paperback should follow in two to three weeks.
Terms and Conditions for entering giveaway:
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. (1 comment/blog post) Entrants should provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). You may enter once by following the author on twitter and once by following the author on Facebook.
Remember, tweet daily and comment once per post with a giveaway to earn extra entries.
Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter.
**NOTE: E-book copies are available for 8 winners and the giveaway is international! 8 eBooks will be given away to 8 different winners.**
For contacting Linda, do try these;
That was it, dear readers for this time, I’ll be back soon, Cheers!