Hello to All and welcome back to my desk; Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
Just in time for the upcoming holidays, a much-loved author has shared her new book, a holiday book with me and thereby you, guys, the author who is visiting me at my desk is Heather Moll, and her new book, “A Hopeful Holiday.” The last book was an adventure, a mix of Outlander vibes and, of course, P&P vibes, but now it is a Christmas story that is on my desk.
ABOUT THE BOOK;
IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON A PERFECT SETTING FOR A SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE?
After secretly arranging Lydia and Wickham’s marriage, Mr Darcy encouraged Bingley to return to Jane. While his friend is now happily married, Darcy regrets not having the courage to pursue Elizabeth in the autumn. As 1812 draws to a close, Darcy rallies his spirits to spend the Christmas holiday with Lady Catherine.
Elizabeth Bennet wanted to show Darcy that her feelings for him had changed, but he never returned to Hertfordshire and she fears Darcy could never tolerate being brother-in-law to Wickham. For a change of scene and with the hope of lifting her spirits, Elizabeth accepts an invitation to visit Charlotte Collins and her new baby at Christmas.
Lady Catherine’s New Year’s Eve masquerade ball is the social event of the season and, amid the festivities and mistletoe, both Darcy and Elizabeth hope for a reason to make their affections known. But will her ladyship’s interference, the sudden appearance of her scheming nephew, and Elizabeth and Darcy’s insecurities prevent them from finding happiness during the holiday season?
So that sounds promising indeed! And just in time for christmas! Omg only two months more until Christmas… AGAIN! I feel like we just took down our Christmas tree! Imagine that! 2020 is barely gone and now 2021 is almost over, and what a year it has been, both good and bad.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
HEATHER MOLL WRITES ROMANTIC VARIATIONS OF JANE AUSTEN’S CLASSIC NOVELS. SHE IS KNOWN FOR HER HISTORICAL DETAILS, UNIQUE PLOTS, AND CHARACTERS TRUE TO THE BELOVED ORIGINALS.
Heather Moll is an avid reader of mysteries and biographies with a masters in information science. She found Jane Austen later than she should have and made up for lost time by devouring her letters and unpublished works, joining JASNA, and spending too much time researching the Regency era. She is the author of Nine Ladies, Two More Days at Netherfield, and His Choice of a Wife. She lives with her husband and son and struggles to balance all of the important things, like whether or not to buy groceries or stay home and write. Visit her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a freebie and monthly updates.
Welcome back to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl! Wow the summer certainly passed by quickly, I don’t feel like I have made it to summer yet, yikes! But I am pleased to welcome back an author, who have before graced this desk, welcome back Brigid with her new novella, “Spies of our Acquaintance” and it was a pageturner!
French spies in Meryton!
Can the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice “keep calm and carry on”
when Napoleon’s war comes to their neighborhood?
After Mr Darcy apologizes for insulting her at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth Bennet begins to see another side to the gentleman she has sworn to hate forever. As their acquaintance grows into friendship, Elizabeth finds herself intrigued by this man from Derbyshire.
Darcy, meanwhile, cannot stop thinking about Miss Elizabeth. After the nefarious Wickham appears in Meryton, Darcy resolves to warn her of the man’s previous offenses. Matters become more urgent when Wickham proves to be involved in espionage for the French!
When Darcy and Elizabeth are captured by a French spy, they must work together
to find a means of escape. With reputations and hearts at risk,
what consequences will result from their perilous adventure?
A normal day in Meryton for the Bennet sisters, turn into quite a weird one for witty and clever Elizabeth. Not only was I totally pleased with the way the plot turned, as Darcy apologised for his insult at the assembly, but he also gave her an idea of the character of a certain “gentleman” and from their feelings start to bloom.But also because they are slowly growing a friendship, which I delighted in reading!
But when Elizabeth observes Wickham and Mr Denny argue outside the milliners in Meryton, she decides to get proof of the character of Wickham, – and from there the wild chase starts. Since the story takes place during the Napoleonic wars, it was common knowledge that both governments had spies planted to get information about their respective military movements. This is quite crucial in this plot, and let’s just say I couldn’t put the book down, since the pace was fast and the plot was good and Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s feelings have quite a growing pace! Loved the story, all the way through! Finished the book in just two days, and that was because I was pacing myself 🤣
The novella, Spies of Our Acquaintance, may be purchased on Amazon US and Amazon UK. It is available as an eBook, a Paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited. The audiobook, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, should be released in six to eight weeks.
And FINALLY! There’s a giveaway option! Yay! I can only recommend this story! As all of Brigid’s books, this one is very good!
Meryton Press will give away one eBook for your readers. The giveaway is international.
Remember to leave your emails so we can contact you, once the winner is announced.
I want to welcome an author who I have long followed, read more or less everything from for the last several years. Welcome to P.O. Dixon to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl.
Miss Elizabeth Bennet is suffering something akin to regret having refused Mr. Darcy’s proposal because of his interference in Jane’s relationship with Mr. Bingley. Indeed, her sister has a new love interest—the charming Mr. Hemmingsworth. Moreover, Mr. Hemmingsworth has a brother—an identical twin. Will a second chance at love for Jane lead to a second chance at love for Elizabeth too?
As Elizabeth is speculating on the insulting proposal Mr Darcy made, we all know how many feelings are being worked on and how many ways her mind are turning his words.
But Pam Dixon surprised and delighted me with yet another delightful twisty plot, new characters who I completely fell in love with, laughed at and giggled with. Jane Bennet was heavily involved in this plot, and was I just delighted? Oh yes! She finally stood up for herself and made sure that everyone knew where her heart was.
I will admit to some angst during the read, which most of the time made me want to drop my head onto my table in resignation, but no Pam turned it quickly around, and I can only say, “THANK GOD!”
Darcy and Elizabeth obviously burn for each other, throughout this story, in one way or another, but it is quickly surmised where we are heading as I read. It could only end one way…
Bestselling historical fiction author, P. O. Dixon, is a great admirer of Historical England and its fascinating days of yore. She, in particular, loves the Regency period with its strict mores and oh so proper decorum. Her ardent appreciation of Jane Austen’s timeless works set her on the writer’s journey. Visit podixon.com and find out more about Dixon’s writings.
Hello all, wow it suddenly become summer here in Denmark! Well I will jump straight to my desk and the latest book I have read, namely “There you were” by Michelle Ray, a P&P variation.
“I was not looking for love, but there you were. I cannot stop it, I cannot indulge it, so I must put distance between us and hope that time will heal this fever I have.”
Abandoned by her mother and ignored by her father, it is hardly any wonder young Elizabeth Bennet’s curiosity soon brings about trouble and marriage to a man she does not love. Colonel Fitzwilliam’s family—save for his cousin Mr Darcy—despises her, and life is not what she dreamed of. As she matures and grows from an impetuous girl into a woman, Elizabeth’s most reliable source of friendship and comfort becomes Mr Darcy. When tragedy strikes leaving her a widow, she is free to find out [discover?] who has been in her heart all along.
Darcy has always been intrigued by the girl his beloved cousin married, and finds himself drawn into helping her after her husband’s death. Over time, admiration turns to love. Admitting his feelings to her – or even himself – could lead to ruin, but denying his passion could shatter him.
There You Were
Thanks for having me here at Interests of a Jane Austen Girl!
How did you come up with the plot for There You Were?
There You Were started as a non-Pride and Prejudice story. I began writing it almost 20 years ago, and funny enough, its origin was the Brad Pitt movie Legends of the Fall! I was fascinated by the mother (hardly seen) who left the family to move back to the east coast, and I wondered what impact that would have on a girl growing up in a society that expects the presence of a mother and certain behaviors from young women. When the awesome Quills & Quartos publishing team suggested that I adapt my story to be a P&P variation, we had to drop characters and alter relationships, but a surprising amount remained the same. These include the main character’s feelings of isolation, her desperation at being without resources, a young man who becomes a savior in many ways and an unexpected friend, and the conflicts that come with that relationship.
Mrs Bennet seems so distant towards Elizabeth, but not Jane. Why is that?
What strikes me in P&P is Mrs Bennet’s obsession with Jane’s beauty, and how she sees good looks as Jane’s ticket to a good marriage. In my story, I kept that point of view. I also exaggerated Elizabeth’s enthusiasm for the out-of-doors and her freer spirit. I added Mrs Bennet leaving when Elizabeth was still a baby—this would have diminished the mother-daughter connection, for blood does not guarantee closeness.
In JAFF most readers expect Uncle Gardiner to be involved in the lives of Elizabeth and Jane, but I get the feeling you’ve turned that trope on its head. Can you expound on that?
I’m new to JAFF (and loving it!), so I do not necessarily know what rules I am breaking. Originally that character was a brother, but that would not do for land inheritance issues and plot points. Having Uncle Gardiner be distant and disinterested when they were young also served my vision of an isolated protagonist a bit better. Elizabeth and Jane are not raised with tutors and travel, or even much knowledge of the rules of society. When Jane is invited to London, the opportunity enriches her life, leaving Elizabeth without the skills and knowledge her dear sister gains. In P&P, I have always loved how the Gardiners are kind and loving, and how they ultimately enrich Elizabeth’s life. Though the way they do so is different in my version, I hoped that Uncle Gardiner’s wife would play the maternal and encouraging role, a bit of a counterpoint to Mrs Bennet, that she does in the original.
Why didn’t the girls receive a “proper education?”
In P&P, it is made clear that there was no governess (much to Lady Catherine’s dismay) and that the Bennets employed no masters. When Lady Catherine says, “Without a governess, you must have been neglected,” Elizabeth replies, “Compared with some families, I believe we were; but such of us as wished to learn never wanted the means. We were always encouraged to read, and had all the masters that were necessary.” This gave me permission to follow my idea of girls who had been wholly neglected by their family in terms of their formal education. In my version, her father does not wish to spend the money or effort on his daughters, handing them off to Miss Taylor, a former school teacher and assuming that was sufficient. He despises assemblies and callers, thereby depriving his daughters of examples and experiences. I wanted Elizabeth to feel lost and out of sync with those of her class, and wondered how Darcy would react to this difference.
What is the root of the animosity of the Fitzwilliam family towards the Bennets?
I imagined the Fitzwilliams as snobbish, looking down on their “poor” neighbors at Longbourn, hardly able to hold onto their lands. I did not envision any particular event that caused a rift. Had the Bennets not had personal problems that were widely known, perhaps the Fitzwilliams would have had less disdain for the family.
We Janites always want the best for Elizabeth. If you don’t mind me saying, your Darcy is going to have to work hard to win her heart. What was your motivation behind his personality and behavior?
I adore Darcy and Elizabeth, and in P&P enjoyed the journey and the changes they made in themselves and how they viewed the other to come to a joyful conclusion. I see Darcy as a man who is deeply protective of those he loves. In There You Were, when he meets Elizabeth at 15, she is wild and loud, and comes from a family he sees as problematic for a variety of reasons. He would not want his favorite cousin, James (eventually promoted in rank so he becomes Colonel Fitzwilliam), entangled with the Bennets. As Elizabeth matures and changes, and he comes to know her for who she truly is, his opinion alters. The cold and critical Darcy that Elizabeth meets is far from the joyful, passionate partner she imagines desiring in her youth, but circumstances help him change and alters how she views him as well. When first we meet him in There You Were, he is in his early 20s. She notes how responsibilities weigh on him—he has a keen sense of duty and being orphaned thrust him into the role of running grand estates and caring for his young sister. Additionally, not everyone does well in social situations, and P&P makes it clear that assemblies and gatherings of strangers make him quite uncomfortable. All of that said, however, he does have to make some serious amends for the unkind things he says to her when first they meet.
Can you give us a hint as to how Elizabeth and Darcy will find their way to one another?
Time together can change opinions, and tragedy often brings people together.
Thank you, Michelle for answering my questions about your new book.
The story started out as if it’s written in the future about the past events. Though the start of the plot had me shocked! No Mrs Bennet, a Mr Bennet who has given up any pretence of having a care for his family and a Mr Gardiner who is less than proactive in his dealings with the Bennet family, quite a turn around for the normal troupe. I was feeling so bereft for Jane and Elizabeth and how they are left on their own to raise each other to be the ladies we readers love and admire had me shaking my head in both frustration and sorrow.
To be brutally honest I had a devil of time finding any characters to like, but slowly it happened but it took a while but James Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth soon had me both smiling and cursing a few times. In the beginning I was close to giving up on this book, and cursing the author for ruining my favourite Austen book, but I kept at it and was rewarded with a different kind of written variation than even I have ever read before. A new character had me quite easily smiling, namely a Miss Taylor, a teacher/tutor/friend to Elizabeth, absolutely loved her.
But as the plot and drama unfolds I knew that Darcy would have quite a time winning the heart of Elizabeth, – and I was right. A lot of drama, a LOT of feelings – be prepared to be taken along on a rollercoaster of emotions, most negative in the beginning but by the ending those remarkable feelings of falling in love, silently, nearly unnoticed but finally admitted. The ending had me quite satisfied. I hope others will enjoy this book, and maybe like some of the characters more than I did.
Michelle Ray is a middle school literature teacher who also directs plays, writes stories, and sees as many Broadway shows as she can. She grew up in Los Angeles and went to the awesome Westlake School for Girls where theater had the cachet of football and the girls were in charge of everything. She lives with her husband and daughters near Washington DC, and dreams of traveling anywhere and everywhere.
There you have it, dear readers. I will be back in just two weeks with yet another review for “Mistress of Netherfield”, a book I am looking forward to reading. So check back, and remember to leave a comment.
Hello All and welcome back to the desk of Interests of a Jane Austen Girl. Today I am reviewing “The Recovery of Fitzwilliam Darcy”
I have no notion who I am meant to be.
In 1789, a terrible crime is committed, plunging one family into grief as another rejoices at the gift of an unexpected son. Two decades later, a chance meeting leads to the discovery of the lost heir of Pemberley and the man who knew himself as Mr William Lucas is restored to his birthright as Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley.
Discovering the truth about his past means leaving behind everyone and everything he has ever known and loved—including his childhood best friend and soon-to-be betrothed, Elizabeth Bennet. Tormented by questions about himself, and his place, Darcy struggles to understand and adapt to his changed identity and his new life. He must contend with a father buried in the shadows of the past and family relationships he does not understand.
The truth has come out. Some have gained by it, some have lost by it, and I am in the middle. I cannot possibly make everyone happy. No matter what I do, someone will suffer. No matter what I do, I shall suffer.
Somehow, he must find a way to do right by his new and old families, especially if he is to avoid losing Elizabeth forever.
REVIEW OF THE BOOK;
As I opened the book, I was ready to be delighted and surprised! Especially because of the title, which got me wondering, but as the book opens with Elizabeth Bennet walking around with William Lucas, my mind instantly screamed “IS THAT DARCY!?!” And yes it was Darcy! And the start of the book, WOW! What an opening sequence!
So, when a Darcy appeared as Mr. Bennet’s best friend, I was hopeful and yet a little worried and was I right to be worried!
Suddenly William was whisked to Derbyshire without a word of goodbye to any of the people he holds dear in Hertfordshire! And what a gigantic change for William, – he has to join two sides of him, the William Lucas he has grown up as, and the expected Fitzwilliam Darcy, heir and son.
Something which made me beyond sad was the fact that we do not get to meet Lady Anne Darcy!
I have to admit to disliking Mr. George Darcy at the beginning, but as the book developed, I understood why George Darcy acts as he does in the beginning, and even some of the Darcy relations threatens Darcy to keep his old life away from his new and proper life in accords to him being a Darcy! Gosh, I was ready to punch half the Darcy’s silly!
But finally out Fitzwilliam Darcy finds his feet after several months, where we see him in London society, which is just shy of being a disaster, since Darcy’s two male Darcy cousins are bad, and horrible – we are also presented to the Fitzwilliam cousins, the Viscount and Col. Fitzwilliam who is quite disliked by the Darcy’s apparently!
I was SO hoping that Darcy’s original first proposal wouldn’t appear, since they know each other so intimately already, but, of course, and I had to shake my head in hopelessness over how stupidly Darcy acts towards the woman he loves, even if I get why, but omg if I had been Elizabeth… So I can only praise Lucy for her way of writing Elizabeth in this particular scene!
FINALLY, oh Finally some happiness appears, and George and Fitzwilliam Darcy joins together and peace is restored between Darcy’s and Fitzwilliams, – and I am sure everyone can guess what happens to the bad people!
The family in Hertfordshire is visited and several scenes where Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth are walking together, where I both screamed at my book, “GET DOWN ON ONE KNEE DARCY!!” and at other times I just wrote it down as a note in my ebook, and where I just shook my head in frustration! But in the end I was laughing at the plot!
But FINALLY happiness is restored to our beloved couple! I sighed in contentment at that point! Something which hit me quite a lot, “there was something different in the way he looked at you and the tone of his voice. As soon as we returned to the inn, I asked about you. I knew immediately that for him to be happy, he needed you. You understand when I say that my most fervent wish is for my son’s happiness.” – This is said by George Darcy and I was quite sympathetic to him by this point, especially as our beloved couple are united!
So all in all, a well written and well created book, and world around the characters of P&P, so I can only congratulate Lucy Marin on another well done book!
ENTERING SOCIETY AS A YOUNG GENTLEMAN
In The Recovery of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Darcy has lived a quiet life as ‘William Lucas,’ most of it in Hertfordshire. Like the Bennet sisters (as far as we know from canon), this is the extent of his social experience—the assemblies and parties and so forth that take place within the Lucases’ circle. Mrs Bennet tells us in Pride & Prejudice that the Bennets dine with four-and-twenty families, and I choose to believe that the same was true for the Lucases even though they were not as well off as the Bennets. William’s life changes greatly when he is recognised as Fitzwilliam Darcy. All of a sudden, he is not the son of former innkeepers and the heir to a small estate; he is of noble birth and very wealthy. His father, George, wants him to take his proper place in society, to be recognised as his only son, with all the privilege that entails. As such, they go to London so that Fitzwilliam can be introduced to their social circle. In essence, Fitzwilliam is having his ‘come out,’
What does it mean for a young gentleman to have his coming out? Did such a thing even exist? Trying to find clear answers to these questions was a challenge. The focus was very much on young women entering society, signalling that they were of marriageable age. For some young ladies, this included being presented at court, where they made their curtesy to the queen. This was required to attend court functions, which, according to some sources, everyone who was anyone did at least once a year.
Young gentlemen were also presented at court. Daniel Pool, in What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, talks about this typically happening after they left Oxford or Cambridge or “had outgrown the awkwardness of adolescence.” Men were presented at levees, at which they would make their bow to the king or his representative. These formal receptions, which typically took place in the afternoon, were held at St James’s Palace, just as were the queen’s drawing rooms at which young ladies were presented. Men had to wear buckle shoes, breeches, and a sword—a far less onerous and elaborate costume than that expected of women.
The rules for presentation were strict, with young ladies, and presumably young gentlemen, needing a sponsor to gain access to court. Mothers, mothers-in-law, or other female relatives would present women, and I assume fathers or male relatives would present the men. Persons of rank could be presented, of course, and others could be as well, as long as they had an appropriate sponsor, meaning someone who themselves had been presented at court. I did not include a scene of George presenting Fitzwilliam, but there are references to him dining with princes and dukes and meeting the Prince Regent, which imply that he has formally been made known to the royal family.
Presentations took place during the Season, which coincided with the sitting of Parliament. The Season was a way for the upper class to entertain themselves while they carried out their political duties, as well as a way for people to meet potential spouses. Robert Morrison, in The Regency Years, calls the Season “the social world of events that helped them stave off boredom.”
We know that after presentation, young ladies attended a great number of social events such as balls, parties, dinners, breakfasts, and so forth. This is all to help meet people, especially men who might want to marry them. We can assume that young men were likewise very busy, although some of their activities would be different. I tried to show in the book that Darcy was, in fact, very occupied going to any number of different events, sometimes with his father and often with his cousin John. It provides a way for Darcy to meet the people of his social sphere, a task he would have begun much sooner had he not been kidnapped. While a child, he would have met other boys of his age as his parents socialized with their parents and while at school and university. After university, he would have, in essence, had his ‘come out’. Since he did not have these opportunities previously, the time he spends in London in the novel makes up for it and represents his first Season.
In addition to balls, musical entertainments, and the like, men might belong to a variety of clubs, including ones revolving around card playing, and they would partake in sporting activities, as a spectator or participant. Boxing was very popular, and fashionable young gentlemen might attend one of the London schools operated by famous pugilists. A scene that didn’t make it into The Recovery of Fitzwilliam Darcy involved Darcy and John together at a boxing match. These matches were illegal, but magistrates did not stop them. Blood sports were still fashionable at this time. Gentlemen commonly hunted, but they might also attend cockfights and dogfights while in town (as well as in the country).
In the end, there does not appear to be a lot of information regarding what it was like for young men to enter society; the attention was on young women and efforts to find husbands for them. No doubt, there were young men who were intent on finding a wife, especially if they needed a rich lady to make up for their own poverty. We know that Darcy is not looking for the right woman to marry; he has already found her, even if they now seem worlds apart.
Lucy Marin developed a love for reading at a young age and whiled away many hours imagining how stories might continue or what would happen if there was a change in the circumstances faced by the protagonists. After reading her first Austen novel, a life-long ardent admiration was born. Lucy was introduced to the world of Austen variations after stumbling across one at a used bookstore while on holiday in London in 2002. This led to the discovery of the online world of Jane Austen fan fiction and, soon after, she picked up her pen and began to transfer the stories in her head to paper.
Lucy lives in Toronto, Canada surrounded by hundreds of books and a loving family. She teaches environmental studies, loves animals and trees and exploring the world around her. Her first novel, Being Mrs Darcy, was published in March 2020 and was followed by a novella, Mr Darcy: A Man with a Plan, in July 2020.
I’m not sure if you need it or not, but my social media accounts are:
· Facebook: Lucy Marin
· Twitter: @LucySMarin1
· Goodreads: Lucy S Marin
· Instagram: lucymarin613
So, that was it for this time around! I hope you all will rush to get this book at amazon and the other options to buy ebooks. Since the book is VERY good! So, for now, cheerio!