Saturday 29 July 2023

Spells and Shadows by Victoria Kincaid - Excerpt and Giveaway

I’m really pleased to be welcoming Victoria Kincaid to Babblings of a Bookworm today with her latest Pride & Prejudice variation, Spells and Shadows, which has a magical element.

Victoria has joined us with an excerpt of the book and an ebook giveaway. Read on for more details!

Book cover: Spells and Shadows - A Pride & Prejudice variation by Victoria Kincaid. Picture shows a young man and woman in Regency attire. They are in a creepy forest, with silhouettes of leafless trees. Both of them are holding what looks like a conjured ball of light
Book Description 

Spells and Shadows, A Fantasy Pride and Prejudice Variation

As a secret agent for the Mages’ Council, Mr. Darcy investigates a necromancer who is leading his followers down a dark path. When they discover him, a fight and a chase drive Darcy—injured and close to death—into the river. He is rescued and healed by Elizabeth, a talented mage at the Longbourn estate. Darcy cannot help developing feelings for her, but he dares not reveal his true identity while the necromancer’s creatures search for him.

Elizabeth Bennet is intrigued by the family’s new guest as he recovers at Longbourn. But mystery surrounds the man, and strange happenings plague the neighborhood while he visits. Elizabeth herself harbors a secret that she cannot share with the handsome stranger.

When Darcy’s enemies come calling, the Bennet family is caught in the crossfire. Worse, Elizabeth’s magic draws the necromancer’s particular interest. Darcy is falling in love with her and believes she returns his feelings, but the secret of his true identity could destroy their budding relationship—if they survive the upcoming danger.

Can Elizabeth and Darcy protect themselves and their families from the necromancer’s plots? What will happen when learn each other’s secrets? Can Elizabeth and Darcy’s love survive when it is entangled in a web of secrets, spells, and shadows?

Excerpt from Spells and Shadows, Introduced by Victoria Kincaid

Hello Ceri! Thank you for inviting me back to visit Babblings of a Bookworm! I have recently released Spells and Shadows, my second Pride and Prejudice fantasy variation. Darcy is a secret agent who is recovering at Longbourn after Elizabeth and Jane rescued him from the river. Elizabeth has used her magic to heal him. Darcy has concealed his identity and told them his name is Dee. He has been confined to the sickroom, and this is the first time he is meeting the whole Bennet family.

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Book cover: Spells and Shadows - A Pride & Prejudice variation by Victoria Kincaid. Picture shows a young man and woman in Regency attire. They are in a creepy forest, with silhouettes of leafless trees. Both of them are holding what looks like a conjured ball of light

Darcy and Elizabeth exited the house through the back door. After being confined indoors for so long, he was pathetically grateful to walk out under the sun again. The sky was immeasurably vast. Had it always been so large? And the green of the plants was almost painfully intense. He had almost forgotten how such things appeared.

The uneven ground in the garden presented a challenge; he was quite winded by the time they greeted the others. Half a dozen chairs had been arranged in a circle at the edge of the garden beneath the spreading boughs of an oak tree. Darcy gratefully sank into one.

Most of the Bennet family was assembled in the chairs, although the two youngest girls were out gathering flowers. Elizabeth affected the introductions. “Mr. Dee, allow me to introduce my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, and my sisters Jane and Mary.”

Jane was quite pretty and as blonde as Elizabeth was dark. Mary had a pinched look about her eyes; she paid more attention to the plants in the garden than to Darcy. Bewhiskered and graying, Mr. Bennet regarded Darcy genially, while the plump Mrs. Bennet displayed the avid interest he had observed all too often in mothers of the ton.

“I must thank you for your hospitality,” Darcy said to Mr. Bennet.

“Certainly!” the man replied. “We could hardly allow you to drown in the Lea!”

Darcy immediately concluded that Bennet was not the most tactful man he had ever encountered.

Mrs. Bennet leaned forward in her chair. “Pray tell me, is there a Mrs. Dee?”

“No,” Darcy said.

“And you are not engaged to be married?”

“No.” Darcy understood the calculations behind her questions. She had five unmarried daughters. Her husband was a gentleman, but they lived rather modestly. Darcy imagined he could give the daughters little in the way of dowries.

She took him to be a prosperous wool merchant, which would mean he was a fine—if not brilliant— match for one of their daughters. She did not know how above their touch Darcy truly was. Well, he had dealt with matchmaking mamas before. He could withstand her assault for the length of his tenure at Longbourn.  

“And would you say your family lives comfortably?” she asked. Apparently she did not have a subtle bone in her body.

“Yes,” he replied.

Was Mrs. Bennet the reason that Elizabeth had been ensconced in his bedchamber unchaperoned? Had she hoped to create intimacy or claim that he had compromised the young woman? Recalling his first reaction to her, Darcy did not find the idea unappealing. She was beautiful and witty, exactly the sort of woman he would desire as a wife.

Unfortunately, the Bennets were beneath him both socially and magically. Although Elizabeth had strong mancy, he doubted anyone else in the family did. Families with strong magical lineages frequented the balls and parties of the ton, and most were represented on the Council.

And then there was the matter of what had caused the Bennets to be ostracized from their neighbors. Given how permissive Mr. Bennet was in his supervision of his daughters, Darcy guessed there had been a scandal. Mrs. Bennet might be eager to marry a daughter to a wealthy stranger before he learned the truth. 

Fear of entrapment would have caused Darcy anxiety except that Elizabeth had not acted the least bit flirtatious with him. Although she had been polite and friendly, she had not acted the coquette or asked personal questions. It was puzzling and, truthfully, hurt his pride a bit. Given his wealth, he was not accustomed to disinterest from young women. Perhaps she was sweet on another man, a thought that disturbed him for some reason.

Mrs. Bennet never wanted for conversation. “Did you know that Jane pulled you from the river?” The eldest daughter blushed and kept her eyes fixed on the embroidery in her lap. She was pretty enough that she should have many suitors and appeared to be sweet-tempered. But her eyes did not sparkle with Elizabeth’s intelligence, and Darcy found himself perversely annoyed. Elizabeth was beautiful in her own right, and any man would be lucky to win her affections. Why was her mother advocating Jane?

“I thought Miss Elizabeth did that,” he said.

“Oh, I am sure Lizzy helped.” Her mother waved dismissively.  “But Jane is an aquamancer.”

“Indeed?” Darcy said. How unusual to find two mancers in one country family. “I thank you for helping to rescue me.”

Jane blushed again. “I did little. Lizzy truly saved your life.”

“Nonsense!” her mother cried. “Lizzy just did a little healing here and there. Mr. Dee would have drowned without your assistance.” Darcy expected Elizabeth to protest, but she pressed her lips together and stared uncomfortably at the garden. Perhaps she was accustomed to her mother devaluing her accomplishments and knew that protesting was useless.

“Well, I am exceedingly grateful to have received assistance from both of you,” Darcy said diplomatically.

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Author Bio

The author of more than sixteen best-selling Regency and modern Pride and Prejudice variations, Victoria Kincaid has a Ph.D. in English literature and runs a small business, er, household with two children, a hyperactive dog, an overly affectionate cat, and a husband who is not threatened by Mr. Darcy. They live near Washington DC, where the inhabitants occasionally stop talking about politics long enough to complain about the traffic.

On weekdays Victoria is a writer who specializes in IT marketing (it’s more interesting than it sounds). She is a member of the Magical Austen authors group and is the host of the annual Jane Austen Fan Fiction Reader/Writer Get Together.

Book cover: Spells and Shadows - A Pride & Prejudice variation by Victoria Kincaid. Picture shows a young man and woman in Regency attire. They are in a creepy forest, with silhouettes of leafless trees. Both of them are holding what looks like a conjured ball of light
Buy Links

Spells and Shadows 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 to give away an ebook of Spells and Shadows to a commenter on this post. Please leave your comment by the end of the day worldwide on 4 August.

Note about comments:  If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :) 

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  1. Subterfuge, mages and undeclared love - Iy all sounds excellent and I look forward to reading it.

  2. Poor Elizabeth is obviously not her mother’s favourite as usual! Luckily Darcy seems to prefer her anyway. Mr Bennet doesn’t seem to be prepared to support her, not surprised I suppose. Thank you, Glynis.

  3. I'm looking forward to reading this new book by Victoria. Love her work and thanks for featuring here.

  4. I read this and now I'm binging Victoria's others in my library.

  5. I am really looking forward to reading this. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

  6. I love magic JAFF stories. I am SO looking forward to reading this. Thanks for sharing this excerpt. It was so gripping. I wish you all manner of success in the launch of this new work, Victoria. Thanks to Ceri for hosting and thanks to the publisher for the giveaway. Good luck to all in the drawing. Blessings.

  7. Definitely sound like one I'd love.

  8. Excited to read the full book! Rebecca

  9. Can’t wait to read the entire book. It’s fun to know that Darcy is interested in Lizzy already. Congrats, Victoria—sounds like another winner! Best, Luisa1111

  10. This one's already on the ready stack. Looking forward to it.

    Please do not enter me, Ceri!

  11. Excellent story, added it to my buy list ~ Glory


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