The Darcy Brothers, by Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Abigail Reynolds – A Review

The Darcy Brothers by Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Abigail ReynoldsFrom the desk of Monica Perry:

When I first heard that some of the authors from austenvariations.com were planning a Pride and Prejudice: Readers’ Choice collaborative story wherein Mr. Darcy had a younger brother, I was all excited curiosity–a story with two Mr. Darcys?  Yes, please! Would Mr. Theophilus Darcy be strong and stoic like his elder brother, a model of amiability like Mr. Bingley, or perhaps more of a rakish Mr. Wickham? Participating in the Readers’ Choice voting each week and having so much interaction with the writers was great fun, and I was eager to read this published version of The Darcy Brothers.  Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks, and Abigail Reynolds are authors whose works I’d read and loved in the past, and The Darcy Brothers was no exception.

From the very first page, as Theo and Fitzwilliam Darcy reluctantly make their way to Rosings Park for Easter, we see the way they typically interact (read: Theo pushes Darcy’s buttons and Darcy gets his trousers in a twist). In the wake of childhood tragedy and the more recent near-elopement of their young sister Georgiana with Theo’s friend Mr. Wickham, their relationship is strained and they’ve all but given up on getting along. Darcy is dismissive and distrustful of Theo, and Theo delights in vexing him because he knows he’ll never live up to Darcy’s impeccable standards anyway. When Theo makes the acquaintance of the charming Miss Elizabeth Bennet they form an easy friendship, and Darcy begins to feel that twisting sensation again, a little nearer his chest this time. Each brother’s affection for Elizabeth is noted by the other and although they don’t see eye to eye, each wants the other to be happy. How far would a Darcy go to make it happen, even if it goes against his heart’s desire?  Bargains are struck and along with some meddling assistance from Georgiana, Anne de Bourgh and Colonel Fitzwilliam, and a surprising series of events at Rosings, Darcy, and Theo begin to see themselves, and each other, in a different way. Darcy realizes he has underestimated Theo, withheld the praise and affection a younger sibling craves and used him as an easy scapegoat; likewise, Theo sees he’s had a childish understanding of Darcy’s responsibilities as heir. Can they overcome their pride and start again, and will it last? Continue reading

The Darcy Brothers Virtual Book Launch Party with Authors, Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Abigail Reynolds

The Darcy Brothers by Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Abigail Reynolds We are very pleased to welcome Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Abigail Reynolds to Austenprose for the official virtual book launch party of their new novel The Darcy Brothers, released today by White Soup Press.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, The Darcy Brothers is an original variation based on Austen’s classic in which Mr. Darcy has a charming younger brother named Theo who meets Elizabeth Bennet and vies for her affections. Written by five Austenesque authors, you may well ask, as we did ourselves, how they could pool their talents and create one novel together? Abigail Reynolds has kindly supplied a revealing guest blog to share the experience with you. And, any  celebration would not be complete without gifts. Please enter a chance to win one of the four fabulous prizes being offered by their publisher by leaving a comment. The giveaway details are listed at the end of this post. Good luck to all!

DESCRIPTION (from the publisher)

Easy-going Theophilus Darcy is the opposite of his controlled older brother. Where Fitzwilliam Darcy is proud and awkward among strangers, Theo is a charmer. Fitzwilliam took his studies seriously, while Theo was sent down from Oxford for his pranks. Still, the brothers were the best of friends until tragedy and George Wickham tore them apart.

What if Theo were to meet Miss Elizabeth Bennet? Would he charm the young lady’s stockings off… or would he help his brother win her hand? Find out as the two brothers lock horns in this unique Pride & Prejudice variation collectively written by five respected authors.

The Darcy Brothers was first conceived as an interactive group writing project and has developed into a full-length novel featuring the charismatic Theo Darcy.

Continue reading

Austenesque Authors at Northwest Bookfest 2012, Sept 22-23, Kirkland, WA

Northwest Bookfest 2012

I am thrilled to be participating in this year’s Northwest Bookfest 2012 with fellow Austenesque authors: Shannon Winslow, Susan Mason-Milks and Jenni James. We will have our own booth to meet readers, greet friends and sell our books. Please stop by to introduce yourselves and have your picture taken with Mr. Darcy! Yes. Mr. Darcy (the flat Stanley version that is) will be there in person awaiting for your arrival.

Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995)Here is the scoop on the festival:

Connecting readers with writers, the Northwest Bookfest celebrates the literary arts where you will meet readers, writers, publishers and authors during this jam-packed weekend of workshops, panels, classes and author readings. This family-friendly event features dozens of author appearances and book signings, scores of exhibitors and booksellers, readings on multiple stages, storytellers and hands-on activities for kids, live music and a delicious variety of food and drink for sale. All events are free and open to the public.

Several Pacific Northwest bestselling authors will be giving presentations including: J.A. Jance (The Judgement Call: Joanna Brady Mystery), Ivan Doig (This House of Sky), Elizabeth George (Believing the Lie: Inspector Lynley Series), and David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars).  Shannon, Susan, Jenni and I will be representing Austenesque fiction to the great Northwest! This is my first bookfest, so it will be wonderful to meet readers, authors and spend some time with my fellow Janeites.

The weekend event is being held at Peter Kirk Park, in front of the community center. The hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. For those who want to Google Map it or use an in-car navigation system, this is the address for Peter Kirk Park: 202 Third Street, Kirkland, WA 98033.

Austenesque Authors participating:

Shannon Winslow, author of The Darcys of Pemberley (2011)

Shannon Winslow is a passionate appreciator of the arts and a creative person in her own right. With her two sons grown, she now finds more time to devote to her diverse interests in music, literature, and the visual arts – writing claiming the lion’s share of her creative energies in recent years. In addition to several short stories, Ms. Winslow has authored three novels to date. The Darcys of Pemberley, a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is her debut. For Myself Alone, a stand-alone Austenesque story, is soon to follow. Her most recent project is a contemporary “what if” novel entitled First of Second Chances. Shannon is a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest. She and her husband live in the log home they built in the countryside thirty-five miles south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mt. Rainier. Visit Shannon at her website/blog Shannon Winslow’s Jane Austen Says, Austen Authors, follow her on Twitter as @JaneAustenSays, and on Facebook as Shannon Winslow.

Susan Mason-Milks, author Mr. Darcy's Proposal (2012)

Susan Mason-Milks says, “Writing stories inspired by Austen’s books offers a way to spend more time with characters I’ve grown to love. Just because the book ends, it doesn’t have to be the end of the story.” In addition to writing, her other loves include singing in “a cappella joy” (a women’s barbershop chorus), reading, and yoga. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband and their four cats. Visit Susan at her websites Austen What If Stories, Austen Authors, follow her on Twitter as @SusanMasonMilks, and on Facebook as Susan Mason-Milks.

Jenni James, author of Pride and Popularity (2011)

Jenni James is author of the Austen Diaries, modern re-imaging of Jane Austen’s six major novels; Faerie Tale Collection, a new look at classic tales; and her latest release for children, Prince Tennyson. Married to a totally hot, redheaded Air Force Recruiter, Jenni and her husband live in New Mexico with their ten children. When she’s not writing up a storm, she enjoys reading, acting, portrait painting, directing plays, cooking, planning eleborate parties and chasing my kids around the house. Visit Jenni at her website/blog Author Jenni James, follow her on Twitter as @Jenni_James and on Facebook as Author Jenni James.

Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It (2011)

Laurel Ann Nattress, a life-long acolyte of Jane Austen, is the author/editor of Austenprose.com a blog devoted to her favorite author and Jane Austen Made Me Do It, a new short story anthology released by Ballantine Books in 2011. She is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, a regular contributor to the PBS blog Remotely Connected and the Jane Austen Centre online magazine. Classically trained as a landscape designer at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, she has also worked in marketing for a Grand Opera company and at present she delights in introducing neophytes to the charms of Miss Austen’s prose as a bookseller. An expatriate of southern California, Laurel Ann lives in a country cottage near Snohomish, Washington where it rains a lot. Visit Laurel Ann at her blog Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog, on Twitter as @Austenprose, and on Facebook as Laurel Ann Nattress.

From all of my fellow Austenesque authors, if you are in the Seattle area on the weekend of September 22-23, we would be thrilled to meet you and discuss our favorite author together!

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose