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Friday, March 30, 2012

Elizabeth Kantor: How I Met Mr. Darcy

Welcoming Elizabeth Kantor: 
Guest Post and Give Away
Hi, Darcyholics! I am delighted to introduce to you a new friend, Elizabeth Kantor.  Elizabeth's book The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After will be available April 2!  I am proud and grateful to be the recipient of a pre-release copy and am currently enjoying reading it!  Oh, if I could have only had a copy back in my dating years.  But then there is a chapter about marriage as well.

Hints available in her book include: how not to be a tragic heroine, how to pursue Elizabeth Bennet's 'rational happiness"--learn what it is and how you can find it, how not to let cynicism steal your happy ending, and even keys to how you should deal with men who are 'afraid of commitment'.  I know you will enjoy it as much as I am.  I am very happy that Elizabeth will let us know HOW she came to develop the wealth of wisdom available to us in her new book.

Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
March 30--Elizabeth Kantor
April 3--Bonnie Carlson
April 6--China Fuentes-Montero
April 10--Jane Vivash
April 13--Regina Jeffers
April 17--Elizabeth Ashton
April 20--Susan Mason-Milks
April 24--Lynn Robson
April 27--Veronica (Dark Jane Austen Book Club)
May 1--Matt Duffy
May 4--Susan Adriani
May 8--Annette W.
May 11--Beth Massey
May 15--Erlynn K.
May 18--Rebecca T.
May 22--Candy M. (So Little Time...)
June 1--Kara Louise
June 5--Sharon Lathan
And Many more to come!

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Comments on Elizabeth's post will be entered into our monthly drawings, which include a copy of her new book, available to US and Canada readers.    Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member!, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.

How I Met Mr. Darcy
By Elizabeth Kantor, author of
The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After


          Like a certain Miss Elizabeth Bennet, I completely failed to appreciate Fitzwilliam Darcy until long after we first met. Our initial encounter was in a high school English class--an even less propitious setting for a first meeting than a Meryton assembly ball)--and I have to admit that, while I liked Pride and Prejudice, I didn't really see Mr. Darcy's potential.

            I read more Jane Austen in a college seminar on the sublime and the beautiful, and began to get some clue about her genius for relationships, her keen insights into both male and female psychology, her talent for understanding love.



            But it was only when I fell hard for my husband--who is actually a Jane Austen fan himself--and he talked me into reading Persuasion when I was high as a kite on those endorphins that flood your brain when you're first in love, that I really "got" her love stories. They're exactly what being in love is really like. Since then I've been reading and re-reading everything Jane Austen wrote--from the six novels many, many times; to the tantalizing unfinished novels (it's painful every time, leaving Emma Watson's love story when it's hardly begun), to the Juvenilia. And the more I read Jane Austen, the more I'm sure that Elizabeth and Darcy at the end of Pride and Prejudice are the perfect picture of what it is to be in love--in the kind of love that really does have the potential for happily ever after.

            But I'd like to take this opportunity to argue that, even once we fall in love with Mr. Darcy, it's still too easy for us to miss the really important point about him, and about the love that he and Elizabeth find. Because remember, Elizabeth and Darcy get to the real and really satisfying love that they share at the end of the novel only after getting over inferior kinds of love.

            In Darcy's case, it's an inferior sort of love for Elizabeth herself that he has to overcome before he can address her successfully. His original thing for her is a perfect example of what Jane Austen, in another novel, calls "the haphazard of selfish passion." When Darcy says, "In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell me how ardently I admire and love you." he really wants Elizabeth. So much, in fact, that he's willing to do things he thinks he shouldn't, to get her. But he doesn't really love her. That's why Elizabeth's complains to Darcy that "you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character." It's only when he sees that she's "a woman worthy of being pleased"--that she's a prize he'll have to aim high for, not a guilty pleasure that he's caving to--that he begins to really love her.

            Elizabeth, meanwhile, has had to get over another inferior sort of love--her crush on Mr. Wickham:

               If gratitude and esteem are good foundations of affection, Elizabeth's change of sentiment [to Mr. Darcy] will be neither improbable nor faulty. But if otherwise--if the regard springing from such sources is unreasonable or unnatural, in comparison of what is so often described as arising on a first interview with its object, and even before two words have been exchanged--nothing can be said in her defence, except that she had given somewhat of a trial to the latter method in her partiality for Wickham, and that its ill success might, perhaps, authorise her to seek the other less interesting mode of attachment.

             In other words, Elizabeth's thing for Wickham was all about shallow first impressions, while her love for Darcy is about his real value as a human being.

            Mr. Darcy's love is deeply exciting not just because of his smoldering good looks--or the beautiful grounds of his Derbyshire estate--but ultimately because he masters his selfish passion, brings himself to value Elizabeth for who she truly is, and offers her a generous and self-sacrificing love.
 
            That's the kind of love that Jane Austen-lovers should be looking for--in the real world. And Jane Austen can help women find it there.


Elizabeth Kantor is the author of The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After, which will be published on April 2 and is already shipping from Amazon.


 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lucy S.: A Large Amount of Darcy is the Best Recipe for Happiness!

Welcoming Lucy S.: JAFF author and Darcyholic

Hi, Darcyholics! I am excited to welcome Lucy S. to Darcyholic Diversions today.  Lucy is currently posting 'Being Mrs. Darcy' online for any of you who have not yet read any of her stories.  It is a very intriguing variation to can Pride and Prejudice.  In welcoming her to be a guest here, I wanted to be SURE she wouldn't get behind on her posting schedule as I am longing for the day that Mrs. Darcy realizes just now much Mr. Darcy cares for her!

Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
March 30--Elizabeth Kantor
April 3--Bonnie Carlson
April 6--China Fuentes-Montero
April 10--Jane Vivash
April 13--Regina Jeffers
April 17--Elizabeth Ashton
April 20--Susan Mason-Milks
April 24--Lynn Robson
April 27--Veronica (Dark Jane Austen Book Club)
May 1--Matt Duffy
May 4--Susan Adriani
May 8--Annette W.
May 11--Beth Massey
May 15--Erlynn K.
May 18--Rebecca T.
May 22--Candy M. (So Little Time...)
June 1--Kara Louise
June 5--Sharon Lathan
And Many more to come!

&*&*&*&*&*&

Comments on Lucy's post will be entered into our monthly drawings   Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member!, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.

Lucy S: A Large Amount of Darcy is the Best Recipe for Happiness!

I am a proud Janeite and Darcyholic. My obsession with Jane Austen began a long time ago. As a child, I was a voracious reader and happiest when busy seeing to “the improvement of [my] mind by extensive reading”. I cannot recall when I read my first Jane Austen novel, but by the time I was twenty, I had done a pretty good job of devouring all of the 19th century literature my local bookshop had to offer (having fallen in love with Dickens by grade 10, I went about finding other books of roughly the same era). I remember being gobsmacked by Captain Wentworth’s letter, finding Marianne remarkably silly, thinking Fanny was too timid for her own good (and my patience), wanting Emma to grow up already and laughing at Catherine’s over-active imagination.

But what about Elizabeth and Mr Darcy (I cannot separate the two in my reflections)? I adored Elizabeth Bennet from the first time I read Pride and Prejudice. Yes, she made mistakes, but they were ones that I, in the 20th century, could understand and her strength of character and willingness to admit when she was wrong were inspiring. As for Mr Darcy, do I really need to explain why I came to love him? I will only say that, “I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.” Like Elizabeth, he proved that he was an exceptional being because he could admit his faults and change. I was in a swoon by the time I learned that he had found Lydia and forced Wickham to marry her and needed Mrs Bennet’s salts by the time that he said, “My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.” My love for Darcy reached a whole new level when I saw Colin Firth’s portrayal of him in the 1995 BBC production.
As for when I discovered JAFF, I first have to say that I have always been in the habit of ‘filling in the blanks’ of stories I read or saw on television or in films. I imagined what happened in the bits we didn’t read or see – the conversations characters might have had, the way that they felt or what they thought. Naturally, this extended to Austen’s incomparable novels. In 2002, I was wandering around London, England, my baby daughter with me, and at a used bookshop found a copy of a post-P&P novel. I was thrilled and could hardly wait to read it. I can’t remember which one it was, but it was (in my opinion) awful.

Despite this unfortunate introduction to Austen-inspired stories, I had had a taste of something new and potentially diverting and so, sometime later and back home in Canada, I did an Internet search on Jane Austen. I don’t know what I expected to find, but the hours spent with a baby (night or day) while she nursed were long and I needed something to occupy me and keep me awake.

What I found was life-altering – the world of online JAFF. I stumbled across Bits of Ivory first and then found the Derbyshire Writers’ Guild. I discovered that there were other people out there who shared my love of Austen and Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy and all of Austen’s other wonderful characters and that they, too, wondered what happened after the novels ended, or what would happen if some circumstance were changed.  

I read and I read and I read. Over time, I found other JAFF sites and kept reading. I read through every Regency-era story I could find and only then did I start in on the modern tales. I had lots of ideas for stories of my own, but no real inclination (or time) to write them. I was working on my doctorate (on a topic that had nothing to do with Austen) and that piece of writing had to take precedence.

As I said goodbye (at long last) to my student years, a particular version of Elizabeth and Darcy increasingly occupied my mind. They had been hanging around for a while, showing me glimpses of their lives and struggles. Their voices grew louder and louder and I knew what they wanted. They wanted me to tell their story and they would not leave me alone until I did. It was not going to be an easy story to write and it took a lot of time to sort through the bits and pieces I had floating around in my mind, creating order of the chaos. It was only the spring of 2009 that I found a way (thanks to U2’s song ‘Magnificent’) to tell the story of how a particular William Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet healed their emotional scars and learned to live happily ever after (‘The Course of True Love’). While writing and posting it, I met many wonderful friends (including Barbara) who inspired me and helped me through some very difficult times. They also made me laugh which is a gift without price.

Throughout it, my love for all things Austen has grown. As I sent one Darcy and Elizabeth off to live in bliss, a new couple started knocking around in my brain and this time I didn’t bother arguing with them; I just went ahead and wrote their story. I have given over every spare corner of my mind and every spare minute of my time to Austen and Darcy. I am following wise advice in doing so, for it was Jane herself who said (with a minor edit), “A large amount of Darcy is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.”



 

Friday, March 23, 2012

I, Jeane A, Darcyholic, Love Matthew MacFadyen and Joe Wright's P&P!

Welcoming Jeane A: P&P 2005 Blogger
Hi, Darcyholics!  I am very happy to be have Jeane A. visiting with us today.  Jeane hosts the P&P2005 Blog and I was blessed to be a guest on her blog the end of last year.  I was thrilled that she was willing to visit with us today.  Jeane leaves NO doubt of who her Darcy of choice is!  I know you will enjoy getting to know her and learning about her blog, her Darcy, her love for P&P and her trip to England.

Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
March 27--Lucy S.
March 30--Elizabeth Kantor
April 3--Bonnie Carlson
April 6--China Fuentes-Montero
April 10--Matt Duffy
April 13--Regina Jeffers
April 17--Elizabeth Ashton
April 20--Susan Mason-Milks
April 24--Linda Wells
April 27--Veronica (Dark Jane Austen Book Club)
May 1--Jane Vivash and Matthew MacFadyen
May 4--Susan Adriani
May 8--Annette W.
May 11--Beth Massey
May 15--Erlynn K.
May 18--Rebecca T.
June 1--Kara Louise
June 5--Sharon Lathan
And Many more to come!

&*&*&*&*&*&

Comments on Jeane’s post will be entered into our monthly drawings   Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member!, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.

I Love Matthew MacFadyen's Mr. Darcy and Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice film

First of all, I would like to thank the lovely hostess, Barbara for her kind invitation to guest post here on her awesome Darcyholic blog. She asked me to write about how I discovered Matthew Macfadyen (my favorite Mr. Darcy) and why I love the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film.

Matthew is my Favorite Mr. Darcy

Matthew Macfadyen, obviously, is my favorite Mr. Darcy. I must say I have never seen nor heard of Matthew Macfadyen prior to seeing him in the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film. So, my first impression of him as Mr. [Fitzwilliam] Darcy in the P&P movie was that (believe it or not) I didn't love him at first sight/glance, but I did grew to love him (especially when he first held Lizzie's hand in the carriage and I had the same unexpected look as Lizzie did, lol...plus the first proposal scene, the Pemberley scenes, the second proposal scene, and the Mrs. Darcy ending scene) as Lizzie did and at every scene he appeared on-screen on this film. I couldn't help, but asked on my very first viewing of P&P movie, who this mysterious and handsome man (with a dreamy blue eyes and a Darcysexylicious voice) was? He fascinated, intrigued, kept me interested and glued watching him in the beautiful P&P film. The next thing I knew, I was looking him up on google, IMDB, checking out his fansites, and watching his other movies (I could find) that he co-starred/starred/appeared in. I became a huge MM fan after seeing him in P&P movie, all because of his Darcy role and his amazing portrayal of Mr. Darcy. In my humble opinion, I thought Matthew played the best Darcy and he just portrayed the iconic role superbly with vulnerability, passion, and emotions, which I didn't see from other Darcy actors. He transformed himself completely into the Darcy character (that all I saw from Matthew was Darcy and not Matthew as himself...so, I was immersed and intrigued watching him as this enigmatic Mr. Darcy) and made him so believable as the arrogant, snub, proud, and stubborn (in outside appearance), yet shy, reserve, quiet, vulnerable, kind, generous, caring, and loving/romantic (on the inside and whenever he was around Elizabeth Bennet privately in later scenes) in the film. I may not have loved him at the beginning, but as the film progressed and along the way towards the end, I was bewitched and in love with his Darcy (as his Elizabeth did). If not for his brilliant performance of Darcy in this movie, I wouldn't have discovered this talented, brilliant, and versatile actor that is Matthew Macfadyen (and he's very handsome to look at too). He is such a fantastic character actor, underrated and versatile too. If you haven't seen him in his other movies, you definitely should check them out. I highly recommend you see his other films such as In My Father's Den, Death at a Funeral, Any Human Heart, Little Dorrit, and The Pillars of The Earth to name a few. He was great in them and you hardly recognized him too as he's so great in transforming himself into his characters. I'm very glad Joe Wright, the producers, and casting director of P&P movie cast him as Mr. Darcy. Even more amazing was to find out that he was their first choice too even though many actors were said to have auditioned for the role of Darcy, but fortunately they came back to cast him as he was the one that they had first considered casting all along. Good thing they picked him, their first choice, as he was perfect as Mr. Darcy, at least for me (and those who are fans of his Darcy role). Matthew was and always will be my favorite Mr. Darcy. Once he played the character, I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing his version of Mr. Darcy or seeing Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennet with another actor playing her Mr. Darcy. Whenever I re-read the novel or read its sequels, variations, and inspired novels, Matthew's Darcy is always the one I think of and picture in my head (as well as Keira's Elizabeth Bennet). While I liked and enjoyed other Darcy actors (what's not to like? they're all good looking and good actors too), MM is just the one that made me take notice and love his Darcy portrayal a thousand times more than the others. So, yeah, that makes him my favorite actor to play Mr. Darcy. Not too mention, he made me love his Darcy even more when he had read a passage from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice novel, the first proposal scene (Chapter 34, pages 184-189).

 Watch Matthew Macfadyen as he reads a scene from Pride and Prejudice
(with music and scenes from Pride and Prejudice film)

Joe Wright’s film adaptation is my kind of Pride & Prejudice

I love, love, love the Pride & Prejudice (2005) movie. Of course, it’s this version of P&P that made me love Austen’s Pride and Prejudice novel and all things P&P). Though more so in this version as it got me hooked and addicted enough to start my own P&P Forum, My Space, P&P Blog, Twitter, and FB fan page. In my humble opinion, the 2005 version was the BEST P&P film adaptation I've seen (and I've seen the 1995 BBC/A&E, 1980 BBC miniseries, and a bit of the 1940 film, plus inspired films such Bride & Prejudice, Pride & Prejudice 2003, and Lost In Austen and own all, except for the 2003 P&P, on DVD). I love that that this version took creative license in some scenes (ie. Lizzie and Darcy's first *electric shock* touch, the exquisite first and second proposal scenes, the romantic "Mrs. Darcy" ending scene, etc.) and dared to be different than previous adaptations, but yet still stayed true to the heart and spirit of the book. It was seen through Elizabeth Bennet's eyes much like the book and I love that Keira Knightley played Elizabeth Bennet as I thought she did an outstanding job (made me a huge fan of hers as well) and she and Matthew's Mr. Darcy just perfectly complemented each other. They made a beautiful Elizabeth & Darcy pairing and whenever their characters meet and on-screen together they just sizzle with an undeniable on-screen chemistry and I believe them as Elizabeth & Darcy. They were just perfect and incredible together. I loved and enjoyed watching them as Lizzie & Darcy. They were (and always will be) my favorite Elizabeth & Darcy paring. Their version of these iconic P&P couple just made me love their characters even more and the Pride & Prejudice story itself as I've never did before. They (Keira & Matthew) along with the rest of the outstanding cast (Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Judi Dench, Rosamund Pike, Tom Hollander, and Jena Malone to name some) made me a big fan of Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I went back and re-read the original novel as I've never have before when I saw a few other P&P versions. This version made me finished reading the book and made me love it and its characters even more. There's just something magical and amazing about this film that I can watch it at least once or twice a day, everyday and never tire of it. It always cheer me up, makes me smile, and it has never happen to me with other films (and I love movies in general and has seen many different genres) or other version of P&P or Austen adaptations. This film just had it all what I wanted to see from this version of Pride & Prejudice. Everything about this film was just breathtakingly brilliant and amazing. There's always something new I discover (as many times…I’ve lost count after the first 50, lol… as I've seen this film) that I missed from my previous viewings all because I was always mesmerized by watching Darcy & Elizabeth on-screen. Everything about this film was beautiful. Every little detail was a gem. From the impressive casting of Keira & Matthew as Elizabeth & Darcy to the rest of the outstanding supporting cast, the brilliant direction by Joe Wright, the beautiful and timeless score/soundtrack by Dario Marianelli (he should’ve won an Oscar for this one instead of his score in Atonement). I love the amazing soundtrack to this film as much as I love the movie. Also, this film did not try to be an exact replica of the original P&P novel and its dialogue, but kept the memorable lines in tact and others worded differently yet still similar in meaning that it made it more easier for anyone to understand more so than the actual words from the novel. I also loved that this film made Darcy's first and second proposals amazingly beautiful, unique, creative, and memorable...as well as took it to another level, outside the box, and made it interesting and fresh to a modern audiences of today. Not too mention, the young and talented actresses (Rosamund Pike, Keira, Talulah Riley, Carey Mulligan, and Jena Malone) who portrayed the 5 Bennet sisters not only played a believable sisters, but also their ages were close to their counterparts from the book especially Elizabeth Bennet (KK was 19 when the movie was filmed and 20 when it was released similar to EB in the book). In addition, MM's age was closer to his character's age from the novel. Even more amazing was the lush cinematography and the beautiful scenery and locations, making this film impressive visually and stunningly beautiful to watch. What's not to love? Plus, the two hours length of time was perfect for this version. It may not seem like it on your first viewing, but it makes you yearn for more and makes you wish it was longer. The rest you can read in Jane Austen's masterpiece Pride and Prejudice novel, the original source to this adaptation, as you're supposed to. You don't need every detail or word for word to see it visually as it’s impossible to translate every page into the big screen. Besides, you can read the rest in the book for more details. The movie basically gives you a nice summarize version of the novel, giving an option for those who don't like to read the books, as it gives you more information that’s missing from the film, as well as for those who love to read (and watch its adapted version from the pages of the book come to life on the big screen). For me, this film’s version of Pride & Prejudice and its original source, the book of the same title is the perfect companion of each other.

You can read more of why I love the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film here: 16 Beautiful Things I love about the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film, my thoughts on Watching Pride & Prejudice film on Blu-ray, and how I started my P&P Blog: Confessions of a P&P Blogger

Also, you can read all about my My first European trip (September 2010) and My First European Trip (part 2) (I had visited a couple P&P filming locations too!) and see some Photos: Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall as Pride & Prejudice's Pemberley and Inn at Lambton (P&P/Derbyshire filming locations)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bad boys, Bad boys, Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

Welcoming Back Jan Hahn
Hi, Darcyholics!  I am very happy to be welcoming back Jan Hahn and being a part of her book release of The Journey.  I know that you will enjoy hearing more from her, as I did!   :D Enjoy!

Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
March 20--Jan Hahn (release of The Journey)
March 23--Jeane Alvarez (P&P2005 blog)
March 27--Lucy S.
March 30--Elizabeth Kantor
April 3--Bonnie Carlson
April 6--China Fuentes-Montero
April 10--Matt Duffy
April 13--Regina Jeffers
April 17--Elizabeth Ashton
April 20--Susan Mason-Milks
April 24--Linda Wells
April 27--Veronica (Dark Jane Austen Book Club)
May 1--Jane Vivash and Matthew MacFadyen
May 4--Susan Adriani
May 8--Annette W.
May 11--Beth Massey
May 15--Erlynn K.
May 18--Rebecca T.
June 1--Kara Louise
June 5--Sharon Lathan
And Many more to come!
&*&*&*&*&*&

Comments on Jan’s post will be entered into a contest to win a copy of the book.   Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member!, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.

Bad boys, bad boys,
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
 (with apologies to Inner Circle and Cops)

Thank you, Barbara, for allowing me to introduce my second novel, The Journey, which has recently been released by Meryton Press.  It’s another Pride and Prejudice alternate path that begins shortly after the Netherfield ball. 
To escape her mother’s anguish over Elizabeth’s refusal of Mr. Collins’s proposal, Elizabeth sets out for London to visit the Gardiners.  Mr. Bingley has offered her a ride in his carriage, but she must travel with Caroline Bingley, Louisa Hurst, and Mr. Darcy.  Obviously, in such company the journey is uncomfortable for Elizabeth, but it grows much worse when shots ring out and the carriage is held up by highwaymen.  When the leader of the gang elects to take Elizabeth for his own pleasure, Darcy offers himself as a hostage.  That fails to deter the highwayman’s plan, so Darcy takes it a step further and announces that Elizabeth is his wife!
The couple is abducted and taken to a remote cabin in the woods where they are forced to play the roles of husband and wife.  The handsome highwayman, Nate Morgan, continues to fancy Elizabeth, and she finds herself in a precarious position.  She and Darcy must learn to rely upon each other if they are to have any hope of escaping their captors.
Jane Austen includes a rogue of some sort in each of her main novels.  From Willoughby to Churchill, we are introduced to various attractive men of less than attractive character.  Today, my novel’s bad boy, Nate Morgan, has asked to visit me.  As you can imagine, I’m somewhat antsy to be in the presence of such a devious charmer, but he has promised to behave.  Do pray for me, as I have neither weapon nor wit to defend myself.
JAN HAHN:  I understand you have some questions for me, Mr. Morgan.  Although you’re looking at me in a rather sinister manner, don’t think I’m afraid of you.  In the words of Elizabeth Bennet, “my courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.”
NATE MORGAN: (looks askance at me while pacing the room)  Believe me, Missus, you’re no Elizabeth Bennet, so don’t try to talk like her.  (smiles wickedly)  I do make you nervous, though, don’t I?
JAN HAHN:  (high-pitched giggle)  Me, nervous in the company of a highwayman?  Why should I be uneasy when I created you?
NATE MORGAN:  And just why did you do that, Missus?  Wasn’t Miss Austen’s original fellow enough of a scoundrel to vex Darcy and Elizabeth?  What was his nameWickham?
JAN HAHN:  Well, yes, Wickham was a jerk
NATE MORGAN:  What’s a jerk?
JAN HAHN:  A man much like you, but never mind about that.  I created you for a definite purpose.  My original idea was to place Darcy and Elizabeth on a sort of road story, much like the plot of my grandmother’s favorite movie, It Happened One Night with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.  You were
NATE MORGAN:  What’s a movie?
JAN HAHN:  It’s a story shot on film.
NATE MORGAN:  (his eyes brighten and he stops pacing) Shot?  Someone gets shot? 
JAN HAHN:  In some movies people are shot, but never mind about that.
NATE MORGAN:  Why do you keep saying never mind?
JAN HAHN:  Because we’re getting off the subject.  I was telling you why I made you into a highwayman.  I needed some way to get Darcy and Elizabeth out of the drawing room and into the wild.  You were a necessary evil.
NATE MORGAN:  (smiles)  That’s me—evil Nate Morgan, infamous highwayman!  But, in truth, I think your book needs a rewrite.  When I hold up the carriage, I should leave Darcy with that screecher, Caroline Bingley, or better yet, I should just shoot him.
JAN HAHN:  (gasps)  I’d never allow Caroline to get Darcy in her clutches, and you can forget about shooting him!
NATE MORGAN:  (sits in chair and leans forward)  If you allow me to kidnap Elizabeth without Darcy, I can think of a tasty little plot involving her and me, and I’m no writer.
JAN HAHN:  I can well imagine, and that’s exactly why I sent Darcy along—to protect Elizabeth’s virtue.  Besides, what makes you think a woman with Elizabeth’s integrity would ever fall for a rascal like you?
NATE MORGAN:  I’ll have you know, Missus, I’m not lacking in dash-fire!  There’s many a lass who’s hoped to be Nate Morgan’s lady.  After all, I’m one fine-looking devil, am I not, with me blonde curls and blue eyes?
JAN HAHN:  I have to admit you are.
NATE MORGAN:  And I like how you placed a scar on me face.  Adds a bit of mystery, don’t it? Elizabeth noticed it right away, remember?
JAN HAHN:  She did, and that allowed me to reveal a bit of your back story.
NATE MORGAN:  Yeah, I don’t care for that part.  You should have me poker up about my past.  The less people know the better.  Why didn’t you make me the strong, silent type?
JAN HAHN:  Mr. Darcy owns that part.
NATE MORGAN:  Darcy, Darcy, Darcy!  (spits)  Is that dandy all you think about? 
JAN HAHN:  I can assure you Mr. Darcy is no dandy!  He’s the most romantic figure in literature!
NATE MORGAN:  I see nothing romantic about him—more like a peacock parading around like he owns the world.  If I read books—and we both know I don’t—I’d prefer yarns about fellows like me and my boys and the scrapes we’ve found ourselves in.   There was one time ol’ Sneyd and me were gulling a broadsman and three others at the card tables when one of them pulled a knife!  We fought our way out with nary a scratch.  Now, that would entertain your readers!
JAN HAHN:  (yawns)  Mr. Morgan, I write books about love, not fisticuffs, and the most romantic couple I know is Darcy and Elizabeth.  I wish to read and write about them.
NATE MORGAN:  Well, if you insist on romance, what more could you ask than me and Elizabeth?  Didn’t you have us dancing together one night, and did you not hear us singing?  And didn’t I rush in and rescue her at one point?  Why, I swept her up in my arms like she was no bigger than a kitten!  And then there was the scene in the cave—let’s not forget that chapter.
JAN HAHN:  I could never forget what took place in the cave, especially between Darcy and Elizabeth.
NATE MORGAN: (slaps his knee)  There you go again!  Darcy!  Are you daft, woman?  You’ve got nothing but Darcy on your brain!
JAN HAHN:  I confess I do.  Any story I write about Elizabeth will have Darcy in it.  You, sir, were just lucky to come along for the ride.  And now, Mr. Morgan, what is that sound I hear outside?  Is someone approaching? 
(Cue the music)  “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”
NATE MORGAN:  (jumps up) The plague seize it!  How do I get out of this place?
JAN HAHN:  (points toward rear) The back door’s in that direction.  Farewell, Nate Morgan, and good luck.  You are one character I thoroughly enjoyed!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jan’s first novel, An Arranged Marriage, recently won the award for Best Indie book of 2011 from Austen Prose.  Her second book, The Journey, has just been released.  Both books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online.
Visit Jan on Facebook or at Meryton Press   




Friday, March 16, 2012

Darcyholism? It First Began in High School!

Guest Post by Mary Simonsen
Hi, Darcyholics!  I am very happy to welcome Mary Simonsen to Darcyholic Diversions today.  I was fortunate to meet Mary in Arizona a couple years ago at a place that specializes in Mexican Chinese food. And know I didn't make a mistake in writing that, it was a combination of both!  I knew that Mary was prolific, but until she sent me all of her book covers, I don't think I had put together just how many books she has written.  A blessing for all of us.  Please join me in welcoming her here today.

Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
March 17--Jennifer Hickling (michchick)
March 20--Jan Hahn (release of The Journey)
March 23--Jeane Alvarez (P&P2005 blog)
March 27--Lucy S.
March 30--Elizabeth Kantor
April 3--Bonnie Carlson
April 6--China Fuentes-Montero
April 10--Matt Duffy
April 13--Regina Jeffers
April 17--Elizabeth Ashton
April 20--Susan Mason-Milks
April 24--Lynne Robson
April 27--Veronica (Dark Jane Austen Book Club)
May 1--Jane Vivash and Matthew MacFadyen
May 4--Susan Adriani
May 8--Annette W.
May 11--Beth Massey
May 15--Erlynn K
May 18--Rebecca Thumann (release of Longbourn State of Mind)
May 22--Kara Louise
June 5--Sharon Lathan

And Many more to come!
&*&*&*&*&*&

Comments on Mary's post will be entered into the monthly give away here at Darcyholic Diversions.  Mary is providing a copy of The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy.  Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member!, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.

Darcyholism? It First Began in High School.


Our hostess has asked that I write about when I first fell in love with the novels of Jane Austen. The answer is a very long time ago. In fact, it was 1969 during my senior year high school English class in North Jersey, a time when yearbook pictures were in black and white, a wide-screen television was twenty-five inches, and gasoline cost .27 a gallon.

But time marches on, and Jane Austen and I did not cross paths again until the 1980 Masterpiece Theatre presentation of Pride and Prejudice. I greatly admired how Elizabeth Garvie performed the role I was born to play, i.e., Lizzy Bennet, if I had ever been called upon to do so, and she remains my favorite Lizzy Bennet. I was once again bowled over by the 1995 A&E adaptation of P&P. The gowns, locations, casting, and acting were all magnificent. And Colin Firth? Need I say more than “Colin Firth?”
Although I admired those adaptations, it was Matthew Macfadyen’s portrayal of Fitzwilliam Darcy that touched me the most. In his performance, I saw the evolution of Darcy’s love for Elizabeth, and I was smitten by the handsome actor (mother/son sort of love), so much so that it inspired me to write a novel.

Authors of an Austen re-imagining come to write their novels by different paths. My journey involved a good deal of limping. While waiting for my insurance company to sign off on a total knee replacement, I became bored and asked myself, “What am I going to do with all this time on my hands?” The answer: write a three-generation novel with a tie-in to Pride and Prejudice and set it in post-World War II England.

My efforts resulted in my self-published work, Pemberley Remembered. A complete failure at self-promotion, I sent my manuscript to Sourcebooks. I remember saying to my husband, “Well, if I am lucky, I’ll hear back in three months.” I heard back that afternoon! My editor, Deb Werksman, called to say she had already read my novel and wanted to purchase the publishing rights. They had been looking for my contact information when my e-mail came in. This is the absolute truth!

After much reworking, Searching for Pemberley came out in December 2009. By that time, I was an Austen fan-fiction addict and a writing fool and had written two additional novels, The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy and A Wife for Mr. Darcy. A fourth novel, involving Mr. Darcy as a werewolf, followed in October 2011.

Why Austen? More specifically, why Pride and Prejudice? For me, it is Jane Austen’s brilliant use of language that keeps me reading her books and watching the various adaptations. How many authors have the talent to draw you in with the first sentence and hold you enthralled for hundreds of pages? Who else inspires so many writers, young and old, to try their hands at penning something they hope will compliment the master’s body of work? Why write Pride and Prejudice re-imaginings? Because in my mind, I get to be Elizabeth Bennet: strong, confident, practical, and, eventually, Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Other works by Mary Simonsen: Becoming Elizabeth Darcy; Darcy on the Hudson; For All the Wrong Reasons; Mr. Darcy’s Angel of Mercy; A Walk in the Meadows at Rosings Park; Captain Wentworth Home from the Sea; Anne Elliot, A New Beginning; and The Second Date, Love Italian-American Style.

Blog: marysimonsenfanfiction.blogspot.com







Thursday, March 15, 2012

And the Last of the Winners from February 
is for Nina Benneton's Book
Compulsively Mr. Darcy
And The Winner is...
Kaewink! 

Congratulations!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
 Give-Away Winner for Janet Taylor's Darcy and Elizabeth Note Cards:
Monica P and Sandy C!

Congratulations to you both!


Posting February Award Winners!


Winners of the two copies of my book, Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy, are Janet Taylor and LĂșthien84!  Congratulations to both of you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How I Became a Darcyholic: All It Took Was One Man and a Boy Wizard

Guest Post and Give Away By Linda Wells
Hi, Darcyholics!  I am very happy to welcome Linda Wells to Darcyholic Diversions today.  Linda was a guide and a mentor for me when I prepared to publish my first book. So, I have been privileged to know her for a number of years now. She is very prolific as an author, as a number of you are well aware.  She and her 'Darcy of Choice' Matthew MacFadyen are here to visit with us today.  Please welcome her with your comments!

Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
March 16--Mary Simonsen
March 17--Jennifer Hickling (michchick)
March 20--Jan Hahn (release of The Journey)
March 23--Jeane Alvarez (P&P2005 blog)
March 27--Lucy S.
March 30--Elizabeth Kantor
April 3--Bonnie Carlson
April 6--China Fuentes-Montero
April 10--Matt Duffy
April 13--Regina Jeffers
April 17--Elizabeth Ashton
April 20--Susan Mason-Milks
April 24--Lynne Robson
April 27--Veronica (Dark Jane Austen Book Club)
May 1--Jane Vivash and Matthew MacFadyen
May 4--Susan Adriani
And Many more to come!
&*&*&*&*&*&

Comments on Linda's post will be entered into her give away. 1 complete set of the ebooks to a non US reader and 1 complete set of either the ebooks or Volume 1 of the paperback to a US reader.  As well you will have a chance to win in the monthly drawings as well.  Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member!, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.



How I Became a Darcyholic:  All it Took Was One Man and a Boy Wizard

Let me take you back to those glorious days of yesteryear (cue stirring music), ahh, those lovely days when cable television was delivered through a cable, and not a set top box.  When mere mortals could somehow, mysteriously, and quite happily .  .  . get HBO for free.  Ahhhhh.  Add in repeats of Pride and Prejudice and a gloriously handsome Matthew MacFadyen, and yes, you have it, an addiction was born. 
I didn’t have any idea who Matthew was, not being English and not knowing about MI-5 (aka Spooks), but that man whispering, “Please” to the woman I considered incredibly short-sighted in the rain did something wonderful to this stay-at-home mom.  I recorded Pride and Prejudice (on video tape) and watched that proposal over and over and over.  I found clips on youtube and mourned when HBO stopped showing the movie.  Devastation.  But the kernel had been planted.  Pride and Prejudice + Matthew Macfadyen = (come on, you know the answer) Harry Potter!  Pardon?  You don’t get the connection?  Okay, well, follow along. 
I had not read a book for pleasure since I got married, at least twelve years.  Not that my husband prevented me, we had a baby three months after our wedding (yes, do the math) and he was born with severe developmental delays.  So reading was not something I had time to do.  At about the time that I was falling in lust with Mr. Darcy, I had also bought my nephew a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and decided to read it, just to find out what the big deal was.  Well, I remembered why I loved to read, why I loved a good story, and I suddenly could not get enough.  So I found The Leakey Cauldron, I listened to Pottercast, and . . . here it is, I found Harry Potter Fan Fiction. 
By this time I had, of course, devoured Pride and Prejudice and kept a copy in my purse (still do!).  One day the thought occurred to me, “Hey, if there is HP fan fiction, what about P&P?”  I looked on Amazon, and found a couple of wonderful books, but it was when I searched the internet that the JAFF world opened up to me.  I joined every site that I could. I had a notebook with stories listed, where they were, what chapter I was on, little details so I could have some clue of what was going on when I finally, happily, saw a new post . . . and then after a year or so of reading, the one site that I visited the most disappeared.  Not being one to do anything but read the stories, I had completely missed that the web address was changing, and for two horrible months, I was lost.  I searched desperately for the story I was reading (which, by the way, remains unfinished to this day) to no avail.  During those two months of sadness, the dark time, I started to think of my own story.  And when at last I was reunited with my favorite JAFF site, I felt that I should try to contribute.  It was then that I fully appreciated what I had lost.  
My husband had no clue what I was doing with these notebooks I would carry around everywhere.  He would ask me why I was staring off into space; really he wanted to know what was wrong with me.  Well, I was writing a story in my head.  Finally, after reading the instructions a million times, I got brave and with a shaking finger, posted my WIP.  No beta, no editing, no help (and it showed), but I did it.  And people liked it, and encouraged me, and cheered me on.  My betas were my readers, their comments were my guides, and through this incredible experience, I not only learned how to write a bit, but I have made friends who I would not give up for anything.  That is how I became a Darcyholic, and why I will never be cured. 
IF you are interested in reading the result of my musings and love of all things Darcy, particularly if he’s a blue-eyed bear of a man named Matthew, then I hope that you might enjoy my newest story, Imperative.   
Volume 1

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a man with a great many secrets to keep, one involves his sister, and the other involves his heart.  The problem is, he cannot just keep the secrets.  They demand attention, and action, and in hopeless times, a good man does not always think things through, even when he is desperately trying to do the right thing for the two most important women in his life.  




Volume 2

In the second volume of this variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy has survived threats to his mind and body, exposure of his deepest secrets, and endless challenges from his family.  He could never have come so far without Elizabeth Bennet by his side.  She has accepted and excelled in the position she has taken, and is the reason why he is so clearly the Master of Pemberley.  Now he must finish the task he began the day they took their vows.  He must safeguard his sister while protecting his estate, his family, and their future.   Hope is their byword, love is the key.
This story contains scenes of a mature nature between a happily married couple.  The entire story is 1500 pages. Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 





I have no blog since I have not idea what to write on one, but I am always happy to hear from people on my author page at (See Link Above). I am also on Facebook, and welcome emails to lindawellsbooknut@gmail.com