Mr. Darcy’s Bite Blog Tour with author Mary Simonsen, & Giveaway

Mr Darcy's Bite, by Mary Simonsen (2011)Halloween season is upon us, and that includes paranormal novels arriving to get us in the mood for the spooky holiday. Please join us today in welcoming author Mary Simonsen on her blog tour in celebration of the release of Mr. Darcy’s Bite a new paranormal Pride and Prejudice-inspired story published on October 1, 2011 by Sourcebooks. Mary has kindly shared her insights into her inspiration and research for our readers.

Hi Laurel Ann. It’s always good to be back on Austenprose, but today is especially significant. Not only do I have a new release, Mr. Darcy’s Bite, but today is my birthday. It’s one of those big ones that end in a zero. I won’t say how old I am, but I’m reading Social Security brochures.

I thought I might begin by sharing an excerpt from the prologue of Mr. Darcy’s Bite: The story opens with fourteen-year-old Darcy being bitten by a wolf in the Black Forest:

William retreated, but from a distance, the wolf followed him. With his heart pounding in his chest, he finally reached the road and could see the men working on the carriage. Before going in search of his father, he took one last look down the road and saw the wolf standing in plain view. Because of the full moon, the road was lit up as if it were daytime, leaving the female lupine completely exposed. Without thinking, William waved to her, and it was only then that she returned to the woods. The only conclusion he could draw was that she had wanted to make sure he was safe. But what kind of wolf did that?

You asked me to write about my inspiration for penning a werewolf novel. I had two motivations. The first was that I wanted to write a short-story for Halloween for a fan fiction site where I posted most of my stories, and it was appropriately titled “Mr. Darcy on the Eve of All Saints Day.” But the response was so great that I just kept writing. Before I knew it, my short story had become a full-length novel. It shows what a little encouragement can do.

My second motivation was to respond to another Darcy werewolf story. Although I applauded the author for creating a dark atmosphere, her Darcy and Elizabeth were not mine. In the first place, Darcy did not tell Elizabeth he was a werewolf before marrying her, and because of the threat of exposure, he had separated his bride from her family by bringing Elizabeth to a castle far, far away from Longbourn. In my mind, Darcy would not have done either of those things. So with sword (actually computer) in hand, I set about righting the wrong.

I did do some research for Mr. Darcy’s Bite, but after reading grisly stories about werewolves eating human flesh, I decided to go with my own concept of a werewolf. Most importantly, it was my goal to have Darcy remain true to the person Jane Austen had created. As such, Darcy’s honesty demanded that he inform Elizabeth of his other nature before they marry. At first, Elizabeth is horrified that the man she has fallen in love with howls at the moon and stalks deer, but her love is so strong she willingly agrees to share her life with a man who will leave her for two days during every full moon to become a part of the animal world.

Of course, there are difficulties—a she wolf within the community who has her eye on Darcy—and external threats. From the time when men told stories in caves, wolves have been the enemy. Because of their bad (and undeserved) reputation, the usual reaction to a population finding a wolf in their midst is to “kill the beast.” As a result, Darcy and Elizabeth must always be on their guard.

Despite the fur, fangs, and four legs, Mr. Darcy’s Bite is a love story. Adjustments are required, but what’s a little fur among friends?

Thanks again for having me at Austenprose.

Author Bio:

Mary Lydon Simonsen’s novels, Searching for Pemberley and The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, were acclaimed by Publishers Weekly, RT Book Reviews, and Booklist. In her novels, the romance between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet is told with a light touch and a sense of humor and presented as a battle of wits between two equals. She is well loved and widely followed on all the Jane Austen fan fiction sites with tens of thousands of hits and hundreds of reviews whenever she posts. She has also self-published a parody of Persuasion, Anne Elliot, A New Beginning, two Austen novellas, Mr. Darcy’s Angel of Mercy and For All the Wrong Reasons, and a modern romance, The Second Date, Love Italian-American Style. Mary lives in Peoria, Arizona. Visit Mary at her blog, on Facebook and as @bibliofilly on Twitter.

Giveaway of Mr. Darcy’s Bite

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of Mr. Darcy’s Bite by leaving a comment answering what intrigues you most about reading a paranormal version of Pride and Prejudice, or what characters or novels you would like to see Mary write about next, by midnight PT, Wednesday, October 19, 2011. Winner announced on Thursday, October 20, 2011. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Mr. Darcy’s Bite, by Mary Simonsen
Sourcebooks (2011)
Trade paperback (336) pages
ISBN: 9781402250774

© 2007 – 2011 Mary Simonsen, Austenprose

46 thoughts on “Mr. Darcy’s Bite Blog Tour with author Mary Simonsen, & Giveaway

  1. Congrats on the new book! Looking forward to reading it.

    I really enjoy paranormal P&P adaptations. I just read one that involved weres/shapeshifters that was very enjoyable. The paranormal stories satisfy the JAFF addiction, plus add something a bit different to spice up the typical canon versions when looking for something new. Some other paranormal plots could involve dreamwalkers and Darcy could come to Lizzy in her dreams were he can show her his true self to help win her or maybe someone is a reluctant mind reader or psychic….anyway, just my mind wandering

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    • Colleen, This is probably my one and only foray into the paranormal. I could never do vampires–too much blood. But it was fun writing this story b/c it was a stretch for me.

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  2. Certainly the lore of supernatural creatures such as werewolves and vampires has been around probably as long as humans have! I don’t doubt that stories of this sort were passed around during the Regency period, too. So it’s interesting to intersect the two with proper gentlemanly attributes applied to the monster/creature of choice! Halloween is my favorite holiday–love to be scared–but a hybrid of wild/scary supernatural and the unshakable esprit of a gentleman, now that gives goosebumps of a whole ‘nother kind!
    Constance

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    • Constance, I love Halloween too. It was huge when I was a kid. My sisters and I would collect so much candy that we would have to dump out our pillowcase at home and go out again. I grew up in an apt. complex, and we could knock on two doors at once. Heaven!

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  3. Yes, I have read Mary Lydon Simonson’s The Perfect Bride For Mr Darcy and thoroughly enjoyed it. BUT, I draw the line at this latest offering. This is one narrowly-defined avenue of pop lit that I refuse to travel down. I don’t understand the hype and really don’t want to either. I appreciate the opportunity to share my opinion, even though it is a rare negative one for me.

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  4. Hi Mary, Love all your stories. I have just starting reading the paranormal JA and I have found that I love the imagination of the authors when there giving there chharacters abilities. How you come up what your paranormal subject matter is amazing. I just love the creative process. I’m looking forward to reading “Mr. Darcy’s Bite”

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  5. Happy Birthday, Mary!! I hope you have a wonderful day! :)
    I was one who had no desire to read paranormal what-ifs. Vampires, ghosts, and werewolves in Jane Austen just didn’t appeal to me. However, I have enjoyed everything Mary has written prior to this, so I thought I would give it a try. What did I have to lose except a few hours? I really enjoyed this book! What?! I didn’t think I would, but sure enough, I did!! I agree with Mary, it is truly a love story, and such a sweet one! :) Now, I do know there are those who do not like these stories, and that is okay! However, I am glad I tried this book. I think if I find time in my reading schedule, I might try other mash-ups as well!

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  6. I like supernatural tellings of P&P. They are another way of enjoying the story. Mary, I’m glad you decided to down the werewolf route. There are very few novels that explore it while zombies and vampires have been done (tho I still enjoy them). I did enjoy the other werewolf novel you allude to above, but I’m very excited to read yours. You touched on the aspect I didn’t like that Elizabeth didn’t know.

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    • I enjoyed the other werewolf novel as well b/c I had never read one before. It had such a sinister atmosphere, but I just couldn’t accept that Darcy would withhold that info from Lizzy. Thank you for stopping by.

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  7. Contests Mary, love your stories. Can’t wait to read this one. I find it fascinating how writers develope the characters to have special abilities and all sorts of senarios. It just amazes me and I enjoy the fantasies you take me on.

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  8. Every time I see another one of these paranormal Austen books, I get a bit anxious as I do admit to being a Twilight,Mortal Instruments etc but the blending of the two genres just goes against all that is natural. But I usually succumb to my curiousity — and more often than not, am disappointed… Because of what I always feel are missed opportunities or falling into stereotype. I was pleasantly surprised with Mullany’s “Jane of the Damned” but not so much with Wegner’s “Moonlighting,” or Granges’ “Mr Darcy Vampyre.” What I love so much about fanfiction, particularly the on-line fandom, is that authors can get inspired by others and write their own spinmm. That’s what all this Austenesque writing is anyway. The real success is in the talent of the writer making solid connections to both genres and the original Austen characterizations reacting in a paranormal world– and of course a succinct, deft editor. As I have enjoyed Mary’s writing previously, I think I am going to have to take the plunge and try this one out… In the spirit of Halloween, of course.

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  9. I’ve only just discovered paranormal books recently and I guess it’s pure curiosity as to how it would combine with P & P. Thanks!

    Margaret
    singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. Christina, The story I read was on A Happy Assembly, and it was the hottest thing going. I never thought I’d read a werewolf story, no less write one. But my older daughter, who is a werewolf fan, loved my story. I’m very proud of her giving me her stamp of approval.

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    • Mary, I used to read a lot on-line but now that there is so much published in book form, I am reading on-line less and less… and $pending more and more ;)

      I will say that often I have been a huge cheerleader for authors while reading their work on-line… BUT when they decide to go “primetime” and get it published– when they are actually getting paid for their offering– I tend to look at the work in a more critical manner. As a free work, I am lavish with my support to feed “the muse”– but once money is involved, as you know, it needs to be ready for the public. That is why a good editor is needed for both content and copy. I wish you much success with this book — 2 tough genres to blend and make it work; I look fwd to reading it.

      Praise indeed from your daughter! Happy birthday!

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  11. Mary: Well, happy birthday! Didn’t mean to pour cold water on your day either. As a further explanation, It is not that I don’t enjoy the supernatural or macabre; I just can’t seem to meld those and Regency literature together. What kind of paranormal do I like? H.P. Lovecraft! I wish your latest offering every success…

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  12. My daughter was assigned P&P and the Zombies for her summer reading a couple of years ago and I still can’t get into reading that book but it may be the zombie twist is my problem. I think it is time to give a paranormal spin another try so I ma very curious about how the author melded P&P and werewolves into one tale.

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  13. I’m looking forward to reading this. I like paranormal/supernatural fiction (except zombies…i find them very disagreeable) and, of course, JA but mixing the two is not something that just anyone can do well. I have been let down a few times in the past but I’ve loved all your stories so far and I’m confident this will be no exception.

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday, Mary!l/supernatural fiction (except zombies…i find them very disagreeable) and, of course, JA but mixing the two is not something that just anyone can do well. I have been let down a few times in the past but I’ve loved all your stories so far and I’m confident this will be no exception.

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday, Mary!

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  14. Argh, sorry about my duplicated post above…my phone does that all the time for some reason and it drives me crazy…!all the time for some reason and it drives me crazy…!

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  15. What intrigues me most about reading a paranormal version of PP is how the characters respond to crisis. If Caroline Bingley learned Darcy had this problem, she would be concerned about status — and the size of her widow’s jointure. Lady Catherine might be in denial. I like seeing how Darcy and Lizzy work together to deal with things.

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  16. I love P&P and everything Austen and although I love diving into the parnormal world, especially vampires and werewolves, I had a hard time mixing P&P and paranormal. I am definatley not a purist, but I just thought that was going too far. Then one day I caved. I picked up a Darcy/vampire novel. I was shocked! I found myself quite enjoying it. I have read several now and have my eye on a few more.

    Since I love everything Mary, I am really looking forward to reading Mr Darcy’s Bite. Congrats, Mary on another release! And Happy Birthday!

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  17. i’ve yet to read a JaneAusten mash-up, so i’m bit curious about this book………i hope i won’t get too scared & throw the book into the freezer (ala Joey from Friends!!)….

    thank you for the giveaway!!!!

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  18. Happy Birthday Mary! And congrats on your new book. I read that other story you refer to and look forward to seeing your ‘clean up’ effort. As I have read and appreciated your other works, I know I will not be disappointed.
    Thanks for the blog and opportunity for a giveaway!

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  19. After reading a sample of this novel, I think the thing that interests me most about paranormal versions of P&P is seeing how it will affect the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy. Since they have so many obstacles already in the original novel, when you add the paranormal aspect, the problems really start to stack up. It is interesting to see whether a writer uses the paranormal as an excuse for Darcy’s behavior, or whether it is an additional aspect of his character.

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  20. I have to admit that it is hard for me to imagine Mr. Darcy as a werewolf and to think of Pride and Prejudice in a paranormal light. That being said, the wolf is an absolutely beautiful creature, highly intelligent and aloof in its own right. In that sense I can see it compared to Mr. Darcy and them being one and the same for a couple of nights a month. It arouses my curiosity to see where the author would take this paranormal adventure with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Although I have read none of the JAFF books that deal with the paranormal, this might be an exception for me. I have spent much time around wolves and know that they are highly misunderstood by the general populace. Does that sound a little like Mr. Darcy in the beginning?

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  21. The idea of mixing Halloween and Jane Austen (two great loves of mine) is an amazing one. I am intrigued by the idea of the very proper Mr. Darcy turning into a wolf every month (he seemed rather too stuffy for it before, hahaha). I am very interested in seeing where this story goes. :)

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  22. I haven’t read any paranormal Jane Austen books. I just never thought I’d enjoy them. But for some reason, “Mr. Darcy’s Bite” intrigues me. I think I’ll give it a try!

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