Christmas with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly – A Review

Christmas with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly (2012)From the desk of Jeffrey Ward: 

I’m going to tell on myself.  I’m a sniveling, sentimental sucker for a good Christmas story.  It is only October and I’ve only devoured two of them so I’m way behind my normal seasonal curve.  Thank heavens for author Victoria Connelly, who sensing a good thing, has smartly thrown together ALL of the heroes and heroines from her Austen Addicts trilogy:  A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, Dreaming of Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Darcy Forever.

Thus, her follow-up novella, Christmas with Mr. Darcy, is like a recipe for a classic Christmas pudding:  combine growing romances, friends, family, a spectacularly decorated manor house, a sudden snowstorm, mysterious criminal activity, full-throttle Jane Austen trivia, and then sit back and savor a large helping.  Catch up with Katherine and Warwick, Kay and Adam, Dan and Robyn, Mia and Gabe, Sarah and Lloyd, et al, as they are invited to the hostess and distinguished actress Dame Pamela Harcourt’s inaugural Jane Austen Christmas conference.

Along the way, we meet Higgins, Dame Pamela’s endearing and watchful butler, Benedict, Dan’s ‘neer-do-well’ older brother, (who invites himself) Mrs. Soames, (“Oh dear, who invited her?”) sweet Doris Norris,  sisters Roberta and Rose, adorable Cassandra, (Dan and Robyn’s infant daughter) and a mustachioed gentleman who none of the invitees can seem to quite recognize.  The author even manages to insert references to her own brood of beloved hens!

Victoria Connelly paints the holiday-decorated splendor of Dame Pamela’s grand Purley Hall while she builds anticipation by bouncing from one guest to another as they excitedly prepare for the journey to the conference.

In spite of a blinding snowstorm, all of the guests arrive safely at Purley Hall and Dame Pamela welcomes the crowd with her trademark warmth, charm, glittering jewels, and stunning gowns.  As the guests settle in, certain valuables begin to disappear without any trace.  At first, most who have suffered loss merely attribute it to forgetfulness or failing to pack correctly for the trip. Continue reading

Giveaway Winners Announced for Christmas with Mr. Darcy

Christmas with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly (2012)27 of you left comments qualifying you for a chance to win one of three digital copies available of Christmas with Mr. Darcy. The winners drawn at random are:

  • Felicia who left a comment on October 8, 2012
  • JuneA** who left a comment on October 14, 2012
  • Margaret who left a comment on October 9, 2012

Congratulations to all the very lucky winners! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by October 24, 2012.  Digital download internationally.

Many thanks to author Victoria Connelly for her great guest blog and generous giveaways, and to all who left comments. Happy reading to the winners!

© 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Christmas with Mr. Darcy Blog Tour: Q & A with author Victoria Connelly & Giveaway

Christmas with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly (2012) A new Austen-inspired novella is now available just in time for the holidays. Christmas with Mr. Darcy is a great present to Janeites, thanks to Austenesque author Victoria Connelly. Please help me welcome her today for her interview by either asking a question or by leaving a comment to qualify you for a chance of one of three copies available in a giveaway. The details of the contest are listed at the bottom of the post. Good luck to all.

Welcome Victoria…

LAN: I have greatly enjoyed your Austen Addicts series, A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, Dreaming of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Darcy Forever. You are definitely a fan of Jane Austen’s character Fitzwilliam Darcy. Your stories are contemporary. Was it a challenge to bring aspects of Austen’s nineteenth century hero to modern times?

VC: I think a hero is a hero now matter what century we’re in. We all admire the same characteristics in our heroes today as I’m sure they did in Jane Austen’s time which is why Mr. Darcy’s appeal has endured. He is strong and kind and willing to change for the woman he loves which is incredibly attractive. I tried to give my own hero Warwick (in A Weekend with Mr. Darcy) some of these features and, like Mr. Darcy, Warwick gets himself into the most terrible situations but he has a heart of gold and isn’t afraid to admit his mistakes to the woman he loves.

LAN: The holiday season is quickly approaching, and appropriately you have a new novella for Janeites to consume. Can you share with us your inspiration to write Christmas with Mr. Darcy?

VC: Last November, we moved house – leaving the London suburbs for rural Suffolk. We had a lot of delays with the house move and it was hard for me to focus on a long writing project. I also kept thinking about Christmas. I’ve always wanted to set a book at Christmas. I was also getting lots of lovely e-mails from readers of my Austen Addicts’ Trilogy wanting to know what happened next to their favourite characters. I was beginning to wonder the same thing too and the idea for a novella sequel – set during the Christmas holiday – seemed irresistible.

LAN: I understand that many of the characters from your Austen Addicts trilogy are included in Christmas with Mr. Darcy. Can you offer a brief sneak peek of the storyline and the characters for us? Continue reading