Friday, 23 March 2018

Mysterious Mr Darcy by Monica Fairview - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Mysterious Mr Darcy by Monica Fairview
Today I'm happy to be welcoming Monica Fairview back to the blog. Monica has a new book, Mysterious Mr Darcy which has a most enticing blurb. She's come here with a guest post, excerpt, and an international ebook giveaway. Let's take a look at the blurb and then hand over to Monica.



Mysterious Mr Darcy by Monica Fairview - Blurb

Guest Post from Monica Fairview

Ceri – thank you so much for this opportunity to visit your blog again! It’s been a couple of years since I last visited, but I’ve finally written a new Pride and Prejudice variation, and it’s a pleasure to be back here.

Mysterious Mr. Darcy has several walking scenes in it – which is of course to be expected, knowing that Elizabeth – according to Miss Bingley –  “has nothing … to recommend her, but being an excellent walker.” Walking is an integral part of the novel, but as I was re-reading Pride and Prejudice recently, I realized something that struck me. There are very few scenes with horses. Obviously, keeping a horse was an expensive enterprise in Regency England, but the Bennets do own a horse, as we know from Mrs. Bennet’s insistence that Jane ride to Netherfield in the rain. Intrigued, I looked up the scenes in the novel with horses and found that, on the whole, riding and horses were mentioned only on a few select occasions. There is one notably comic interlude in the book in which Miss de Bourgh appears with her phaeton and “little ponies”, but otherwise, the appearance of horses or the mention of driving tends to be noteworthy.

It’s interesting, for example, that the Bennet ladies’ first glimpse of Mr. Bingley – after all the excitement of his arrival at Netherfield – refers to him riding. They find out very little about him except that “he wore a blue coat, and rode a black horse.” A crucial moment in the story occurs when the young ladies – who had walked into Meryton – first meet Wickham, and the meeting is interrupted by the appearance of Darcy and Bingley: “the whole party were still standing and talking together very agreeably, when the sound of horses drew their notice, and Darcy and Bingley were seen riding down the street.” This is a very significant moment since it establishes Elizabeth’s prejudice against Mr. Darcy. How much of her prejudice was influenced, I wonder, by the fact that Darcy was on horseback, while Wickham was walking with them through Meryton? It is a very uncomfortable moment, and in many way, Mr. Darcy misses his chance to win Elizabeth’s ear by the very fact that he is literally towering above her during the encounter rather than walking.

A contrasting moment that is even more embarrassing for Elizabeth is when she is caught “snooping” at Pemberley, as she is taken completely by surprise by Darcy’s sudden arrival.

the owner of it himself suddenly came forward from the road which led behind it to the stables… Had they been only ten minutes sooner, they should have been beyond the reach of his discrimination; for it was plain that he was that moment arrived -- that moment alighted from his horse or his carriage. She blushed again and again over the perverseness of the meeting.

The difference between this scene and the earlier one sybolises the difference in Darcy’s behaviour. In this second scene, Darcy has just alighted. This time, he is her equal, and the fact that he walks with her is very significant: “They had now entered a beautiful walk by the side of the water.” I think it’s amazing how much Jane Austen manages to convey in just that one sentence!

There are other important moments when riding and horses are significant, but I’ll save them for another occasion. Meanwhile, I’d like to introduce a horseback moment of my own from Mysterious Mr. Darcy.

~~

Book cover: Mysterious Mr Darcy by Monica Fairview
Excerpt

Fortunately for Elizabeth’s spirits, an old friend of hers, Miss Ruth Clapp, came to visit Meryton from Southampton with her aunt a few days later and proved to be just the kind of distraction Elizabeth needed. They reminisced about their childhood, and Elizabeth brought Ruth up to date with the events that had led up to Bingley’s departure.

Two days after Miss Clapp’s arrival, on a sunny January morning, the two ladies called on Maria Lucas, and invited her to walk up with them to Oakham Mount, and soon the three friends were skipping across the open countryside, arms linked, laughing merrily and singing a silly little song.

Maria broke off suddenly in warning, indicating the outline of a horseman against the horizon. “We have company.”

The three ladies stopped skipping at once and separated self-consciously, slowing to a proper walk. The rider was too far away to identify clearly, but Elizabeth recognized the arrogant upright posture of Mr. Darcy. She earnestly hoped he hadn’t seen them. He would no doubt think her just as wild as her sisters. Well-bred young ladies did not skip around in public.

“I think it’s Mr. Darcy,” said Maria, shading her eyes and squinting.

“Good. I am eager to meet the mysterious Mr. Darcy,” said Miss Clapp. “How fortunate that I will encounter him so soon after I arrived.”

“Be warned,” said Elizabeth, “He is such an odd mix of reticence and arrogance that no one can make head or tails of him.”

“He sounds intriguing.”

Elizabeth kept an eye on the figure on horseback, feeling a thrill of anticipation as she waited for him to draw closer. However, he turned at an angle and took off in a fast gallop in a different direction. Elizabeth was disappointed, but after a moment’s consideration, she was glad he had not spotted them.

“So where were we before Mr. Darcy interrupted us?” She linked arms again with her two friends and they went back to skipping.

∞∞∞

It was an unseasonably warm day, and with nothing urgent awaiting him at Netherfield, Darcy was reluctant to hide himself indoors again. He took the ridgeway across to Oakham Mount, allowing the horse full rein, feeling the wind in his hair as they galloped across the open landscape. The chalk grassland was soft under the horse’s feet and for the first time for months he felt the simple joy of being outdoors. They slowed down as the path to the Mount grew steeper, and Darcy dismounted to walk up the hill.

It was not long before he heard women’s laughter, interspersed with singing. Darcy’s heart leapt as he recognized the unmistakable husky voice of Miss Bennet. Her laugh set his pulse racing.  He stood completely still, trying to compose himself, hoping they would not come across him when he was still flustered. They were just behind the small grassy mound that marked the top of the hill and would be upon him any moment.

As he gathered his chaotic thoughts into focus, it occurred to him that they would not be expecting anyone to be here. Not wanting to startle them, he cleared his throat loudly to warn them of his presence. The laughter and the singing stopped immediately, and presently three ladies came into sight, looking cautiously in his direction.

Darcy stepped forward. “Miss Bennet. Miss Lucas. I see you are here to enjoy the pleasant weather. Do you come to Oakham Mount often?”

Miss Bennet curtseyed. “My friend is visiting me, and we have come to recover memories of our childhood. Allow me to introduce Miss Clapp, who is here from Southampton.”

He bowed solemnly. “Pleased to meet you, Miss Clapp. I hope your childhood memories were all pleasant.”

“Very much so, Mr. Darcy.”

“We used to roll down that slope, there,” said Elizabeth, pointing. “Then we would get into trouble for getting mud on our clothes.”

Darcy smiled as he noticed the rim of her petticoat. “It may be ungentlemanly to point it out, but I see little has changed.”

Elizabeth looked down ruefully, following the line of his vision, a twinkle in her eye. “It is indeed very unkind of you to draw attention to it. Some things have definitely changed, besides. I would never consider rolling down the slope now.”

He chuckled. “Perhaps if I had not been here, you might have been tempted.”

~~

Buy Links

Amazon Kindle e-book and paperback (international link)

Barnes and Noble Nook

Smashwords


About the Author

Author Monica FairviewMonica can be described as a wanderer, opening her eyes to life in London and travelling ever since. She spent many years in the USA before coming back full circle to London, thus proving that the world is undeniably round.

Monica adores the Regency period and Jane Austen’s wit. She writes funny Jane Austen sequels and variations but has finally decided to get serious about Elizabeth and Darcy. At the moment, she lives with two cats, a teenager, and her own Mr. Darcy. She enjoys singing out of tune in the shower, visiting historical mansions, and warm weather.

Visit Monica at
Austen Variations www.austenvariations.com


Giveaway Time

Book cover: Mysterious Mr Darcy by Monica Fairview
Mysterious Mr Darcy to two of my blog visitors. To enter, just leave a comment on this post by the end of the day on Saturday, 31 March. This is open to international entrants. Good luck!
Monica is kindly giving away an ebook copy of

Blog Tour Stops

Monica has been visiting other blogs too. Why not check out some of these other blogs to see more of Monica's
Austen Variations
From Pemberley to Milton
Laura’s Reviews
My Jane Austen Book Club
Diary of an Eccentric
My Vices and Weaknesses 
Babblings of a Bookworm - You are here!
Austenesque Reviews
Calico Critic

* * *

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51 comments:

  1. Darcy is there but Bingley has departed???

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    1. At this particular moment, yes, Vesper...

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    2. Hi Vesper, best of luck in the giveaway :)

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  2. Loved the excerpt especially the part where he teased her about the mud on her clothes.

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    1. I like that part, too, darcybennet. Puts a smile on my face.

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    2. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Darcybennet!

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  3. Enjoyed the excerpt. Congratulations on the book release! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I'm glad you did, Linda and thank you.

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    2. Thanks for commenting, Linda, and good luck in the giveaway :)

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  4. I think Lizzy and I would get along, I do like walking, and yes a horse is so expensive ;)

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    1. Sorry, your reply was down below.

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    2. I've always thought that Lizzy and I would be the best of friends Blodeuedd.

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  5. I love walking in the countryside, too, Blodeuedd, but I think Lizzy is better at it than I am ;)

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  6. What a lovely excerpt!
    Best of luck with your book,Monica.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it Mary, thanks for dropping by!

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  7. What a lovely excerpt. I like the idea of Lizzy rolling down a hill as a child, and Mr Darcy is teasing her! Love it!

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    1. Just a momentary role (roll?) reversal here, Lis. :D

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    2. I can just imagine little Lizzy rolling down hills. I used to enjoy doing that myself :)

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  8. Loved the excerpt. How sweet! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. Very kind, Priscilla. I enjoyed writing this scene. It was light and spontaneous.

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  9. that was a fun excerpt to read. little bit of subtle flirting at the end.

    denise

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    1. Yes, just a little bit, dstoutholcomb.

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    2. Love some flirting, Denise!

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  10. I loved the excerpt and can't wait to read this one! Thanks for having Monica visit, Ceri.

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  11. Love the video clips. This sounds so interesting. Blessing on the launch and success of this work.

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    1. Thanks, JW. Clips were on another blog for those of you who are wondering ...

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    2. I was wondering, thanks Monica :)

      Thanks for stopping by Jeanne!

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  12. Carole in Canada25 March 2018 at 13:57

    “He is such an odd mix of reticence and arrogance that no one can make head or tails of him.”

    Well he proved her wrong by not being so reticent nor arrogant! When is the paperback available?

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    1. The paperback is already available, Carole. I loved your quote. He is reticent most of the time, but he is taken by surprise this time.

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    2. Great quote Carole! Thanks for commenting :)

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  13. I read the first chapters you posted online and was really intrigued to read more. Loved the excerpt! Congratulations on your new book!

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    1. Thank you very much, Daniela!

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    2. Thanks Daniela, glad you enjoyed it.

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  14. Was Mr. Darcy just flirting with Elizabeth? Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

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  15. I didn't realised that there was some significant horse scenes until you mentioned them, Monica. The excerpt you provided is charming and entertaining. Can't wait to know about Darcy's past that he is trying to hide.

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    1. It was fun examining those scenes, Luthien -- the scenes are significant but infrequent. Thank you for stopping by.

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    2. Thanks for your comment, Luthien!

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  16. Really looking forward to reading this book. Where in the story does this excerpt occur?

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    1. A bit past the middle, Ginna.

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    2. Hi Ginna, Hope you enjoy it when you read it.

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  17. Can't wait to read this one!!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it when you read it, Leah! Good luck in the giveaway.

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  18. Replies
    1. Why does the time/date stamp on my post say April 1st? It's March 31st at 2115.

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    2. Hi Robin. I hope you enjoy this book!

      The time stamp on your post is probably the date/time in the UK when you posted, as I am in the UK. However, as I am some hours ahead of many of the visitors to my blog I count the giveaway as closed at about 10am the next day, when it won't be 31 March anywhere in the world. So your comment will still be included in the giveaway :)

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  19. This is a book I want to read. I know I am too late for the give away but just wanted to say how it intrigues me.

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