Tag Archive | Austen variation

4.5 Star Review for Darcy vs. Bennet

Darcy vs. Bennet received 4.5 (out of 5) stars from the Jane Austen blog JustJane1813!  The post also features a giveaway of the book.

From the review:  “Once again, this was another book by Ms. Kincaid that I just couldn’t put down once I started reading it! Her plot was clever, her characters were great fun to spend time with and her dialogue is just as sharp and as engaging as ever….”

“For my JAFF reading pleasures, I love when there are lots of tender moments between Darcy and Elizabeth that are wrapped within a story that maintains a steady pace and a consistent amount of even-handed angst. Ms. Kincaid’s newest story provides all of this while giving us quite a few new twists and curves. I highly recommend this story for all JAFF readers who are looking for a book that will bring them all of the above while effortlessly sprinkled with some funny and light-hearted moments!”

“Darcy vs. Bennet,” By Victoria Kincaid/ A Review and A Giveaway

Blurb for New Book Pride and Proposals

Here is a draft of the blurb for my upcoming book, Pride and Proposals. It’s amazing how hard these things are to write given how short they are! I welcome any feedback about it.  Too much information about the plot?  Not enough?  Just right?  Thanks for your help!

What would happen if Mr. Darcy proposed…too late?

Everyone comes to a crossroads, a defining moment that changes the rest of one’s life. In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy has fallen devastatingly, irrevocably in love with Elizabeth Bennet. He visits Hunsford Parsonage intending to propose. But when he arrives…Darcy discovers that Elizabeth has just accepted a proposal from Darcy’s cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Darcy leaves England rather than watch the love of his life and his best friend prepare for a lifetime together. But he cannot stay away forever. He returns, determined to be the friend Elizabeth needs and vowing never to speak of what is in his heart.

Will Darcy find his happily ever after?

Lovely 4.5 Star Review from InD’tale Magazine!

Okay, so in August I was still recovering from having moved my family into a new house and completely missed (somehow) the fact that The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth got a lovely review and 4.5 Stars from InD’tale Magazine! The reviewer said it was “a must read for any Austen fan!” Squee!

http://indtale.com/reviews/historical/secrets-darcy-and-elizabeth

march2015 InDtale

What Should Authors Do With Reader Reviews?

There’s a lot of debate among authors about how much you should read your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads (although there’s a definite consensus that you shouldn’t respond to reviews).  Some authors say they never read their reviews and I can understand that.  It can drive you crazy if you feel like you have to satisfy every reader.  There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like your work.

At the other extreme, I have a friend (who writes in a different genre from me) who I think must have read every review ever written about her book.  She’s looked up other reviews of the people who gave her one star so she knows what other things they don’t like.  While I can totally understand that impulse (wouldn’t you want to discredit or at least discount someone who didn’t like your work?), I don’t think it’s a good idea to get that worried about reviews.  Like I said, someone will always dislike your work.  Does it matter who they are?  Plus, I simply don’t have that kind of time.  I’d rather be writing my next book.

That said, I’m not in the camp that says you should completely ignore reviews.  They are particularly useful when there is a consensus of opinion. In the reviews of my last book, a couple of comments cropped up in a number of reviews and I thought they had merit.  It’s not as if any book is perfect or any writer can’t improve his or her craft.  One of the ways you get better is to get feedback.  And readers are a great source of feedback.

I come from a playwriting background, which is pretty unusual in this business.  When you write plays, you have staged readings where you invite an audience to a reading of the play (in which the actors read from the script rather than have it memorized) and then ask for their feedback afterward.  Getting that feedback is very valuable.  It tells you when the pacing of the play is dragging, when you’re confusing the audience, or if they find a character unsympathetic.  Of course, you have to discount some of the audience comments you get — not everyone is going to like everything about your play.  Sometimes you say, “thank you for your comment,” and move on.  I know that if Shakespeare had a reading of Hamlet, there would be people telling him they didn’t like the main character because he was too indecisive or that they thought the language was too hard to understand.

Readers’ comments are similar.  They can help you figure out what really works about your book and when you’re confusing or (God forbid) boring your readers.  I’m grateful that my readers’ comments have been overwhelmingly positive.  I’m grateful that people are buying my book 🙂  Yeah, the negative comments bother me.  But just about everything helps me become a better writer.

What do you think?  I’m interested in other authors’ opinions as well as readers’.

A New Year Thank You to My Readers

In many ways 2014 was a difficult year.  My family moved.  My son has a mysterious digestive problem that has caused him to miss a lot of school.  My daughter started high school and encountered new difficulties caused by being a bright kid with a learning disability.

But 2014 was a great year too.  When I published The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, I had no idea what to expect. I considered it entirely possible I would sell 100 copies and no one would ever hear about it.  I wasn’t at all prepared for thousands of people buying the book and hundreds of good reviews. There are times I still can’t believe it :).

So 2014 was a great year because of my readers.  I am very grateful to everyone who bought, read, and reviewed my book. Thank you!

And I’m humbled and thrilled that I may have brought fellow readers the kind of pleasure other authors have given me.

I am hoping 2015 will be just as good (or even better!).  I am working hard to publish my next Austen variation, Pride and Proposals, as quickly as possible. And I’m germinating the ideas for the next story.  Stay tuned!

Fireworks-5thNov2011-Banbury

Some of My Favorite Things (in an Austen Variation)

As I write my next P&P variation, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I like in my Jane Austen variations – and, naturally, what I don’t like.

One of the things I look for in all my books is passion, emotion, true feelings. In life it might not be realistic to believe that two people must be together to be happy, but I love to see that premise in my novels. So, I look for these extremes of emotion in my Austen variations as well. If the characters aren’t feeling like this is one of the most important moments in their lives, why should I care?

However, in order to have extreme emotions (or an interesting plot), you need conflict; bad things need to happen to your protagonists. They can’t be happy – particularly at the beginning. I’ve read P&P sequels (taking place after the original book) in which Darcy and Elizabeth are happy most of the time. They have sex, they go to the beach, they laugh. I would love to be those people. I do not want to read about them. It’s boring.

Another thing I look for in my P&P variations is being true to the characters. I love to see variations which put the characters I recognize and love into new and interesting situations. That’s my idea of a great book – even if the situation is a bit farfetched.

Now, of course, my idea of true to the characters might not be someone else’s. I don’t mind me some sex scenes. I believe Darcy and Elizabeth would have a passionate relationship. I believe they might anticipate their marriage vows (there’s evidence lots of people did back then – particularly when engaged) under certain circumstances.

However, I can’t see Miss Bingley slipping into Darcy’s bed in the hopes of seducing or compromising him. She’s a harpy, but that’s not her style. She’s as interested in preserving her virtue and reputation as any other well-bred woman. I can’t picture Colonel Fitzwilliam becoming a letch who Darcy has to protect Elizabeth from. There’s nothing to suggest that interpretation of the character in the original text. I have a hard time imagining Jane becoming the protective head of the household after her father dies and defending a fragile Elizabeth. When did they both have a personality transplant? Mr. Collins may be a vain idiot, but would he become an evil villain? It doesn’t seem to be in his nature – plus he’s a dim bulb.

Now, maybe some readers can overlook these things. There are some improbabilities I don’t mind if they’re explained well. But for me this kind of radical reinterpretation of the characters makes it hard for me to stay in the world of the novel and enjoy it.

There are, of course, other things I like and don’t like about variations. But that’s enough for now. I’d love to hear others’ opinions. What are your favorite things about Austen variations?

Review on Warmisunqu’s Austen!

Another review — this one in Spanish!  But there’s a pull down on the top of the screen where you can have it translated into English.  Warmisunqu’s Austen gave The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth four stars!  (or four Jane Austen profiles in this case).  She also gave a nice review to the book’s cover.  Check it out!

Mi foto

Warmisunqu’s Austen

Third Week on Amazon Bestseller List!

For the third week in a row, The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth is holding steady in the top ten on Amazon’s Bestsellers in Regency Romance.  It’s also been consistently at the top of Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Regency Romance — currently at number 3!  To say I’m overwhelmed by this response would be an understatement.  It has been gratifying that so many readers have been enjoying the book.   And it has inspired and energized me to start writing my next P&P variation. 

Thank you to all my readers!

Review from Laughing with Lizzie Blog

Below is a lovely review from the very fun blog Laughing with Lizzie (which also includes a giveaway of three copies of my book):

Well this book was a lot of fun! This was another very far fetched variation, but I have found those are the ones I enjoy the most, and it was the same with this story. It was a very fast paced, adventure filled story and I really rather enjoyed it! (I was asked to review this by the lovely Victoria Kincaid and this is my honest opinion.)

We join the story at a familiar place, when Elizabeth runs into Darcy, accidentally, many months after she has read that ever so important letter – the only difference is that this doesn’t happen in the garden’s at Pemberley, but at a ball… in France! And here the similarity plot wise ends – although the outcome as a result of this accidental meeting is the same, there is an extremely different route to get to that outcome in this variation!

Right, first things first, let’s start with the writing style. On the whole, I thought it was very well written. The dialogue was great and the author was very good at description – particularly describing the inner feelings of both Darcy and Elizabeth throughout the story.

Lets get my small negative out the way; the little problem I had was with the americanisms I noticed (when I see a “couch” or a mention of the “fall” it does slightly irritate me – but not for long!) and there were a few editing issues and mistakes, but I know how hard it can be to catch them all, and as I got more and more drawn into the action filled story I found these little mistakes and typos didn’t distract from the story at all! And that is my only criticism!

The writing flowed well and I was easily wrapped up in the story. I enjoyed the fast pace to the book as it was never dull and never dragged! We had everything from near death experiences to almost imprisonment, from kidnappings to elopements (and that’s not just Lydia I am talking about here!)

So, onto the most important characters, Elizabeth and Darcy. As I mentioned above, the inner thoughts and feelings of these two were very well described throughout the story, and boy do these two go through a lot together! After meeting in France, things seem to be improving between the two, as we know it does, but then, most inconveniently, the Napoleonic War starts up again! (A little aside here – the bits of historical detail about the war I found very intriguing to read about.)

Things don’t go smoothly for these two as they try to escape France, English visitors no longer being welcome! I found it really interesting to see how these to react to each other in the face of danger and in such unusual circumstances! As you can imagine, rules of property and proper manners all have to go out the window as the only thing which matters is escaping France, alive. The relationship between them really builds through this time and you really see a different side to Darcy as he is doing all he can to protect Elizabeth and get her safely back to England.

During their trouble filled escape attempt Elizabeth falls terribly ill and so doctor Darcy jumps into action! He was such a sweetheart while she was poorly, caring for her and doing all he possibly could for he. You really had to feel sorry for him as you could really tell how stricken with worry he was. Things had started to look better between him and Elizabeth and he had been given a second chance, but now it seems she to be taken from him forever! *pause for dramatic effect*

Ok *(slight) SPOILER ALERT* I never like to give away any spoilers but for what I want to say, I need to carry on past this point as it happens relatively early on in the plot! (And finding out will not ruin the story for you in my opinion – I think it would make you want to read it even more!) Anyway, you have been warned!

I don’t think it would come as a surprise to know that although it gets rather close, of course Elizabeth pulls it back – well she couldn’t die now could she! After this near death experience, Elizabeth sees her life in a new perspective and for various reasons of both a romantic and practical nature (of which I shall let you read for yourself!) Darcy and Elizabeth end up marrying before they leave France – how you wonder? A quick explanation… the house Darcy takes the ailing Elizabeth to is of an old school friend who moved to France and who just happens to be a clergyman! (You can’t deny that marrying in France without anyone knowing has its advantages – no Mrs Bennet or Lady Catherine to contend with!)

Eventually the now married couple escape from France, and this is where the matter of their marriage becomes rather interesting to the story and events which take place, but also difficult at times and often amusing at others! As I said, this is a very fast moving story which is full of drama and many problems! What was really different and nice to see was that because they had married in France, all the problems they face upon returning home – Lydia’s elopement, family problems for Darcy etc – they face together, as a married couple. It is a real test for their relationship and marriage, but it also shows the strength of attachment between the two of them. It was lovely to see them being so much more open with each other during all these problems – well, they were married after all.

More and more problems arise which result in more and more delays before they can announce their marriage. Now aside from physical problems to test their marriage thanks to their ‘friends’ and relations, they also face emotional struggles; they are a newly married couple, passionately in love, after all, who had a very unusual courtship where none of the usual restraints between men and woman applied, and now they have to revert back to acting as mere acquaintances when really they know each other much more intimately! I really felt for them, trying to steal private moments together when no one was looking! Or they thought no one was looking; a few people had to be let in on their secret if they weren’t to accuse Darcy of some rather scandalous and ungentlemanly behaviour towards Elizabeth! Of course, a happy ending is eventually reached and the secret can be revealed, meaning they can finally live and act as the married couple that they are, and have been for many months!

Darcy and Elizabeth really go through a lot, and the moments of intimacy and romance between the two are very sweet and highly romantic (while the story remains clean.) I enjoyed these parts of the book and it was nice for them to reach an understanding and marry so much earlier in the book, as it meant that rather than the ups and downs and problems in the story keeping them from marrying (as is the case in many variations), the problems merely kept them from announcing their marriage. It was an interesting and enjoyable change.

I mustn’t forget all the other characters, but this review will never end if I talk of them all so I shall pick my favourites!

We get to see more of Colonel Fitzwilliam (who is just as teasing, but caring, of Darcy as we would expect!) which I always love and we also get to know Georgiana more which is always nice, especially when we see her relationship with her new sister Elizabeth grow, even though she doesn’t know she’s got a new sister!

I felt sorry for Mr Bennet who had a lot to deal with through this story, and it was interesting to see his feelings more and the pain caused by Lydia’s elopement. Hearing of his favourite daughters very dangerous – and unchaperoned – escape from France with Darcy doesn’t help matters for the poor man either!

Lord and Lady Matlock come into the story which was nice as it is always interesting to see more of Darcy’s family – although due to certain circumstances they add to the delay and continued concealment of the marriage between Darcy and Elizabeth. As does Lady Catherine, surprise surprise. The famous confrontation between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth was fun to read as Darcy is also present when it takes place in this story! Lady Catherine goes to extraordinary lengths to cause the couple problems – I think you would be surprised at how far! You see a different and determined side to Lady Catherine – but I shall say no more on this matter!

Fear not, the scoundrel Wickham still makes his appearance and causes his own problems for poor Darcy and Elizabeth, and not just because of his actions with Lydia. But again, you must read it yourself to see what other mischief he gets up to!

And good old Caroline pops up every now and then and causes great amusement. I suppose you could pity her a little as she continually flirts with and flatters Darcy – shame she doesn’t know he’s married! She even warns Elizabeth that even though Darcy seems to be paying Elizabeth special attention to not to get her hopes up for he would never marry her – too bad Caroline, for he already has! Seeing Elizabeth hold her own against these attacks was great.

And finally, thanks to two new characters, we get to see a jealous side to Darcy! Responsible for this is, first, a dashing Lord Lennox who rather takes a fancy to Lizzy in France, and secondly, a Mr Fenton – or as I like to call him, Mr Collins mark 2! Mr Fenton really was such a comedy character. He needs to marry. Jane is almost taken, or so Mrs Bennet believes due to Bingley’s recent return to Netherfield, and so Elizabeth it is. If possible, his proposal of marriage is even worse than Mr Collins was! And just like Mr Collins, Mr Fenton will not take no for an answer – it would have silenced him, I should think, had Lizzy been able to refuse him due to the rather problematic fact that she was already married and would not become a bigamist!

I will wrap things up here, but one last thing… Let me assure you that although the story is full of drama and can be quite serious, it is not without it’s humour thanks to characters such as Caroline and this Mr Fenton. I laughed many times while I was reading this!

If you like a fast moving story, full to the brim of drama and adventure, with some brilliant humour and beautiful romance thrown in then this is the story for you!