Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Darcy and Deception by Victoria Kincaid - Guest Post and Giveaway

I'm happy to be welcoming Victoria Kincaid back to Babblings of a Bookworm. She's joining us with an excerpt and giveaway of her new Pride & Prejudice variation, Darcy and Deception. Where's the deception? Spies!!!! Let's have a look at the blurb and I'll hand over to Victoria for her post.

Book Description

Darcy and Deception by Victoria Kincaid
Returning home from Kent, Elizabeth Bennet is still distressed over Mr. Darcy’s insulting marriage proposal.  However, her attention is diverted by the local militia commander who asks her to observe Wickham, now suspected of being a French spy.  Pretending to be besotted with Wickham, Elizabeth accompanies the regiment when they relocate to Brighton.

Darcy arrives at Longbourn with the intention of making amends to Elizabeth, only to discover that she is now at Brighton with Wickham.  Desperate to save her from the scoundrel, Darcy follows her to the seaside, where he hopes to woo her away from the other man. 

Deception piles on top of deception as Elizabeth attempts to carry out her mission without betraying confidences—or breaking Darcy’s heart.  However, the French plot runs deeper than she knows; soon she and Darcy are plunged into the confusing and dangerous world of international espionage.  Can Darcy and Elizabeth escape with their lives and their love intact?

Guest Post and Excerpt

Happy New Year, Ceri!  And thank you for having me as a visitor.  When I was writing The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy, I did a lot of research about spies during the Napoleonic Wars.  This research turned out to be useful when I ended up writing another P&P variation—my newest book, Darcy and Deception—about spies (although this one is set in England). 

One of the more intriguing stories I learned was that of Jean Claude Mehee Hippolite de la Touche (try saying that ten times fast 😊).  Posing as a French émigré, Mehee arrived in London with a plan to simultaneously foment insurrection in France, Italy and Switzerland.  The British government knew he was a French agent but allowed him to believe they were following his plan.  The British ambassador to Munich, Francis Drake, was ordered to cooperate with Mehee and thus became a sacrificial lamb to the cause of keeping the French deceived. 

British compliance with the plan helped to distract the attention of the French from the efforts of Britain’s own spies in 1803, who were busily plotting the assassination of Napoleon. In 1804, Mehee publicly revealed the plot and his correspondence with Drake, humiliating him by showing that he had been duped by a French agent.  The British secret service would not allow Drake to reveal his role in the larger scheme to fool the French. Even after his death, Drake’s sons were not permitted to publish the letters that would clear his name.

Although I did not use this specific incident in my book, French double agents do play a big role in the plot. Please enjoy the excerpt from Darcy and Deception below:

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Darcy and Deception by Victoria Kincaid
 Elizabeth had been surprised at the invitation to accompany Lydia and Mrs. Forster to the beach.  She was hardly a favorite of Mrs. Forster’s, and there were many flighty officers’ wives in the town who could have accompanied the two women.  However, as they walked down to the beach, she recalled that many of those women had expressed a great fear of the sea—particularly the prospect of being bitten by fish.

As they neared the beach, it became clear that the invitation had been at Lydia’s instigation.  She was excited to have a chance to try real sea bathing but also demonstrated substantial   anxiety about the endeavor.  Elizabeth had been to Ramsgate with her aunt and uncle Gardiner, so she was familiar with visits to the sea.  But it was all new to Lydia, who slipped many glances at her older sister as if seeking reassurance.  Elizabeth was secretly touched that her sister found her presence comforting.

Elizabeth had been silent during the walk as Lydia and Mrs. Forster dominated the conversation.  First, the colonel’s wife complained about the dreariness running a household on a militia salary—although she appeared to have a copious supply of jewels and gowns in the latest fashion.  Then the conversation turned to who was in Brighton that week.  Lydia was excited that the prince regent was in residence at the Marine Pavilion, but Mrs. Forster dashed the girl’s hopes for encountering royalty.  “The prince rarely leaves the Pavilion when he visits the town,” she said with great authority.  Lydia pouted, but Elizabeth thought it was just as well given what she knew of the prince.

As they drew closer to the beach, Lydia grew more visibly anxious, twisting her hands in the hem of her skirt.  Finally, a question burst from her: “What if the fish nibble on my toes?”

Elizabeth laughed. “Ladies’ toes are not in any fish’s diet.” 

“But they might mistake my toes for a worm!  Do fish have good eyesight?” 

“I have been sea bathing many times,” Mrs. Forster assured her.  “And the fish have never paid me any heed.”

Lydia considered this for a moment.  “What about whales?”

“Whales?” Elizabeth asked.

“What if a whale swims up to the shore and swallows me whole?  Like Jonah!”

“Then we shall add a new book to the Bible called the Book of Lydia,” Elizabeth teased.

Lydia rolled her eyes.  “Lizzy, I am in earnest!  I shan’t go in the water if there is any danger of whales.” 

Mrs. Forster gasped.  “Oh dear, I never had the least thought about whales!”

Elizabeth took a deep breath for patience.  “Whales cannot swim so close to land.”

“Are you certain?” Lydia’s fingers worried a bow on her dress.

“Quite certain.  Whales are like big ships that sail across the ocean.  If they come too close to land they will run aground.”

Mrs. Forster tossed her head. She was very aware of Elizabeth’s greater age and eagerly sought to assert her superiority as a married woman.  “You must come sea bathing, Lydia!  It is most healthful,” she said with an air of great knowledge.  “In The Use of Seawater in the Diseases of the Glands, Dr. Russell recommends regular sea bathing to treat many conditions.”

Elizabeth had heard of the book, which had helped to prompt the popularity of sea bathing in England, but she was dubious about many of its claims.  “Do you have diseased glands?” she asked.

Mrs. Forster raised her chin.  “Regular sea bathing will keep them healthy.”

“Quite a wise precaution,” Elizabeth agreed.    

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Darcy and Deception by Victoria Kincaid
Buy Links

Darcy and Deception is available to buy now for both kindle and paperback - Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Add to Goodreads Shelf

Author Bio

Victoria has a Ph.D. in English literature and has taught composition to unwilling college students. Today she teaches business writing to willing office professionals and tries to give voice to the demanding cast of characters in her head.

She lives in Virginia with an overly affectionate cat, two children who are learning how much fun Austen’s characters can be, and a husband who fortunately is not jealous of Mr. Darcy. A lifelong Austen fan, Victoria has read more Jane Austen variations and sequels than she can count – and confesses to an extreme partiality for the Colin Firth miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice.

Visit her at www.victoriakincaid.com


Giveaway Time!

Darcy and Deception by Victoria Kincaid
Because Victoria loves us she is giving one of us the chance to win an ebook copy of Darcy and Deception! To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day on Wednesday 30 January. Either leave a method for me to contact you (such as an email address, Twitter name, or let me know if we are friends on Goodreads) or follow the comments and I'll let you know when I post the winner. This giveaway is open to international entrants.

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41 comments:

  1. Hoping that the Colonel comes along and saves the day, and Elizabeth and Darcy
    meikleblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Victoria Kincaid23 January 2019 at 17:13

    Hi Vesper, I'm glad you found the excerpt intriguing! Good luck with the giveaway.

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  3. Looks like another wonderful variation. I look forward to reading it!

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    1. Victoria Kincaid24 January 2019 at 13:56

      Hi Lily, Thank you for your interest and good luck with the giveaway!

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    2. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it, Lily.

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  4. Oh yes! I love the idea of Lydia being shown in a bit of a positive light (even if it's only a better sisterly rapport with Elizabeth, it can't but be good for her)

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    1. Victoria Kincaid24 January 2019 at 13:57

      Hi Agnes, I'm glad you found the excerpt intriguing! Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. I like to think that Lydia had potential, Agnes. She has a lot of good qualities if only she was a little more thoughtful and mature.

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  5. “Book of Lydia” 😂 she already has quite a story to tell without being swallowed by a whale!!!! Can’t wait to read this book, thanks for sharing ❤️

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    1. Victoria Kincaid24 January 2019 at 13:58

      Hi Claire, I'm glad you found the excerpt amusing! Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. Can you imagine a Book of Lydia? A quest for bonnets, with a cautionary whale story thrown in :)

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  6. Enjoyed the excerpt and loved the interaction between Lydia and Elizabeth.

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    1. Victoria Kincaid24 January 2019 at 13:59

      I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt! Good luck with the giveaway.

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  7. OMG!! I hope this doesn't mean that Elizabeth will be the sacrificial lamb in this case. Hopefully, her name and reputation will remain clean. Poor Darcy, to see the woman he loves in the company of his worst enemy has to be a bitter pill. This is on my wish-list. I would love to win a copy. Good luck to everyone in the drawing. Thanks to our author Victoria and the publisher for this giveaway. Thanks also to Ceri for hosting. Ceri, we are GR friends and I appreciate your blog and comments on GR. Blessings to Victoria on the success of this work.

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    1. Hi there Jeanne. Elizabeth had better not be the sacrificial lamb (shakes fist menacingly!).

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  8. Victoria Kincaid24 January 2019 at 14:01

    Hi JW, Yes, Darcy has to endure a lot before the HEA! Good luck with the giveaway.

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  9. Interesting plot! Any story by Victoria Kincaid would be a treat.
    (Have I mentioned that I like angst and tormented heroes? I’m looking forward to what poor Darcy will have to endure (inserted evil emoticon.)
    My email is alexandrariverstories (@) gmail (.)com
    (Why are we not friends on Goodreads? We have to remedy that…)
    Thank you for this giveaway.

    (I don’t know why on earth my comments are posted as “unknown”. Hmm…)
    Alexandra

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    1. Victoria Kincaid25 January 2019 at 00:12

      Hi Alexandra, Thank you for being an enthusiastic reader! I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes tormented heroes. Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. I am a bit of a wimp. I like some angst and hero torturing, but not TOO much. It's a question of balance for me :)

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  10. What a lovely excerpt, especially the dialogue between Lydia and Elizabeth! Sounds like you did some fascinating research for the book. Congratulations on the release! Best, Christina

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  11. Victoria Kincaid25 January 2019 at 00:13

    Hi Christina, I'm so happy you enjoyed the excerpt! Good luck with the giveaway.

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  12. I read and enjoyed this story. I have read many of your books, Victoria, and know when I see you have released a new one that I can count on enjoying that also.

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    1. Victoria Kincaid28 January 2019 at 01:22

      Hi Sheila, Thank you for that endorsement! I'm so happy you enjoyed the story.

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    2. Hi Sheila. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this book. It's so nice when an author becomes a must-buy author.

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  13. Thanks for your blog post gals! I'm really looking forward to reading this tale and can't wait to see how the plot is worked out. Love it!

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    1. Victoria Kincaid28 January 2019 at 01:25

      Hi Jen, I'm so happy you found it intriguing! Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Jen!

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  14. Well, I doubt that I could say "Jean Claude Mehee Hippolite de la Touche" even one time, much less 10 times!
    Cute excerpt. Thank you for the fantastic giveaway.
    Ginna Say What at gmail dot com

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    1. Victoria Kincaid28 January 2019 at 01:23

      Hi Ginna, I'm with you, I doubt I would get it right even one time! Good luck with the giveaway.

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  15. Very good tease. Can’t wait to read it!

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    1. Victoria Kincaid28 January 2019 at 01:24

      Hi Lily, I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt! Good luck with the giveaway.

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  16. Thank you for sharing a bit of your research into French spies, Victoria. I have previously read the sea bathing scenes on another blog so it was good to know what occurred before that. It's funny to read about Lydia's unfounded fears of fish and whale stopping her from enjoying herself.

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  17. Thanks Ceri for hosting and your excellent blog!
    Book sounds very interesting Victoria and am looking forward to reading it. You are very good with your characters and the dialogue between them so very good. This should be a treat to read! Thanks again Ruth x

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  18. I've added it to my want-to-read list. Twitter is ohzut.

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  19. I am hoping to win a copy as I love your books, Victoria!

    Warmly,
    Susanne:)

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  20. You did a lot of research Victoria, very interesting. I'm looking forward to reading your book. Congratulations and thanks for the giveaway.

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  21. I don't think I've ever read a scene with sea bathing so this sounds fun! 😁

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  22. Congrats on another release! Interesting to have Elizabeth helping out with watching Wickham. What a fun excerpt. I hope Lydia behaves herself at Brighton with Elizabeth’s presence.

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  23. Will you notice if I enter for a second time? I hope not, because I’d love to win. It’s about deception after all.... ;)

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