Definitely Not Mr. Darcy Blog Tour with Author Karen Doornebos

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, by Karen Doornesbos (2011)Please join us today in welcoming author Karen Doornebos on her blog tour in celebration of the release of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, a new contemporary Austen-inspired novel published tomorrow by Berkley Trade.

Thank you, Laurel Ann, for inviting me into your drawing room here, and hosting the beginning of my Grand Tour—my Grand Blog Tour, that is, celebrating the release of my first novel, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy. I’ve been a fan of your blog for years and it’s an honor to be here. (Virtual curtsey.)

Handsome men in breeches. Ballroom dances in empire-waist gowns. Tea parties…

Chloe Parker hopes for all this and more when she joins a documentary film set in Jane Austen’s England. Just like you and I, Chloe is an Austen fan. She has the complete set of “I Love Mr. Darcy, Mr. Tilney, Mr. Knightley, Captain Wentworth, Colonel Brandon” mugs to prove it. She happens to be a single mom, 39 years old, and tends to glamorize the Regency era. What she gets instead of the glam includes:

No cell phones. No deodorant. And no plumbing…

Not to mention the fact that the “documentary” turns out to be a reality dating show set in 1812. Soon Chloe’s up to her stockings (and then up to her stays) in trouble, competing against eight other women to win over the Mr. Darcy of the show. What’s worse, she can’t get the two other men on the set—off her mind!

Yes, you counted right. Definitely Not Mr. Darcy features three possible heroes. Two of them are clad in the Regency breeches, boots, and cravats we all swoon over, while the third looks pretty hot in his blue jeans. But I digress…

Have you ever wished for something, but it doesn’t turn out quite the way you’d expected?

My debut novel Definitely Not Mr. Darcy will make you laugh, I hope, and possibly wince, as Chloe’s romantic perceptions of Regency England crumble around her faster than a well-made scone.

Speaking of scones, living and working in London when I was young(er) did inform this book. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in English Literature (what else?) I bought a one-way ticket from Chicago to London. I landed my first job as a writer, working in the employee communications department at a management consultant firm in Westminster. What an experience that was, to live and work in the city that I had read so much about! I worked for six months and proceeded to travel throughout Europe for six more, until I ran out of money and came home to Chicago, alas.

I’ve always been a Jane Austen fan, and first read Pride and Prejudice as a 16 year-old in high-school English class. But it wasn’t until the late 1990s (yes, that long ago) when my husband and I traveled from Chicago to California’s wine country for vacation that the idea for this book hit me—literally.

Since I enjoy research so much, I had done my homework and found this romantic Victorian-era hot springs spa resort where my he and I “took in the waters” in stone bathtubs in our swimsuits outdoors.

Sounds idyllic, relaxing, and healing, right? It sure did when I’d read about it in the guidebook. (These were the days before heavy internet use.)

And it was idyllic, really. Except the spring water had a high sulfur content—sulfur as in smelling like rotten eggs. On that vacation, the idea for my debut novel hit me like a waft of, well, rotten eggs:

What if a hopeless romantic gets to experience her beloved Jane Austen’s England, but—it stinks!

Well, not all of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy stinks. There are some redeeming, romantic, and blissful moments and you’re sure to find one, if not all three of the main men at the very least—diverting. You might even detect a hint of lavender water here and there.

So pour yourself a cup of tea, an “I Love Mr. Darcy” mug of coffee, or even a glass of Madeira wine (the same wine that Mrs. Jennings brought Marianne after hearing of Willoughby’s engagement) and post a comment for your chance to win!

Author Karen Doornebos (2011)Author Bio:

After years of writing in the ad world for brands such as Diet Coke and Johnnie Walker, Karen Doornebos has switched to tea with her debut, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy. Living and working in London informed the book, but the reality of living in a Chicago suburb with her husband, two children, and various pets provided the opportunity to write it.
As an English Literature graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, she is appreciative of the benefits that a gown and above-the-elbow gloves offer.

Visit Karen at her website Karen Doornebos, on Twitter as @KarenDoornebos, and on Facebook as Karen Doornebos.

Grand Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, by Karen Doornebos by leaving a comment answering if you would join a reality show set in Jane Austen’s England? If so, what role would you like to be cast in, by midnight PT, Wednesday, September 14th, 2011. Winners to be announced on Thursday, September 15th, 2010. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, by Karen Doornebos
Berkley Trade (2011)
Trade paperback (384) pages
ISBN: 978-0425243824

© 2007 – 2011 Karen Doornebos, Austenprose

71 thoughts on “Definitely Not Mr. Darcy Blog Tour with Author Karen Doornebos

  1. Oh I would join in a heartbeat! Only who to cast as…perhaps a young heiress…or an independent Elizabeth type. It would be a hard choice. Then again there would be a certain yearning to be more of a Marianne. There are just too many possibilities! I am going to have to HAVE this book! Thanks for the review and giveaway!

    Like

    • I like your thinking! My main character Chloe is cast as an heiress, but one from America, and this doesn’t gain her much rank in the pecking order as you will see… thanks for commenting.

      Like

  2. I would probably watch a reality show set in regency England. I did, in fact watch the one PBS did a few years ago. I would not want to be on one, though. I’ll just read the book instead!

    Like

    • Yes, “Regency House Party” was a lot of fun, wasn’t it? I mention the series in my Acknowledgments Page. You may be wise in choosing not to join the reality show, but just read about it!

      Like

  3. This sounds interesting–I missed the reality show that PBS did a few years ago and always wanted to watch it. :) Or be in it, for that matter. I’d love to be the young heiress…so much fun! Can’t wait to read your book. :)

    Like

  4. I’m not sure if I would want to be on a regency reality show–I suppose if it were for a short enough period of time I would do it. As far as casting, I would want to be one of the upper class people: no way would I want to be a servant back then! :)

    Like

    • Amy, I agree that being cast as a scullery maid would not be ideal. A couple of storms hit the Chicago area earlier this summer and we were without electricity for a couple of days (nothing like what our friends who have been through Irene have suffered). A friend of mine further north had no water–for days. We laughed about life as a scullery maid or footman having to carry water into the house, but…not funny, right?

      Like

  5. I love to read about Regency England but I think I like my creature comforts too much to want to live back then or be in a reality show based on that time. The whole idea of being laced up in a corset does not sound like fun. I also agree with the person above that I wouldn’t have wanted to be a servant back then because they worked so hard and had so little freedom and rights. Would love to read the book though!

    Like

    • Sherry, supposedly the Regency corsets were not nearly as uncomfortable or restrictive as the Victorian corsets, but corsets aside, it’s true the servants had little freedom and no rights!

      Like

  6. Oh my gosh, this looks so amazing! It seems to be a refreshing change to the traditional Pride and Prejudice sequels.

    Like

  7. I cannot WAIT to read this book! I would love the chance to do a Regency reality show! Just as long as I am not in Service, and have some control over the food (I’m a picky eater…though it could be a great way to lose weight!), I think it would be quite the experience! Walks in the English countryside, calling on neighbors, the occasional ball, and idling away the day…am I missing something?
    Love the sulfur-springs anecdote! Thanks for the chance to win!

    Like

  8. I’ve been waiting for another edition of “Regency House Party” to be made for ages. (Or at the very least one done in America that isn’t “Colonial House” or “Frontier House.” Why can’t we Americans get one of those eras with fancy gowns?) I’d probably end up getting cast as a servant, but I think I’d be okay with that.

    Looking forward to reading this.

    Like

    • Marybeth, I remember reading somewhere that the series deliberately ended as their last few weren’t as well received. Personally, I loved them all. Yes, us Americans deserve our fancy gown House series, I agree!

      Like

  9. I would love a set of your mugs! I am a P & P sequel addict, blush to even tell you how many books I have in my collection. Good luck on your blog tour and with the release of your book. Will keep my eyes open for it!

    Like

  10. I don’t think I could give up running water and electricity, although maybe for a day.
    I am looking forward to your book on my Nook!

    Like

  11. While I like the manners/etiquette of the time, I don’t think I could live without modern conveniences. But I’d definitely watch such a reality show, fun concept. This sounds like a good read, it’s going on my wishlist. Thanks for the contest.

    Like

  12. Let me just say that your fun manner and witty sense of humor truly enlightened us in this interview. There are just too many instances to mention. I would love to read your book. It sounds fascinating! I watched all those “house” series too. (I especially enjoyed the padded calves for the men to look more manly) I enjoyed it tho’ I sure hope alot of it was make believe. Some of the pettiness was unbelievable. Maybe it was supposed to get better reviews that way. (most recent was the 1940s house and it certainly makes one think of what we take for granted) I don’t think I’d qualify to be on the show tho’ it sounds amazing. I’d probably have to be a chaperone at my age etc. I’m definitely not up to lugging water around etc. for baths. But the thought of those lovely dresses etc. is enough to give one stamina for traversing the great halls of whatever manor…at least I hope. I looked at your website several days ago but I definitely need to return. Congrats on your first novel.

    Like

    • Suzan, thank you! I agree with you that the entire House series helps us appreciate our modern conveniences.

      As for being a chaperone, in the Regency House series one of the young suitors fell for one of the chaperones! I thought that was great. My protagonist, Chloe Parker, is *older* at 39, and she gets cast as a contestant.

      I had forgotten about the padded calves–very Beau Brummel!

      Like

  13. Looking forward to reading the book! I think I could handle being on a Regency Reality for about 2 weeks (if I was cast as being of the ‘ton’) before I would need running water and electricity. I could skip being someone ‘in service’ though. I am not a fan of any reality TV but this sounds like it would be one reality show I would watch.

    Congrats on the book!

    Like

  14. I would like to be in a reality show for one day only! And I would like to play the part of Jane Fairfax in Emma.
    The book sounds like a thumping good read and I hope to win a copy.

    Like

  15. I’m not really a fan of reality shows in general but I would be tempted to watch a regency one. It would be fun to participate in one but I don’t think I could go without deodorant (well, maybe if I sat in the drawing room reading all day and did nothing strenuous I might be ok), or decent feminine products. (I’m sorry, that’s probably indelicate but it needed to be said lol). I might get disqualified for stealing one of the male contestants’ razors and hemorrhaging to death after using it. Being a servant would be no fun at all…probably the only thing worse than using a chamber pot is emptying them all. Blech!

    Looking forward to reading your book. It sounds very entertaining. And 3 potential heroes? Yay

    Like

  16. Oh yes! I would love it…for a little while. Im afraid once I was seen without my eyebrows and spot concealer I wouldn’t be considered tolerable enough.

    Like

  17. Sorry.. I forgot to name a character. I would LIKE to be cast as Catherine Morland….but alas I fear I am more the type of Anne Elliots sister Mary in Persuasion.

    Like

  18. Karen, the book sounds so delightful! I am already anxious to find out which of the three hotties Chloe ends up with! Can’t wait to read the book! :) The whole no phone, no deodorant, regency attire part reminds me of Austenland.
    Best of luck on your tour and sales of your book!!

    Like

    • Jakki, my book was in about its third revision when Austenland came out. I really believe in simultaneous ideas! I almost gave up when I saw Shannon Hale’s book, but I’m glad I persevered. I think mine is quite different.

      It’s great to hear from you and I’ll take the luck you’re sending my way!

      Like

  19. I love this premise for a book! I often idealize the Regency period and then remember how much I would miss basics like hot water and the very important antibiotics.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    Like

  20. I had read a book by another author that had a modern woman in Austen’s time and it was really entertaining to get a glimpse of what it would be like. I think this book is going to be even more so because the whole book is that way. I know I love some aspects of the era (like the respect people showed each other) but there are others that would not be pleasant (like the way they thought being bled was a cure for certain illnesses). I look forward to reading this book and “seeing” the era as it really was and not glamourized.

    Like

  21. Reality shows do not interest me too much however this one sounds perfect. I would be Marianne.I think that I am most like her in temperament and personality. I would love to read either of these books as well. Thanks!

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

    Like

  22. I’m too spoiled by my modern creature comforts to pull it off. Karen, your comments attest to the fact that you enjoy what you are doing. Your enthusiasm is infectious! Yes, I’m in the fellowship of the “unashamed:” men who dearly love all things Austen.

    Like

    • Jeffrey, there’s no shame in it! In fact, my publisher, Penguin, recently released a book by William Deresiewicz called “A Jane Austen Education.” I really want to read this book! I’ll soon be traveling to the Jane Austen Society of North America AGM (conference) and there are plenty of male Austen fans around. Check out the JASNA website and see if there is a chapter near you…

      Like

  23. I’d love to be Elizabeth in P&P, but sadly give my age, I’d much more likely to be cast as one of her elders. Given the age constraints, I’d love to be Mrs. Croft in Persuasion, sailing the seas with my husband.

    Like

    • Yes, Mrs. Croft is a fabulous choice! She was truly one of Austen’s liberated women. But this is reality TV, where the rules are bent all the time, so there are no age constraints–you can be whomever you wish!

      Like

  24. Ooooo!!! A game show set in the Regency era?!? Now that would be mighty intresting! LOL I don’t really watch a lot of reality shows, but I might make an exception this time.. ;) I’d probably like to be of the Lizzie-type… having manners but some fun-loving wit as well ;) However, given the heat we’ve been dealing with in my neck of the woods (TX), over 100+ for quite some time now, feeling like you’d catch fire as soon as you step outside… I don’t know that I could handle not having my AC or any of the other modern day conveniences! Most especially my deodorant & toothpaste…. Gotta have ’em!! ;) LOL The book sounds like a lot of fun! Looking forward to reading it!

    Like

  25. I would totally want to be Elizabeth and use my wit while working within the “rules”. It would be challenging to not have our conveniences but that would make it that much more authentic to history. I’d love to win this book.

    Like

  26. I’m not sure I would make it on any sort of reality show although a Jane Austen related one is probably the only one I’d even attempt to be on. Like many others have said I’d rather just read about it. I want to buy a copy of this book for my library. I think it’ll fly off the shelves.

    Like

  27. I would love to be in one however I don’t know if I could give up the the creature comforts of the modern world. Plumbing, electricity and even the net. Besides I don’t know how well I would do adjusting to that era. Too many social restrictions like not being to go up to someone and introduce yourself without an introduction or the constant pressure to find a husband.

    Like

  28. I wouldn’t want to be on a show, but I would love to watch it! The thing about giving up all our mod-cons is that we never missed what we didn’t have: cell phones! computers! email! google! How long have we had these? We may now say, how did we live without them, but before we had them, we didn’t say I wish I had email! No doubt when you were regularly surrounded by very pungent smells, you didn’t notice them as much.

    Like

  29. Oh goodness, I’m not sure. Definitely not if the entire purpose was to go after a guy. However, if it was just to have some fun and learn about the true Regency lifestyle, that could interesting!

    Like

  30. i would luv to be part of a reality show if it included travel ! i luv experiential learning~ although i’m thinking more like shorter term! would miss our ‘luxuries’ too much & too quickly i’m sure ”)
    your book sounds FAB! Thank you – for writing us more Jane !
    and your gvwy generosity …

    Like

  31. Congratulations on your debut, Karen. It sounds like a very enjoyable read. I’m camera shy, so regardless of the temptation, I’d probably pass on the chance to be a contestant on your reality show. Could I work behind the scenes instead – casting, wardrobe, script writing (translation: auditioning Mr Darcy, dressing Mr Darcy, running lines with Mr Darcy)?

    Like

  32. I would love to be in a reality show in Jane Austen’s England. I would want to be cast as an heiress. Thanks for the opportunity to win ‘Definitely Not Mr. Darcy’!

    Like

  33. I don’t think participating in a Regency reality show would bother me (I can laugh at myself) even though I would stumble through not having all the modern conveniences, but I would be terrified at a show designed with getting up a relationship with others competing to do the same.

    Look forward to reading your book. Congrats on its debut!
    Sally

    Like

  34. Thanks for all these comments! Laurie, I love your observation about Emma. She did make trouble for herself! Nicole, April Fool Sharon and Sally, you’re all right! We would miss our modern conveniences! Shanon, it would be great to do the casting for a Mr. Darcy, wouldn’t it?

    Like

  35. This book sounds really exciting. I love Jane Austen and would definitely watch a reality show based on it, but I certainly couldn’t be in one. I’m way too spoiled and couldn’t do without stuff like air conditioning. Though getting a chance to dress up in all their clothes would be fun :)

    Like

  36. Hmm…I’m pretty sure I’d jump all over a chance like that (so long as we get plumbing – we do get plumbing, right?!)…as to character/role…By nature, I’m an Elinor – so that’d be the easiest and most realistic. I’d love to be a Lizzie…It could be interesting, though definitely a stretch, to play one of the “bad girls” haha :)

    Like

  37. Pingback: Giveaway winners announced for Definitely Not Mr. Darcy « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog

Comments are closed.