Today I’m happy to be welcoming author Monica Fairview back to the blog with her latest release, Dangerous Magic: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, which mixes Pride & Prejudice with some magic! First I’ll share the blurb with you, and then hand over to Monica for a guest post and excerpt from the novel.
A sparkling tale of Regency England, a forced marriage, and two magicians who must work together to save the Kingdom.
Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans.
But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential if the Kingdom is to defeat Napoleon’s mages. They may dislike each other on sight, but Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.
Join the author of ‘Fortune and Felicity’ in this Jane Austen Fantasy Variation, an enchanting story of determination, love, and hope against all odds.
Guest Post from Monica Fairview including an excerpt from Dangerous Magic: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
There are quite a few Jane Austen fantasy tales out there, starting with time travel concepts like we see in Lost in Austen to paranormal best-selling novels like Amanda Grange’s Mr. Darcy, Vampyre.
DANGEROUS MAGIC belongs to a different category of fantasy – the magical fairy tale type. It begins with a Cinderella moment. A fairy-godmother magician shows up and orders Elizabeth Bennet to marry one of the most powerful mages in the land, Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth then gets to ride in an enchanted carriage. Unlike Cinderella, however, Elizabeth Bennet is not happy to be whisked away into this new world. And Mr. Darcy is seriously displeased at having his life dictated by circumstances. They both have solid reasons to resent this marriage, and you know from the moment they meet that things are going to be stormy between them. In any case, we all know Mr. Darcy is nothing like Prince Charming. Let’s just say it takes him a while to open up to Elizabeth.
DANGEROUS MAGIC is set solidly in Jane Austen’s world. The Guild Hall where Elizabeth and Darcy live has a rulebook that even the most powerful magicians have to follow, and the rules include the same notions of propriety and behaviour that are familiar to Pride and Prejudice readers. Magic is woven into everyday things, like the maid lighting the fire. The Royal Mages are much like the militia, their ceremonial coats just as likely to quicken the heartbeat of young ladies like Lydia Bennet.
I very much hope the magic of Darcy and Elizabeth’s fantastic world in DANGEROUS MAGIC will quicken your heartbeat, too. To give you a glimpse of that that world is like, I have a short excerpt for your perusal. It comes from the second chapter, where Elizabeth has is trying to find out more about Mr. Darcy, her future husband.
When they stopped to exchange the horses and to eat in a private parlor, Elizabeth took the opportunity to talk to Colonel Fitzwilliam, who had been riding on horseback.
“Lord Matlock has informed me that you are Mr. Darcy’s cousin.”
Colonel Fitzwilliam nodded. He had pleasant features and an open face.
“Does Mr. Darcy resemble you?”
“Not at all,” said Colonel Fitzwilliam. “He is far more handsome.”
“Well, that is a relief,” said Elizabeth. “You may consider me trivial, but it is one less thing to worry about.”
“I am not certain how to take that,” said the Colonel. “Surely I do not look as bad as all that.”
Elizabeth could not help laughing. “You know very well, sir, that was not what I meant.”
Lady Alice, who was watching the exchange with suspicion, cleared her throat.
“I hope you do not intend to keep up this senseless chatter all through the meal,” she said, in a quelling voice.
“It is not in the least senseless,” said Elizabeth. “It is a matter of great urgency for me to discover something about the gentleman I am about to marry.”
“All you need to know is that you are very fortunate.”
“Allow me to judge that for myself.”
Lady Alice gave her a look that would have alarmed most young ladies, but Elizabeth was made of sterner stuff. Besides, she did not care for Lady Alice’s good opinion.
As for Mr. Darcy, she was intrigued to meet him, based on what his uncle and cousin had told her, but she was not yet convinced she would like him. What kind of a man must he be, when he had not come to fetch her himself? How could he be so involved in his magic that he could not take the trouble to meet his future wife? She could not help concluding that it showed a considerable lack of feeling.
Elizabeth reached the limit of her patience with Lady Alice long before they arrived in London. She could not wait to reach the Mage Hall so she could be relieved of the mage’s presence.
“Am I to stay at the Mage Hall today, or will I be staying somewhere else?” she asked, as the chimneys of London appeared in the distance.
“You will stay in the Maidens’ Hall with the other single ladies,” replied Lady Alice. “I am in charge there.”
Elizabeth groaned inwardly.
“Until you are married,” said Lady Alice, “there are rules of conduct I expect you to follow.”
She fumbled under the seat for a small portmanteau, opened it, and took out a book. “The rules are outlined here. I expect you to study this book tonight and become familiar with our expectations. Our Hall is run like a ship – everything must be shipshape, and discipline is strictly enforced”.
“How many lashes will I receive if I disobey orders?”
From his corner, Lord Matlock chortled.
“What nonsense!” said Lady Alice. “We do not use the whip at the Mage’s Hall.”
“I am very relieved to hear it,” said Elizabeth.
Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen sequels and variations as well as Regencies. Her latest novel is a Pride and Prejudice fantasy variation, Dangerous Magic. Her biggest claim to fame is living in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester, long before the house was restored. After studying in the USA, she taught literature, then became an acupuncturist. She now lives near London.
Monica loves anything to do with the nineteenth century, and obsessively follows every period drama she can find. Some of her favorites are ‘North and South’, ‘Bright Star’ and ‘War and Peace’, and a dozen others that she couldn’t possibly list here. Of course, she has watched Pride and Prejudice (1995 and 2005) more times than she could count on her hands and toes.
Monica enjoys reading fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink tea, and visit National Trust historic properties [those were the days!], and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says.
Fangirl moment here - read Monica's author bio again, she lived in Mrs Gaskell's house! Not only is this a beautiful looking house but this is the house where the creator of Mr Thornton dreamed him up!
Dangerous Magic: A Pride and Prejudice Variation is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.
Monica Fairview is very kindly offering an ebook giveaway to accompany this post. To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day worldwide on Friday 2 April.
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