Undressing Mr. Darcy Book Launch with Author Karen Doornebos and Giveaway!

Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos (2013)Please join us in celebration of the launch of author Karen Doornebos’ second novel, Undressing Mr. Darcy, published today by Berkley Trade.

Karen has joined us to chat about her inspiration to write her new book, a humorous contemporary romance inspired by the chemistry between Jane Austen’s characters Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Her publisher, Berkley, has also generously offered a giveaway chance for a paperback copy of Undressing Mr. Darcy to three lucky winners. Just leave a comment with this blog post to enter. The contest details are listed below. Good luck to all. 

Thank you for joining us Karen.

Inspiration for Undressing – shall we say – a flame? 

Laurel Ann asked me to talk a bit about my inspiration for Undressing Mr. Darcy. Full disclosure: when I was researching Regency male clothing for my first novel, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, I hit upon an English website called The History Wardrobe that did a show called Undressing Mr. Darcy. It seems a “Mr. Darcy” would disrobe down to his drawers while a woman lectured about his articles of clothing.

Wow. What more could a Darcy fangirl ask for?! I never saw the show and it’s now defunct, but my imagination started clicking and it wasn’t long until I came up with:

He’s an old-fashioned, hardcover book reader from England who writes with a quill pen. She’s a modern American career woman, hooked on her social media. Can he find his way into her heart without so much as a GPS?!

So, undressing caused the cognitive wheels to turn. ;) But, going deeper than that, what else inspires?

It’s cliché, but: sparks flying.

There is no better way to describe the air between Darcy and Elizabeth than: flammable in a good way. And I love that! I loved it at 16 years old when I read Pride and Prejudice and I love it now. There isn’t any sex in Austen, but P&P is especially rife with sexual tension, and the entire book feels ready to ignite at the inevitable union of Darcy and Elizabeth.

In Undressing Mr. Darcy I haven’t tried to recreate Darcy and Elizabeth, but rather, bring a similar kind of energy to Julian, who has been called “adorably old-fashioned” by RT Book Reviews, and Vanessa, my thoroughly modern Millie.

I also think the eternal appeal of Darcy and Elizabeth happens to be the fact that they need to learn something from each other. They came into each other’s lives to be educated, so to speak, by each other. They need to calibrate and recalibrate. Likewise, my flawed characters need to learn a thing or two from each other—but do they? Who learns and who doesn’t?

When, back in 2011, I stumbled across the Undressing Mr. Darcy idea, what I didn’t know was that a pirate would get into the mix. To say this character was inspired by Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow would be…true! Does he bear any resemblance to Wickham? You’ll have to read and find out!

Yet, as much as I enjoy the romance, the teasing, the push and pull, I like learning something as I read (back to that learning thing again)! That’s why I think Austenprose readers will especially enjoy Undressing. Aside from the Jane Austen Society of North America gatherings and Jane Austen Festivals, I delve into Jane Austen’s life, weaving into the story a bright colored ribbon of biography to follow along with (but not in a lecturing, pedantic way)!

To educate myself, I reread Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra. I traveled to Bath, Chawton and London to see what she saw and experience for myself her cottage, especially juxtaposed with her brother Edward’s massive inherited estate. One of the most poignant moments and certainly a highlight of my trip was seeing Austen’s writing desk at The British Library in London. I incorporated all of this into the book: a modern American woman’s perspective of Austen. Yet, when we analyze Austen, we analyze ourselves, do we not?

Austenprose readers, check out the first chapter of Undressing Mr. Darcy here!

So much more to say, but I have to thank Laurel Ann again for hosting me on this special day! So great to be here.

Author Karen Doornebos in Bath (2012)

A * wave * from the top of Bath Abbey! 

On each leg of the Undressing Mr. Darcy Blog Tour, I’m taking you along for a ride to England, where I traveled during the summer of 2012 to do some research for my new book. Where am I on this stop? I climbed the 212 steps to the top of Bath Abbey for the panoramic views of the hills and crescents. Afterwards I promptly treated myself to a fluffy Bath bun at the famous Sally Lunn’s, established in 1680 in a house built in 1482… The bun arrived smothered in butter and strawberry jam, but the real topper was enjoying that and peppermint tea in Sally Lunn’s Jane Austen Room!

Sally Lunn's in Bath

JOIN THE BLOG TOUR OF UNDRESSING MR. DARCY: 

12/2: The Penguin Blog

Launch! 12/3: Austenprose

12/4 Laura’s Review Bookshelf & JaneBlog

12/5 Chick Lit Plus – Review

12/6 Austen Authors

12/9 Fresh Fiction

12/10 Writings & Ramblings

12/11 Brant Flakes & Skipping Midnight

12/12 Risky Regencies Q&A

12/13 Books by Banister

Jane Austen’s 238th Birthday! 12/16 Jane Austen in Vermont,

My Jane Austen Book Club &

Author Exposure Q&A

12/17 Literally Jen

12/18 Savvy Verse & Wit – Review

12/19 Kritters Ramblings

12/20 Booking with Manic- Review

12/23 BookNAround

12/26 My 5 Monkeys – Review

12/27 All Grown Up – Review

12/30 Silver’s Reviews

1/2 Dew on the Kudzu

Mr. Darcy’s Stripping Off… 

His gloves. At each stop on the Undressing Mr. Darcy Blog Tour, Mr. Darcy will strip off another piece of clothing. Keep track of each item in chronological order and at the end of the tour you can enter to win a GRAND PRIZE of the book’s, “DO NOT DISTURB I’m Undressing Mr. Darcy” door hangers for you and your friends, tea, and a bottle of wine (assuming I can legally ship it to your state). US entries only, please. 

Thank you Karen for joining us today on Austenprose. Best wishes on the success of your new book. 

Please visit us on December 11 for our review of Undressing Mr. Darcy.

Author Karen Doornebos (2013)Author Bio: Karen Doornebos is the author of Undressing Mr. Darcy published by Berkley, Penguin. Her first novel, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, has been published in three countries and was granted a starred review by Publisher’s Weekly. Karen lived and worked in London for a short time, but is now happy just being a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and living in the Chicagoland area with her husband, two teenagers and various pets—including a bird. Speaking of birds, follow her on Twitter and Facebook! She hopes to see you there, on her website www.karendoornebos.com and her group blog Austen Authors.

A GRAND GIVEAWAY

Enter a chance to win one of three copies available of Undressing Mr. Darcy, by Karen Doornebos by leaving a comment including your favorite Mr. Darcy quote from Pride and Prejudice, or by asking Karen a question about her writing process or the characters in her new book. The contest is open until 11:59 pm PT, December 11, 2013. Winners will be drawn at random from the comments and posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013. Shipment to US addresses only. Good luck to all.

Undressing Mr. Darcy, by Karen Doornebos
Berkley Trade (2013)
Trade paperback (368) pages
ISBN: 978-0425261392

Cover image courtesy of Berkley Trade © 2013; text Karen Doornebos © 2013, Austenprose.com

88 thoughts on “Undressing Mr. Darcy Book Launch with Author Karen Doornebos and Giveaway!

  1. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book’s release since I heard about it; it looks hilarious, and hot! :) Congratulations, Karen, on your new book release! Do you use any music to get you into the writing mood, or do you prefer to work in silence?

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    • Hi Trai! Thank you so much for your enthusiasm! I usually listen to classical music as I’m writing, but I have a playlist of alternative/pop songs on my iPod that I use to take a walk with…working out story problems as I walk. I put together a novel playlist to help me with things… Thanks for asking!

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    • I so enjoy the wonderful authors who bring Jane alive for us and help to realize her relevance for today’s world.

      Karen, as you were writing, do you often picture yourself living in the England of Jane or are you a “modern girl”?

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      • Ellen, knowing what I know, I could not live without modern hygiene, purified water, and today’s medical care. Of course, future medical care will be much better…but there’s no going back. And did Regency England allow women to visit coffeehouses? Not generally. That would not work for me!

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  2. Oh, Mr. Darcy! I love that man, and I love the prospect of this book! I think that one of my favorite Darcy quotes comes from the letter that he writes to Elizabeth (which I highlighted in its entirety in my first copy): “I will only add, God bless you.” *sigh*

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  3. “Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride – where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.”

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  4. “It taught me to hope,” said he, “as I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before.” and “I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun” …. are a few I’ve always liked

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  5. Hi Karen,
    Congratulations on your new novel! I had the pleasure of meeting you in Chicago, and I look forward to reading Undressing Mr. Darcy. Wonder how long it took you to write and if you write every day.

    Have fun on your tour. Wish you were coming to Mequon, Wisconsin!

    Holly

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    • Holly, hello! Yes, I did write every day in some capacity. I went so school @ UW-Madison and plan to visit there in the spring. Would love to see you! So great to hear from you on Austenprose here!

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  6. There are so many great Darcy quotes but I’ll go with this one today. :).

    “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

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  7. “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how much I ardently admire and love you.” <3

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  8. Yes, vanity is weakness indeed. But pride – where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation. Thanks for this feature.

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  9. I have my advance copy so I don’t need to win. But I must have my dome of this conversation. I noted a Lucy n Edward Ferrars subtext, as well a hint of Knightley. Was this by design or just the creative stars aligning magically?

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  10. “I cannot forget the follies and vices of other so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost forever” – Darcy

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  11. What a unique and interesting storyline you have chosen, Ms. Doornebos, and I am intrigued after reading your first chapter! A favorite quote of Darcy’s…partially because it is at my favorite spot in the story… “There is also one other person in the party… who more particularly wishes to be known to you. Will you allow me, or do I ask too much, to introduce my sister to your acquaintance …?”

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  12. My favorite quote of Mr.Darcy is when he tells Miss Bingley ” I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.” It is just too good.

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  13. I’m with Felicia. Favorite quote:

    “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

    I only wish this wasn’t a part of his pitiful, insulting initial proposal. But it’s still good writing! ;)

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  14. I’ve only just started P&P, I’m desperately behind on blogging about it, but my favourite quote so far is…
    “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me, and I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.” Its like when you say your never going to eat ice cream again and you do… here Mr. Darcy is setting himself up not realizing that this is the woman of his dreams ;)

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  15. I don’t remember the exact quote but when he and Elizabeth discuss living away from family when he visits her at the Collins home. Dropping a hint about leaving home and joining him. Good luck with your fantastic book!!

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  16. my absolute favorite is : “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” — but since that has already been taken above – I will go with my second choice: “You have said quite enough, madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness.” — I hope that I should be able to come off with such a quip if ever I was smacked down as harshly as Elizabeth refuses Darcy in that scene.

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  17. Favorite P & P quote? That’s like asking me what my favorite candy is. But to paraphrase one of my favorites – Quoting Mr. Bennet upon the prospect of Miss Elizabeth receiving a marriage proposal from Mr. Collins: “You have before you a choice, If you refuse Mr. Collins, Mrs. Bennet will never speak to you again and if you accept him I will never speak to you again.”

    I always amazed at how well written most of these modern parallel adaptions of Jane Austen’s novels turn out. Thanks for the generous offer and I wish you every success.

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  18. My favorite exchange is with Darcy and William Lucas….rather, SIR William Lucas:

    Sir William:
    “What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! — There is nothing like dancing after all. — I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished societies.”

    Fitzwilliam Darcy:
    “Certainly, Sir; — and it has the advantage also of being in vogue amongst the less polished societies of the world. — Every savage can dance.”

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    • Ah, yes, Jo, who could forget the “savage” comment…so funny! Can you imagine Jane Austen writing that line and smirking?!

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  19. Thanks to reading “Undressing Mr. Darcy,” I chose to get an Android phone so I could buy the Ask Mr Darcy App (patterned on the Magic 8 Ball). It allows Mr. Darcy to weigh in with much-needed advice at any time of the day or night. So, Karen Doornebos, let me be the first reader to say that your newest book has improved her life on a daily basis.

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  20. Karen, thanks so much for including me in your novel! Do your characters ever do or say things things that you never intended them to? And do you let them get away with it?

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  21. I am really looking forward to reading your new book, are you inspired by other classical writers in the same way you are inspired by Jane Austen? Good luck with your new book!!

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  22. Love this quote: “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how much I ardently admire and love you.” This sounds like a fun read!

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  23. I can’t wait to read this! After writing Jane Austen and the Archangel (and then casting the audiobook), I took a break and wrote a contemporary baseball series (Love Bats Last), loved doing it, but now–now!–can’t wait for more of Jane! And I love your premise! Have fun our your tour!

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  24. This book sounds so fun! Do you travel to spark new ideas or do you travel to flesh out an existing one? I assume both, but is one more than the other?

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    • Kim, in this case, the idea (and the outline) came long before the travel…but I thought the travel would really enhance the book & it did!

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  25. Enjoyable post! I love finding out how a book is born. As to quotes, so many have picked my favorites already. I also love the part where he is surprised to see her at Pemberley and asks twice after her family. I’m so envious of your research trip. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the new release!

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  26. How can I not say the one almost everyone will say, it is so well known and loved for a reason I suppose. “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how much I ardently admire and love you.”

    Congrats on the new book! And I must say I love the cover. Very good shelf appeal and it is modern but also period in some way at the same time. Bravo! Can’t wait to read and maybe review it!

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  27. The book sounds like fun. I love the pictures. I visited Bath in September and had tea at the Sally Lunn house in the Jane Austen room. Those Sally Lunn buns are to-die-for.

    My favorite Mr. Darcy quote is ” Such I was, from eight to eight-and-twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth!”

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  28. “I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun” takes my breath away each and every time. It’s timeless but, then again, so is Jane Austen.

    Congratulations on your new book and thanks so much for your generosity.

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    • Yes, especially my first one! I enjoy research so much I have to pull myself away from it and get back to the writing…Thanks for asking!

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  29. I remember reading about the History Wardrobe show! It sounded like great fun, although an audience with JAFFers would probably be rather raucous. As for a question about your writing process, I am curious as to how much historical research you do – particularly, how do you know when to stop researching?

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    • June, I love your insights on a History Wardrobe show with JAFFers! You’re probably right ;)

      As for my research, if I knew when to stop I’d probably have a lot more books written by now! I love researching & it’s one of my many hobbies!

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  30. Wow, I love the picture of Sally Lunn’s in Bath! Looks just like it should! Looking forward to reading your book. Best of luck with it and Merry Christmas!

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  31. I have her other book so I’m sure I’d enjoy this one. I was looking forward to any other books by this author, especially Austen related.

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  32. Pingback: Giveaway Winners Announced for Undressing Mr. Darcy | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

  33. Pingback: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Birthday! ~ Blog Tour & Giveaway: Undressing Mr. Darcy, with Karen Doornebos. | Jane Austen in Vermont

  34. Pingback: Romance through the Ages (Cover Reveals & Giveaways) | My Life. One Story at a Time.

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