Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley, by Shannon Winslow — A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt

Miss Georgiana of Pemberley, by Shannon Winslow (2015)It is pleasure to welcome author Shannon Winslow to Austenprose today. Writer of several popular Austenesque novels, Shannon will be releasing her next book, Miss Georgian Darcy of Pemberley on July 21, 2015. A companion novel to her best-selling The Darcys of Pemberley, the story is told from the point of view of Mr. Darcy’s little sister Georgiana and parallels the events we experienced in the first novel. Here for your enjoyment is a preview and exclusive excerpt.

DESCRIPTION (from the publisher)

What’s Georgiana Darcy’s story? Jane Austen tells us so little in Pride and Prejudice that we’re left to wonder. How did the early loss of her parents shape Miss Darcy’s character? And what about her near-disastrous affair with Mr. Wickham? Is that the true source of her shyness? She adores her brother and his new wife Elizabeth, but will their guiding influence be enough to steer Georgiana clear of new trouble as she comes of age and falls in love again?

This work is intended as a companion of sorts to The Darcys of Pemberley (sequel to Pride and Prejudice), with the timelines of the two running parallel. Both novels are unique and complete in themselves, but together they supply a richer reading experience than either one alone. The earlier book focused primarily on Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship during their early married life. There was a third Darcy represented in the title, however. Now she and her courtship story take center stage in Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley.

EXCERPT (from chapter 12)

Setup: Following a devastating disappointment on the romantic front (concerning a gentleman who shall remain nameless in this excerpt to avoid spoilers), Georgiana hears some good news – her brother and his wife are expecting their first child.

Perhaps if I had not been so fully occupied with my own situation, I might have noticed the change in my sister’s state of health sooner. I might have marked the alteration in her appetite. I might have likewise detected her especial glow of spirits and the more tender care my brother suddenly took of her. But all these clues were lost on me. As I wrote to Andrea, the news took me completely by surprise. When Elizabeth told me, I reacted just as I reacted to nearly everything else at the time; I promptly burst into tears.

“My dear, my dear,” cried Elizabeth. “Why so sad? This is happy news! Indeed, I thought you would be as pleased about it as your brother and I are.”

I blotted my tears and schooled my countenance into a more appropriate expression as quickly as I could. “I am pleased,” I managed to say in a shaky voice. “Very much so! I don’t know what is the matter with me. I do beg your pardon, Lizzy.”

“Never mind about that. I was only worried that I had somehow distressed you, which is the last thing I would have wanted.”

“It was the shock; that is all.”

“Yes, the shock,” she repeated, although I felt sure we were both thinking that some part must be attributed to my fragile emotional state in general. “I should have prepared you for it and not just blurted the thing out to you so precipitously. I have known about it for weeks, and your brother nearly as long. But, once we decided it was time to tell you, I’m afraid I was too excited for patience. I had hoped it would cheer you. This is something we may all look forward to with pleasure.”

“I agree. And it really does cheer me, I promise you.” I then embraced her to carry home my point.

“Good,” she said decisively upon drawing back again. “Then go say as much to your brother. He wanted me to break the news, but he is waiting in the library to hear how you bear it. Perhaps you will not think it necessary to bother him with how much of a start I gave you just now. I must have a flair for the dramatic. Someday ask me to tell you the clever way I found to deliver the news to him. Then, I think, you will be more satisfied with the manner in which I told you.”

Elizabeth laughed with delight at her private joke, but I did not wait to demand her explanation then. Instead, I hurried to the library to congratulate William.

Their excellent news really did go a long way towards breaking through my perpetual state of gloom. I could feel the clouds that had long shrouded my spirit lifting a little more each day after that. Some credit for my improvement must also go to the season itself, for I could not help but feel more optimistic with the days growing longer, the flowers blooming, and my power to take regular airings restored. Resuming my charity calls proved likewise beneficial. No matter how determined I might have been before to imagine myself the most unfortunate creature in the world, it was no longer possible once confronted with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Although I will not discount the genuine pain that stems from matters of the heart, others had the same and so much more to deal with. At least I had no worry, as many in the parish did, for my health or for how I was to keep my family clothed and fed. When I compared my privileged circumstances to what some suffered, I was truly ashamed for every minute I had ever wasted on self pity.

No, I would not have the idyllic life I had imagined with ________. That had been pure fantasy. It was now time to take a more realistic view of things, to assess the actual state of affairs honestly and without undue emotion. I was young, after all. I had excellent prospects, and every other cause to hope for a bright future. It was not sensible to suppose that ________ was the only man on earth with whom I could ever be reasonably content. That would be far too perverse to be true. Romantic love was all very well, but it was not the only determiner of happiness in marriage. Many highly successful unions were founded on more practical considerations, I reminded myself. Friendship came first; love might follow. It oftentimes did, I understood. It would probably be the same for me.

In the most logical portion of my mind, I believed these things. My heart, however, remained less convinced. It lagged far behind in its willingness to give assent to a different standard of happiness, especially when I considered the model of a good marriage closest to me. Every day I observed William and Elizabeth’s example. Every day I saw how they loved and doted on one another, so much so that I occasionally had to avert my eyes from it. To do otherwise would have been to feel myself the voyeur.

They did not mean to embarrass me or make a show. Indeed, I daresay they had no idea their mutual ardor was blazing bright enough for anybody else to see. It was just that, in the privacy of their own home, they were less guarded in their behavior than with strangers. I think they sometimes forgot I was even present. Then there would be a brief, caressing touch between them, a significant look, a knowing remark…

I do not pretend to understand all the mysteries of what passes between a husband and his wife. I only know that my own heart yearns to discover these same marvels for itself. What I mean to say is that my brother and his wife did not settle for less than the ideal, and I hoped not to either.

And yet, one does not always immediately recognize who is (or is not) one’s ideal partner. Consider how wrong I had been about Wickham’s character. Now, in ________, I had imagined a lover where there was only a friend. And Elizabeth herself had proved the truth of this idea by misjudging my brother at first. It was from her own experience that she had recently recommended to me that I should keep open to other possibilities. “Your future happiness may not lie where you think,” she had said.

Perhaps she was right. In fact, I earnestly hoped she was. With ________ lost to me now, I had no choice but to look elsewhere for the companion of my future life. 

END OF EXCERPT

Many thanks to author Shannon Winslow for sharing this teaser with us today. We wish you all the success with your new novel.

Please mark your calendars for July 21, when the blog tour for Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley begins right here at Austenprose.com.

AUTHOR BIO

Author Shannon Winslow (2015)Shannon Winslow specializes in writing fiction for the fans of Jane Austen. Her popular debut novel, The Darcys of Pemberley, immediately established her place in the genre, being particularly praised for authentic Austenesque style and faithfulness to the original characters. Since that bright beginning, the author has followed with two more Pride and Prejudice sequels (Return to Longbourn and Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley), a stand-alone Austen-style story (For Myself Alone), and a novel starring Jane Austen herself (The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen). With no shortage of inspiration, Winslow promises more romance and happy endings to come.

Her two sons now grown, Shannon Winslow lives with her husband in the log home they built in the countryside south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mt. Rainier.

Learn more at Shannon’s website/blog (www.shannonwinslow.com). Follow her on Twitter as @JaneAustenSays, and on Facebook.

Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley, by Shannon Winslow
Heather Ridge Arts (2015)
Trade paperback & eBook (280) pages

Cover image courtesy of Heather Ridge Arts © 2015, text Shannon Winslow © 2015, Austenprose.com

Giveaway Winners Announced for Sun-kissed and Mr. Darcy’s Rival

Sun kissed and Darcy Rival banner x 400

It’s time to announce the winners of Sun-kissed and Mr. Darcy’s Rival giveaways. The lucky winners drawn at random are:

Sun-kissed summer-themed gift package

  • Patty Edmisson, who left a comment on June 18, 2015

A print or digital copy of Mr. Darcy’s Rival

  • MargiesMustReads, who left a comment on June 19, 2015

Congratulations ladies! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and addresse by July 03, 2015 or you will forfeit your prize! Mail shipment to US addresses only.

Thanks to all who left comments, and to authors Christina Boyd and Kara Louise for their guest blogs and great giveaways.

Cover images courtesy of  Meryton Press and Heartworks Pulication  © 2015; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2015, Austenprose.com

Mr. Darcy’s Rival: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Kara Louise – A Review

Mr Darcy's Rival by Kara Louise (2015)From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Rider:

I’ve reviewed three of Kara Louise’s works now (Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, Darcy’s Voyage, and Pirates and Prejudice), and I can confidently say that she’s been gaining popularity as one of my favorite Jane Austen fan fiction authors. One of her strongest points is her imaginative ability to create such great variations on the traditional Pride and Prejudice storyline. It was with this in mind that I was eager to start a new installment in this great line of variations, Mr. Darcy’s Rival, which I knew was sure to intrigue me from the beginning.

Mr. Darcy, as always, is dreading his annual visit to his aunt Lady Catherine, as he knows that he will face the usual barrage of questions from the officious woman regarding his marrying her daughter. Accompanied as usual by his cousin, Col. Fitzwilliam, Darcy finds that there are two additional guests at Rosings Park this time: a Mr. Rickland and Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Although Darcy knew Miss Bennet during his time in Meryton and left in order to mask his feelings for her, he cannot deny that his affections have grown even greater since their time apart. There are many obstacles to his ultimate goal of winning her hand, none more formidable than Mr. Rickland. Will he be able to secure Elizabeth’s love against all odds and be able to make his feelings known in the face of Lady Catherine’s alternate plans?

Initially the book was slightly slow for my taste, but about 60 pages in the story became vivid and lively, and really took off. I like how Louise was able to take pieces of the original work and reinvent them, such as the scenes with Darcy’s famous, “be not alarmed, Madame,” letter. In Pride and Prejudice this letter acts as the catalyst of Elizabeth’s epiphany, making her realize that first impressions aren’t always accurate (i.e. Wickham and falsehoods regarding Darcy.) In Mr. Darcy’s Rival, although the circumstances and text of the letter are different (she isn’t even meant to receive it,) it still performs the same action, making her reevaluate her behavior and thoughts towards Darcy. Therefore, although Louise is using the same plot device, she is changing it and making the story her own. Continue reading

Mr. Darcy’s Rival: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Kara Louise – Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway

Mr Darcy's Rival by Kara Louise (2015)We are very happy to welcome Austenesque author Kara Louise to Austenprose today to introduce you to her latest novel, Mr. Darcy’s Rival. Kara has several Jane Austen-inspired novels in print including: Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, Pirates & Prejudice and Darcy’s Voyage. I hope you enjoy this exclusive excerpt and enter a chance to win a copy of the book. Details are listed at the bottom of this post.

WELCOME KARA

Thank you, Laurel Ann, for allowing me to come and share my new book, Mr. Darcy’s Rival, with your readers. To begin, I thought I would give you these two definitions.

Mr. Darcy: (from Wikipedia) Fitzwilliam Darcy, generally referred to as Mr. Darcy, is one of the two central characters in Jane Austen‘s novel Pride and Prejudice. He is an archetype of the aloof romantic hero, and a romantic interest of Elizabeth Bennet, the novel’s protagonist… well I think we know the rest. Continue reading

Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer Blog Tour Launch Party — Featuring editor Christina Boyd & Giveaway Prize

Sun-Kissed, edited by Christina Boyd (2015)It is a pleasure to welcome Austenprose reviewer Christina Boyd here today in celebration of the release of her first book, Sun-kissed, a summer-themed short story anthology. Christina has been a contributor here at Austenprose reviewing Jane Austen-inspired books for seven years. In fact, she was my first recruit to the staff in 2008. Christina has an eye for a great story and I always had a hunch that she would make a fabulous developmental editor.

In her first outing she has whipped up an intriguing summer frappuccino for us. Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer is a new anthology of eight original romantic short stories inspired by the summer season and even Jane Austen. Four of the stories are by popular Meryton Press authors, and four are selections from the short story contest they held this past winter. They are the perfect beach read: light, fun and romantic, and I hope you will give them a try.

♥ Be sure to enter the the giveaway contest in celebration of the release of this great new anthology. Contest details are listed at the bottom of the post. Good luck to all!

WELCOME CHRISTINA BOYD

“So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, or at least some remote and distant hope…” —Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles

It’s an honor celebrating at Austenprose the release of Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer. Thanks, Laurel Ann. Having been discovered by you, it seems fitting to commence the blog tour here.

This summer-themed anthology was conceived during autumn 2014 by Meryton Press publisher Michele Reed.  She’d been toying with the notion, working out logistics, and then finally tossed the idea to her authors, creative staff, and subcontractors, like me. During winter 2015, published and aspiring authors alike were invited to submit summer-themed short stories. In the spring, a panel of bloggers, authors, editors, and readers judged each and culled to the Elite Eight—wherein even more panelists gleaned these promising writers to the Final Four…joining four of Meryton Press’s most popular and award-winning authors. There was even a worldwide contest via social media to name this collection. Finally Sun-kissed, proposed by Australian Sarah Steed and chosen by internet vote, was born. Continue reading

Suddenly Mrs. Darcy, by Jenetta James – A Review

Suddenly Mrs. Darcy, by Jenetta James 2015From the desk of Monica Perry:

What happens when the independent, outspoken Miss Elizabeth Bennet finds herself forced to wed the proud Mr. Darcy, a virtual stranger whom she can barely tolerate? With their history of heated interactions, can they co-exist peacefully, let alone find companionship or affection? Jenetta James’s Suddenly Mrs. Darcy is a Pride and Prejudice what-if story that deviates from Jane Austen’s canon at the point of the Netherfield ball. I love forced marriage scenarios and all their angsty goodness! With such differing personalities as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, I was eager to see how Ms. James would explore the dynamics of such a hasty union between my favorite literary couple.

When Elizabeth brings up in conversation Darcy’s infamous treatment of her friend Mr. Wickham, Darcy seeks to clear his name and takes her aside to a dimly lit salon to talk. Here they are seen by Mrs. Bennet, who immediately sounds the alarm that her daughter has been compromised. Despite Elizabeth’s protestations that nothing untoward has occurred, Mr. Bennet steps in, Mr. Darcy steps up and Elizabeth has no choice but to marry him and quickly. She can’t fathom why he would agree to marry her with nary a word of protest when it’s so obvious their dislike is mutual.

Here we have a “pre-Hunsford” Mr. Darcy who has not yet seen the need to modify his proud and disdainful behavior toward others. He acts unfeelingly with regard to Elizabeth’s family, and finds little need to explain himself to her. Because the story is told from only Elizabeth’s perspective, readers don’t have the luxury of knowing Darcy’s feelings, motivations, etc because he is not very forthcoming with her. It’s natural for readers to project onto Darcy what they think or hope his character is, but they really don’t know, and it is so frustrating! As they spend more time together at Pemberley, Elizabeth does achieve a sense of contentment, and her intimate times with her husband gradually deepen her affections. When contention does arise between them, she is angry but tends to push the issue to the back burner to be dealt with later, or not at all. Continue reading