Monday, 6 December 2021

Mages and Mysteries: A Fantasy Pride and Prejudice Variation by Victoria Kincaid - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

I’m really pleased to be welcoming Victoria Kincaid today, with her latest book, Mages and Mysteries: A Fantasy Pride and Prejudice Variation. As you will have gleaned from the title, this is a P&P variation set in a world where there is magic. I love to see magic incorporated into P&P, because each author’s magic world is different. Victoria is also giving away an ebook of Mages and Mysteries to a commenter on this post! Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Victoria for a guest post and excerpt.

Book Cover: Mages and Mysteries by Victoria Kincaid
Book Description - Mages and Mysteries

In Regency England, women are expected to confine their magical acts to mending dresses or enhancing their beauty, but Elizabeth Bennet insists on crafting her own spells to fight goblins and protect the people of Meryton.  She even caused a scandal by applying for admission to the magical Academy. When Hertfordshire is beset with a series of unexplained goblin attacks, Elizabeth is quite ready to protect her family and friends. If only she didn’t have to deal with the attitude of the arrogant mage, Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Mr. Darcy doesn’t need to be associated with a scandalous woman like Elizabeth Bennet—no matter how attractive she is. But as the goblin attacks accelerate and grow more dangerous, Darcy realizes that he could use her help in identifying the cause—and is forced to recognize her magical ability.

Unfortunately, continued proximity to Elizabeth only heightens his attraction to her—which is particularly inconvenient in light of his engagement to Caroline Bingley.

Can Elizabeth and Darcy unravel the mystery of the goblin attacks before more people are hurt? And how can they manage their growing mutual attraction? It’s sure to be interesting…because when Darcy and Elizabeth come together, magic happens. 

Guest Post from Victoria Kincaid

Hello Ceri!

Thank you for having me as a guest!  I always enjoy visiting Babblings of a Bookworm. Although Mages and Mysteries is my 17th Pride and Prejudice variation (I can hardly believe it!), it’s the first one with a fantasy twist—which is why it took so long to write (the pandemic didn’t help either).

Authors who write fantasy always talk about “world building,” but it’s definitely harder than it looks. Not only did I need to make sure that all the details were period appropriate, but I also had to ensure that all the magical elements were internally consistent. I thought I had it all worked out and then one of my beta readers flagged all of the inconsistencies where some bit of magic in one part contradicted the rules I had set up elsewhere. Thank goodness for beta readers.

Although it was challenging, I really enjoyed writing Mages and Mysteries; it’s fun to step outside the boundaries of the traditional plot while still remaining true to the characters and their personalities. From the comments I’ve been receiving, it sounds like the readers are enjoying the book as well.  I hope you like the excerpt below.

Book Cover: Mages and Mysteries by Victoria Kincaid
Excerpt from Mages and Mysteries

“Sir William gestured expansively toward the family of worthies arrayed behind him. “Allow me to introduce the Bennet family. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and three of their daughters, Miss Jane Bennet, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and Miss Mary Bennet. Their younger two daughters have already found dancing partners.”

Everyone exchanged bows and curtsies. Bingley’s gaze lingered on Miss Jane Bennet, who was quite lovely, with a blonde halo of hair framing a serenely beautiful countenance. Darcy’s attention was particularly arrested by Elizabeth Bennet.  Her hair was a mass of dark curls, and her smile held a faint hint of amusement in it. How intriguing. Something about her name was familiar, but Darcy would remember meeting a woman of such striking beauty.

Mrs. Bennet burbled about how wonderful it was to see such fine young men at their “fair assembly.” By “fine,” Darcy understood her to mean “wealthy.” He was accustomed to this reaction, but that did not render it less tedious.

While the others spoke of inconsequential subjects, the question of where Darcy had heard of Elizabeth Bennet nagged at him. When Mr. Bennet said something about the Academy of Magic, Darcy remembered. “Miss Elizabeth, are you the woman who petitioned the Convocation for admission to the Academy?” He blurted out the words.

She did not appear nearly as abashed as he would have expected.  “I am, but that was three years ago. I am intrigued to find that you still recognize my name.”

“I was part of the Convocation panel that heard your petition.” Only after uttering those words did Darcy realize it was hardly the most politic thing he could have said.  The panel had been unanimous in rejecting her application; the Academy had never admitted a woman.

Fortunately, she appeared more amused than irritated. “It is a shame the panel did not see fit to test my magical abilities before denying my request. That might have altered their opinion.” Darcy expected the other mages in the group to be embarrassed by this forwardness, but her father laughed an agreement and Sir William nodded.  The sisters regarded Miss Elizabeth with sympathy. Only Mrs. Bennet colored and glanced away. Apparently Miss Elizabeth’s application to study magic was well known in the community. How curious.

“Magical studies in the Academy are quite rigorous and even dangerous,” Darcy said. “They should not be undertaken lightly.”

“I assure you, I had every intention of undertaking them quite heavily.”  Her father snorted a laugh and even Bingley smiled.

Darcy’s friend broke the ensuing awkward silence by inviting Miss Bennet to dance the next set, which was just beginning to form. After her shy agreement, they hurried toward the dance floor. Politeness suggested that Darcy prevail upon Miss Elizabeth to dance, but he could not bring himself to do so. She had created a minor scandal, and he had no intention of associating himself with her any longer than the length of the discussion. Obviously she rated herself rather highly if she believed her abilities equal to the most talented young mages in the country. 

“I understand you are from Derbyshire, sir?” Mrs. Bennet asked.

“Yes, my estate is Pemberley—near Matlock,” Darcy answered shortly.  Questions about his income hovered unspoken in the air. Darcy wondered if there were a polite way to hint at how fruitless any matrimonial efforts would be. Mrs. Bennet babbled about a distant relative from Lambton, relieving Darcy of any social obligations save nodding at appropriate moments.

Everyone knew that women’s magic was better suited to small domestic tasks such as mending clothing, embroidery, or beautifying charms.  Female servants might use a little magic to enhance food they made, make cleaning easier, or light a kitchen fire. However, most women were not adept with higher level spells. 

History did offer a few exceptions to this rule, such as the notorious Jane Dee during Elizabeth I’s reign. But customarily women did not possess the capacity for greater magic, leaving male mages to fight magical wars and perform other dangerous tasks.

Darcy understood why Miss Elizabeth was without a dance partner despite her beauty. If the woman’s doomed application was widely known in the neighborhood, scandal would have attached to the whole family.”

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I hope you enjoyed the excerpt as much as I did, and am sure you all joined me in booing the engagement with Caroline Bingley. I will trust to Victoria to satisfactorily retrieve Darcy from that as well as giving him an attitude adjustment!

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Book Cover: Mages and Mysteries by Victoria Kincaid
Buy Links 

Mages and Mysteries is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.  

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

Giveaway Time

Victoria is kindly offering an ebook giveaway - comment on this post by the end of the day worldwide on Sunday 12 December 2021 to have the chance to win an ebook of Mages and MysteriesIf you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

Thank you so much to Victoria for visiting, and for offering the giveaway! 


48 comments:

  1. This looks like another fun read! Looking forward to getting this book. Thanks for your post and best wishes to Victoria with her publication.

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    1. Victoria Kincaid6 December 2021 at 22:00

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

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    2. Thanks Jen. I agree, this does look like a fun read :)

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    1. Victoria Kincaid6 December 2021 at 22:06

      I'm glad it piqued your interest! Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. It most definitely does!

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  3. This story is one I'll be looking forward to! Magical!

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    1. Victoria Kincaid6 December 2021 at 22:05

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

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    2. I hope you enjoy it when you read it!

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  4. This story sounds like a delight to read--except for the part where Darcy is engaged to Caroline--ewww!

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    1. Victoria Kincaid6 December 2021 at 22:04

      Yes! Thinking of him with Caroline skeeves me out too. But don't worry, there's an HEA. Good luck with the giveaway!

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    2. Agreed, bleuugh! I trust to Victoria to extricate him!

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  5. I have this on my pile of Wish List books to borrow from KU. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Victoria Kincaid6 December 2021 at 22:01

      Hi Sheila, Thanks for your interest! I hope you enjoy it--and good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. Hope you enjoy it when you read it, Sheila.

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  6. Another of your stories I expect to like. Thank you for sharing your creativity.

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    1. Victoria Kincaid7 December 2021 at 02:37

      Hi Betty, I hope you do like it! Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. Hope you enjoy it when you read it, Betty :)

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  7. Carole in Canada6 December 2021 at 22:35

    I do love 'magical' P&P variations! Congratulations! I look forward to reading how Darcy will have to eat humble pie! The Assembly excerpt was certainly 'awkward'!

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    1. Victoria Kincaid7 December 2021 at 02:38

      Hi Carole, He certainly does! Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. I think he will certainly have to eat humble pie after reading this excerpt!

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  8. I have this on my wish list. Thanks Ceri, for hosting. Thanks to Victoria Kincaid for giving us this excellent excerpt. Poor Darcy has no idea who he just dissed. It will be funny when he needs her help. Blessings everyone.

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    1. Victoria Kincaid7 December 2021 at 02:39

      Hi JW, He certainly is in for an interesting experience! Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. Thanks so much for commenting, Jeanne!

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  9. Engaged to Caroline Bingley? I have got to read this book to find out how Darcy gets out of this predicament. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

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    1. Victoria Kincaid7 December 2021 at 02:40

      Hi Eva, Yes, his engagement does present some complications. Good luck with the giveaway!

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    2. I am just going to trust in Victoria on this one!

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  10. This blog just showed up in my in-box although I did use the link Ceri provided on Goodreads earlier. I plan to read this story.

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    1. Victoria Kincaid7 December 2021 at 02:41

      Hi Sheila, I"m glad you're intrigued! Good luck with the giveaway.

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  11. Oh, I do love a good magical twist to Austenesque. Looking forward to it and fun to read through the blurb, guest thoughts, and excerpt.

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    1. Victoria Kincaid7 December 2021 at 02:42

      Hi Sophia, This is my first fantasy P&P variation and it's been great fun. Good luck with the giveaway!

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    2. Me too, Sophia, love a bit of magic!

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  12. This looks really cute. Looking forward to it.

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  13. Definitely want to read as I love fantasy and JA. Congrats on the release!

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  14. This looks most promising! Not only is Elizabeth having to deal with the consequence of defying "women's roles" similar to those in the Regency, but Mr Darcy engaged to Caroline (shades of What a Girl Wants)! Thank you for posting this exciting excerpt.

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    1. Yes, an intriguing beginning to a story for quite a few reasons!

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  15. Wondering if Darcy actually wanted to marry Caroline or was just doing his duty in some sense. I look forward to Elizabeth showing Darcy her magical skills - whether he wants to see them or not!

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    1. I am intrigued as to what happened there too, as from this he does appear to be pretty snobby, would have thought she was beneath his notice.

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  16. I’m excited to hear about another fantasy Pride and Prejudice variation! Loved the excerpt and thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the book!

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    1. I agree, glad to see another Austenesque read with magic in the mix.

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  17. How intriguing, I love the mix of Regency and magic! I'm rather frustrated by Darcy being so closed-minded though in this variation. To hear him disparage women's abilities is as galling as the news of his engagement to Miss Bingley. But I'm sure he's in for a surprise and an awakening!

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    1. Yes, when I read such thoughts and speech it makes me anticipate his inevitable wakeup!

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  18. Congratulations on your new book. Thank you for sharing an excerpt. Looking forward to reading how Mr Darcy will escape this engagement (i wonder if Cb had magic too, love potion or did she hypnotize Darcy ;)

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  19. Watching FD's growth and mind opening will be fun to read!

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