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

Pirates and Prejudice: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Kara Louise – A Review

Pirates and Prejudice Kara Louise 2013 x 200From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder:

When I first heard about a novel that turned my beloved Fitzwilliam Darcy into a pirate, I was apprehensive. HOW could anyone believably transform that noble gentleman into scurrilous brigand? He was so proper, so refined, and orderly. Picturing him as a swashbuckler…well, I just couldn’t imagine it. Enter author Kara Louise and her novel Pirates and Prejudice. I shouldn’t be surprised that Louise was able to seriously sell me on the idea, considering I loved her earlier novel Darcy’s Voyage (another version of P&P at sea.) Her characterization and unique storyline had me hooked on this new and intriguing way of looking at one of the most iconic romantic heroes ever created.

Feeling deeply spurned after Elizabeth Bennet rejects his offer of marriage, lonely and forlorn, Fitzwilliam Darcy eschews his friends and family, preferring instead to hide away at the London docks where he drowns his disappointment in drink. There, he is mistaken for an escaped pirate Captain Lockerly and imprisoned. Even though he claims “disguise of every sort is my abhorrence,” he aids the local authorities and agrees to impersonate the notorious pirate to help capture him. What was once something he would have never imagined for himself, the pirate life now calls him into action. Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s Aunt and Uncle Gardiner cancel their vacation plans to tour The Lake District leaving Elizabeth open to sail to the Isle of Scilly with her father to see her ailing aunt. On their return voyage, however, they are set upon by pirates and rescued by a Captain Smith. Imagine her surprise when she discovers that this is no ordinary Captain, but the ex-pirate impersonator Mr. Darcy himself! How will Darcy explain how he came to be a sea Captain? Will Elizabeth fall in love with this new and improved version of the Mr. Darcy she once so coldly rejected? Continue reading

Winners Announced in the Only Mr. Darcy Will Do Giveaway!

Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, by Kara Louise (2011)50 of you left comments qualifying you for a chance to win one of three paperback copies and one signed paperback copy of Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, by Kara Louise. The winners drawn at random are:

• Bonnie Carlson who left a comment on 1 March (signed copy)

• Lynn M. who left a comment on 3 March

• Mybookthoughts who left a comment on 6 March

• Denise Bruce who left a comment on 7 March

Congratulations to all the winners! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by March 16, 2011. Shipment is to US and Canadian addresses only.

Thanks again to Kara Louise for your great interview. I hope you all have a chance to read Only Mr. Darcy Will Do.

Review of Only Mr. Darcy Will Do

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, by Kara Louise – A Review

Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, by Kara Louise (2011)Guest review by Kimberly Denny-Ryder of Reflections of a Book Addict

Many Pride and Prejudice fans often have “what if” moments.  What if Elizabeth accepted Darcy the first time?  What if they had met previously and were kind to each other?  What if Elizabeth was forced to accept Darcy, knowing he was still very proud?  Author Kara Louise has answered some of these questions and more in her six Pride and Prejudice variation novels.  Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, originally tiled Something Like Regret, is the second of author Kara Louise’s self-published novels to be re-issued by Sourcebooks.  Her first novel Darcy’s Voyage quickly gained her notoriety in the Austen fan fiction world as an incredibly creative variation author.

A year after his disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy is returning to Rosings Park for his annual sojourn to his aunt’s grand estate.  During his journey he reflects upon his last visit and wonders what Elizabeth Bennet is doing now.   He has no idea that she is now working as a governess in London for the Willstone Family.  Mrs. Bennet’s worst fears about the entail have come true. Mr. Bennet has died the previous spring and the Collins’ have taken possession of Longbourn, displacing the Bennet ladies and forcing Elizabeth to find work.  Her sister Jane now lives with their Aunt and Uncle Gardiner in London, and Lydia, Mary, Kitty and Mrs. Bennet are residing on the good graces of the Phillips’ in Meryton.

In London Elizabeth often reflects on how different her life would have been had she accepted the proposals of Mr. Collins or Mr. Darcy, acknowledging in her heart that she did the right thing in rejecting them.  She does recall the proposal from Mr. Darcy with sadness, recognizing he might not have been as horrible of a man as she thought.  Her feelings for him soften as she re-reads the “Be not alarmed, Madame,” letter he wrote to her following the proposal.  One evening the Willstones throw a dinner party at which Mr. Bingley and Georgiana Darcy are guests.  Mr. Bingley is shocked to see Elizabeth there as a governess and comes to learn the of Mr. Bennet’s death.  When the party is over Mrs. Willstone’s sister Rosalyn comes to Elizabeth’s room because she is surprised that Elizabeth is acquainted with the Darcy family.  Rosalyn opens up to Elizabeth, telling her that she has been in love with Mr. Darcy her entire life, that from their first meeting she knew he was the man she wanted to marry.  Elizabeth must curb her jealousy and hide her previous dealings with Darcy from Rosalyn for fear that she might lose her job.

Elizabeth soon finds herself thrown into Darcy’s social circle due to his acquaintance with the Willstone’s, which soon results in an invitation for all to Pemberley.  Elizabeth, thinking that Darcy is falling for Rosalyn, tries to tell the family that the invitation is not meant to include her.  They tell her that he specifically invited her as well, thus beginning their journey to Pemberley.  The more time that Elizabeth spends in Darcy’s acquaintance the harder she beings to fall for him.  Her behavior however is checked by Mrs. Willstone as she tells Elizabeth that she is not to join them after dinner, she is after all just a governess.   Will Darcy save her from her dreary life as a governess or is it too late for there to ever be a future between them?

I have to start out first by giving those of you who want to read this novel a quick warning.  You WILL read this book from start to finish in one sitting, so don’t be like me and start it as you’re going to bed.  I didn’t go to sleep until 3:15am, I was that hooked.

I was introduced to Kara Louise with her first novel Darcy’s Voyage and have been anxiously awaiting her next novel.  It couldn’t have come any sooner.  Her writing style is completely captivating.  You become so engrossed in the novel that it’s impossible to put down.  The storyline is so original and so creative.  It’s amazing how asking “what if” to one small section of the story changes the plot entirely.

Even though the plot line is changed, Kara stays true to the characterizations that Austen created. Elizabeth is still strong willed and quick witted while Darcy has checked his pride at the door and just wants to win Elizabeth’s heart.  Bingley and Jane are just as generous and kind as ever, while Lydia is still throwing her virtue all over the place.  Kara introduces many strong and multi-layered new characters that could have been straight from the pages of Austen’s original works, only enhancing the story further.

Creative, engaging and reverent to Austen’s characters, I cannot recommend Only Mr. Darcy Will Do enough.  If you’ve never read anything by this author, then I highly suggest you jump on the bandwagon and read everything she’s written.  There is a rumor going around that Sourcebooks might pick up another of her self-published books, and let me tell you, it would be an incredibly smart move on their part if they did.

5 out of 5 Regency Stars

Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, by Kara Louise
Sourcebooks (2011)
Trade paperback (368) pages
ISBN: 9781402241031

2007 – 2010 Kimberly Denny-Ryder, Austenprose

Chatting with Kara Louise, Author of Only Mr. Darcy Will Do

Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, by Kara Louise (2011)Please welcome Austenesque author Kara Louise today on her first stop on her blog tour for her new book, Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, a Pride and Prejudice variation due out today from Sourcebooks.

LAN: Hi Kara. Thanks for joining us today. Only Mr. Darcy Will Do is a new title to many, but some may recognize the plot from the description as your previously self-published Something Like Regret. Can you share with us its publishing history and if it has gone through a rewrite or any changes for this new edition?

KL: Thanks for inviting me! It’s a pleasure to be here with you.

I had just finished writing Something Like Regret and had self-published it when Sourcebooks contacted me and said they were now interested in my books. (They had previously turned them down.) They wanted to publish Pemberley’s Promise (which became Darcy’s Voyage) and Assumed Engagement, both variations. When I told them about Something Like Regret, they agreed to publish that one instead, after Darcy’s Voyage.

There are no major changes in the book. There are, of course, grammatical corrections. (I have some very bad habits!) I was also asked to shorten the last part of the book slightly. There is really only one little scene I removed, but basically the book is the same as it was originally published, except for the title, of course.

LAN: Your previous novel Darcy’s Voyage was released last September to much acclaim. That must have been very gratifying for you. It was also inspired by Pride and Prejudice. I find these variations both fascinating and perplexing. Can you explain what a variation is opposed to a retelling of a classic story?

KL: A variation changes some of the events and alters different aspects of the story whereas a retelling would keep all the main elements the same, with possibly inserting some scenes that weren’t covered in the original story.

In Darcy’s Voyage I changed the way Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy meet, by having them meet on a ship. The story eventually ‘merges’ with the events of Pride and Prejudice, but because of what happened prior to those events, they are quite different.

In Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, I’ve taken the liberty to begin after the proposal [Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet] at Hunsford. Although I refer to the events that took place earlier, I chose to begin the story the following Easter with the news that Mr. Bennet died the year before, preventing Elizabeth from taking her tour [to the Lake District] with her aunt and uncle Gardiner. In reading Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, it would be much more beneficial to have read and know the story of Pride and Prejudice. Darcy’s Voyage, however, is a complete story in itself. But I always hope these variations will lead readers to Jane Austen herself, if they haven’t already read her.

LAN: So, Mrs. Bennet’s worst nightmare comes true. Mr. Bennet dies and the estate is inherited by Mr. Collins and his wife Charlotte. Does she fret about living in the hedgerows??? This is such a great set up Kara. There are so many directions to go from here. How do you as a writer make these choices? Do you have it all plotted out in advance or do you let the characters and scenes just take over?

KL: Yes, I believe Mrs. Bennet’s fear of being thrown out of Longbourn was a driving force in wanting the girls to marry well (as well as the source of her insufferable nerves!). When I began writing this variation (which was about 8 years ago!), I wondered if there were any others out there with this premise. I discovered that Abigail Reynolds was writing one with a similar plot, but hers takes a completely different turn, and the two of us even talked about the fact that the books were similar in that Mr. Bennet has died and Elizabeth has become a governess.

When I said I began it 8 years ago, I actually set it aside because I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with it. I had an inspiration for another story, wrote it, and then finally went back to finish it. I knew I wanted the family Elizabeth worked for to know Mr. Darcy and for her to suddenly begin hearing about him. I wanted Elizabeth to struggle with the ill feelings and prejudices she had toward him and the way in which she was beginning to see him, all the while knowing her station in life would not allow for him to renew his address.

Once I went back to finally finish the story, I have to admit I wasn’t sure how everything was going to play out. There were a couple directions I initially thought I would take, but as I got into the novel and developed some of the other characters, I realized I needed to do something different. Sometimes I’ve scratched large sections because they just don’t work. (Or save them to use in another story.)

I do have an idea where I am going in the story, but I don’t plot it out completely or make an outline. Sometimes I’ll write a later scene if it comes to me and I don’t want to lose it. And yes, sometimes the characters just take over and refuse to go somewhere and insist on going somewhere else!

LAN: You have also introduced new characters in your story. Can you tell us a bit about them? Do you have a favorite that you really enjoyed creating? How did Austen influence your choices in developing them?

KL: I do have a handful of new characters in this book. There are Mr. and Mrs. Willstone and their daughter Emily. Elizabeth is Emily’s governess and is very happy in her position. The Willstones treat her well and little Emily is a joy to work with. Mrs. Willstone’s sister, Rosalyn, is about Elizabeth’s age and when she comes for a visit, she and Elizabeth enjoy spending time together. To Elizabeth’s dismay, she comes to discover that Rosalyn has admired Mr. Darcy for a long time, and when they find out that Elizabeth spent time with him in Hertfordshire, Rosalyn cannot stop pressing her with information about him. She will talk of nothing and no one else, and Elizabeth fears that somehow she and her family might discover that her made her and offer of marriage and she refused it.

When they are invited to Pemberley for a couple weeks, we meet a few other new characters. Mr. Darcy’s cousin on his father’s side, Peter Hamilton, adds a little mischief and levity to the party. You will also meet the Goldsmiths, their children, and their governess. Mr. Goldsmith was a friend of Mr. Darcy’s from Oxford.

I think my favorite new character was Peter Hamilton. Although he is a little rough around the edges, he is kind-hearted.

In developing these characters, I tried to create ones that would interact well with and possibly cause a little tension and fun for the characters Austen created that we have come to dearly love.

LAN: What’s up next for you Kara? Are you working on a new project?

KL: I had really hoped to have a good answer for this question by the time my blog tour began, but I have not yet heard if Sourcebooks is going to publish any of my other self-published books. They have the option to pick them up, and I heard from my editor today that they are now planning the Spring 2012 release of books. I hope they will decide to pick up Assumed Engagement.

As for other projects, I have written one full chapter of a book based on another Jane Austen novel, more of a back story, but haven’t really had that lightning bolt of inspiration that will propel me to get writing. I have a general plot idea, a twist at the end, but not sure where the middle is going. Hopefully that will come together soon.

LAN: Now for a bit of fun. If you could be introduced to any of Jane Austen’s colorful heroes or villains, who would it be, and what penetrating question would you ask them?

KL: Of course I would love to meet the ‘real’ Mr. Darcy. I would really like to see if he lives up to all our expectations of him! I might ask him what he thought of all the literature being written about him 200 years after he was ‘born’ in the mind of Jane Austen.

Thanks again so much for allowing me this visit. It’s been fun!

Kara Louise

Author Kara LouiseKara Louise is the author of several books based on Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice. Darcy’s Voyage (2010) and Only Mr. Darcy Will Do (2011) were published by Sourcebooks and previously self-published as Pemberley’s Promise and Something Like Regret, respectively. Kara grew up in the San Fernando Valley, just north of Los Angeles, and moved to Kansas in 1991. She and her husband currently live in the country on 10 acres and are entertained by a dog, 6 cats, 3 horses, and 2 goats. Inspired by Jane Austen, in 2000 she began writing “what happened next” and “what if” stories based on her novel Pride and Prejudice. She has since written 6 novels inspired by the Austen classic, and may not be finished yet.

Giveaway of Only Mr. Darcy Will Do

Enter a chance to win one of four copies (including one signed by the author) of Only Mr. Darcy Will Do by leaving a comment answering what intrigues you about reading a Jane Austen sequel variation or which novel you would like to see Kara write about next, by midnight PT, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. Winner announced on Thursday, March 10, 2010. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Blog Tour for Only Mr. Darcy Will Do

Read Christina’s review of Darcy’s Voyage

Visit Kara Louise’s website

Visit Kara Louise’s blog, Delightful Diversions from the Heart

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose