Tag Archive | Pride and Prejudice

Wow! Awesome Review from Margie’s Must Reads

Margie’s Must Reads writes, I adored it! There was so much to love! I loved the original quotes for Pride and Prejudice sprinkled in, I loved the characters and how their modern counterparts were very similar to their classic siblings but still had a way of being original…..”

“I really did not want it to end! It was not long enough!! I didn’t have enough time with Mr. President!! There were so many laughs and I even cried in a few places!! This book was just want I needed, a perfect remedy for my political woes right now. Why can’t we live in a world with President Fitzwilliam Darcy?!?!”

Check out the review and excerpt and giveaway!  Also,  you can find out which world leader Margie was fantasizing about when she was reading the book.  Although, here’s a hint….

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Darcy’s Honor 4.5 Star Review, Giveaway, and Excerpt!

I’m  a guest at JustJane1813, where she gave my new novel, Darcy’s Honor, a 4.5 star review.  There’s also an excerpt from the novel and a giveaway.  In her review, Claudine writes,

“I also loved the camaraderie that was developed between Darcy and Elizabeth because it was built upon the slow, but steady development of trust and respect between them as their relationship evolved throughout the story. I felt that their collaborative efforts in this story mirrored, in many aspects, the ways that their relationship was crafted in The Secrets Between Darcy and Elizabeth, which was the book that started my love for Ms. Kincaid’s writing. Ms. Kincaid’s characterizations of Darcy and Elizabeth were spot-on and a true delight to read. I love her version of a besotted Darcy, especially when he tries to take charge of a situation for Elizabeth’s sake, as well as a strong-willed Elizabeth, who is determined to take charge of her own life, even when that path isn’t the easier one.

Ultimately, it is the liveliness of Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s minds, along with some help from a couple of unanticipated allies, that helps to save the day for our dear couple. Ms. Kincaid’s fluid and engrossing writing style make their journey an absolute pleasure for her readers to experience!”

http://justjane1813.com/2017/04/14/darcys-honor-by-victoria-kincaid-a-review-an-excerpt-readers-choice-giveaway/

Darcy’s Honor in Paperback and Excerpt

Darcy’s Honor is available in paperback at Amazon!  Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Darcys-Honor-Pride-Prejudice-Variation/dp/0997553065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1492189671&sr=8-2&keywords=darcy%27s+honor

Below is an excerpt from Darcy’s Honor in which Darcy helps Elizabeth down from the back of a horse after encountering her on a road near Longbourn:

She clambered awkwardly down from the saddle and stood on unsteady legs as she smoothed her skirts around her ankles. Her whole body shook. “Are you unharmed, Miss Bennet?” he inquired, running his eyes up and down her form.

She gave a shaky laugh, and Darcy could not help admiring her fortitude. Many women of his acquaintance would have swooned after such an episode. “Yes, I thank you for your timely intervention. I believe the only damage is to my dignity. I assure you that I do not customarily ride a horse like a sack of potatoes.”

Darcy blinked. “Undignified” was not one of the adjectives he had thought to apply to the sight of Elizabeth on the back of a horse, particularly not with so much leg revealed. “Of course. I would imagine you are a far superior rider with a proper sidesaddle.”

She brushed errant strands of hair from her face. “You are very kind to make such an assumption given the display you just witnessed.”

How odd to be discussing Elizabeth’s horsemanship when something was so obviously wrong. How had she acquired a horse, and why was she riding at such speeds?

“On the contrary,” Darcy returned. “It requires great skill to remain atop a strange horse under such circumstances. I am quite impressed.”

She regarded him with narrowed eyes for a moment, as if assessing his sincerity. Finally, she said, “I thank you for the compliment, sir.”

Would she think him impertinent to inquire about the circumstances of her ride? But surely the unusual situation cried out for some kind of explanation. “You were in quite a hurry. Is there an emergency?” he asked.

She glanced over her shoulder at the road behind her. “No, I do not believe so.”

This ambiguous response left Darcy at something of a loss. Why had she ridden so fast if there was no urgency? And why did she watch the road so intently? Finally, he settled on a different but not unrelated line of inquiry. “I did note that you departed the church on foot.”

He had meant his words as a light-hearted jest but cursed himself for a fool when he saw the blood drain from Elizabeth’s face. He cleared his throat. “Does, er, the Longbourn stable boast such a creature?” he asked, knowing full well she had not had sufficient time to reach her home.

“No…” Her face was now quite red. “I…er…that is, I—”

“Borrowed the mount?” he inquired as though a simple explanation would work. He reached out and took her gloved hand in his. “Please be assured, Miss Bennet, I only wish to help.”

Her eyes widened as if she had not expected such an offer from him, although he could not imagine why. But he was then rewarded with a small smile and a slight loosening of the tension in her shoulders. She let out a long breath. “No, indeed. The horse actually is the property of”—she cleared her throat —“Viscount Billington.”

“Billington!” Darcy echoed in surprise, releasing her hand. That was the last name he expected to hear. “He lent you his mount?” Was Darcy wrong in assuming she wished to have no connection with the man?

“He did not precisely loan it to me—” She covered her mouth with her hand. “Although I am quite concerned he could label me a horse thief. I must be sure the beast is returned to him.” She pressed her lips together into a white line. “Perhaps I should not have— Oh, what a terrible tangle I have created!”

Suddenly, the various oddly shaped pieces of the puzzle fell into place. He took a step closer to her. “Billington accosted you on the road?” His voice was a low growl.

She nodded miserably but lifted her chin and met his gaze. “The horse was the only way to escape.”

To Darcy’s own surprise, he began to laugh. “Serves him right! You should keep the animal.”

Elizabeth’s eyes were wide, and her mouth hung open. Darcy could only imagine the expression on Lord Henry’s face when Elizabeth jumped into his horse’s saddle. Darcy laughed even harder.

Her brows drew together. “Did you, perhaps, help Mr. Lehigh finish off the communion wine?”

Thinking of the vicar sobered Darcy, and he shook his head. “Miss Bennet, to be clear, I believe you should be commended. A lady should always have a horse at hand when encountering such a man,” Darcy said.

Cover Reveal for New Novel: Darcy’s Honor

Here’s the cover for my upcoming novel, Darcy’s Honor, which is available for pre-order on Amazon and Smashwords (and soon at BN.com, Kobo, and Apple).  It should be out on April 13 on Amazon and a little later elsewhere.

Also, there’s a cover reveal and giveaway at JustJane1813! http://justjane1813.com/2017/04/05/darcys-honor-by-victoria-kincaid-a-cover-reveal-giveaway/?replytocom=12628#respond

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Where is the Justice in Austen?

This is a recent blog of mine published on Austen Authors.  Enjoy!  I’d love to hear your opinions as well.

wickham-wedding

Readers often comment on the fact that in Pride and Prejudice there is no comeuppance or cosmic justice for the “bad” characters.  Although Wickham is shackled to Lydia and is forced into a new job, he gets off very easily for someone who has behaved so despicably.  Other characters who are deeply flawed end up no worse by the end of the book.  Collins will still inherit Longbourn, and he gets a wife who is far better than he deserves.  Miss Bingley and Lady Catherine continue on their merry ways, protected by their wealth and status.

Indeed, one of the fun things about Jane Austen Fan Fiction is that we can imagine some kind of justice for these characters in the form of imprisonment, death, or simple humiliation.   They are so flawed that their comeuppance can serve as a great source of humor as well as providing the satisfaction of having the wicked punished.  I have written such scenes; they are great fun and very emotionally satisfying.

Yet, even when I write them, I am aware that in some ways such scenes are not in keeping with Austen’s original intent.  She clearly intends that the bad/flawed characters should not suffer an evil end.  It would be easy enough for her to serve up some kind of cosmic justice to them.  However, it is enough for her that good characters have loving marriages and find secure places for themselves.  This is true in all her novels.  Fanny Dashwood gets to live off her ill-gotten gains.  Willoughby gets lots of money.  Lucy Stone gets the rich guy.  There is no justice meted out to Fanny Price’s relatives or Anne Elliott’s.

In some ways it is unsatisfying.  Don’t you want someone to take Lady Catherine down a peg?  Or tell Collins what a fool he is?  But in other ways, it feels exactly right.  It certainly makes Austen’s stories more true to life.  Haven’t you ever met someone who doesn’t deserve the good fortune they enjoy?  We struggle to earn a living while someone who is shallow or downright nasty glides along on inherited wealth—or is just in the right place at the right time.  Or you meet a couple where you think, “he/she doesn’t deserve a spouse like that.”  I believe, one of the reasons we don’t mind the absence of the kind of emotionally satisfying closure you get with other books is because it does feel familiar to us.

They also feel true to us in the way that the flawed characters cause trouble for the “good” ones.   Some of her characters do scheme and deceive for the sake of their own ends.  But in general, the wrongs they cause are a result of carelessness.  Wickham ruins Lydia’s reputation because he’s fleeing creditors and wants some company on the road, not because of some evil master plot.  And doesn’t that feel true to life?  Haven’t you had a friend who was in a bad relationship with a guy who was just careless of her feelings—without any evil intent?   They can cause just as much, if not more, damage as someone who actually intends harm.

Certainly characters like Lady Catherine or Collins or Miss Bingley or even Mrs. Bennet don’t rise to the Lord Voldemort—or even the Snidely Whiplash— level.  Their biggest flaws tend to be excessive self-regard and lack of sympathy for others.  Again, the wrongs they cause are mostly through carelessness (or in Collins’s case, excessive stupidity).  Doesn’t that feel familiar?  How often do friends and family cause deep wounds without intending to?  You experience the pain while also understanding that it stems from the other person’s own flaws rather than malice.  Austen’s characters remind us of people we know, albeit often exaggerated versions.

Ultimately, what sets the “good” characters apart from the “bad” ones is greater self-awareness—which is its own reward.  All of Austen’s heroines don’t end up wealthy, although they all have secure homes.  But they all benefit from an understanding of themselves, sympathy for those around them, and awareness of their own flaws.  In fact, becoming aware of one’s flaws is part of the plot of many of Austen’s books.  The reward for that journey of self-exploration is the ability to form a truly loving relationship with another person.  And that, Austen demonstrates, is what the flawed characters miss out on.

 

The Secret of Mr. Darcy’s Enduring Appeal

I wrote this blog recently for the Austen Authors website.  Please share your ideas about what you think makes Darcy so appealing!

If you’re like me, since early childhood you have been exposed to a wide variety of romantic heroes:  fairy tale princes, billionaires, superheroes, spies, cops, bad boys, vampires…the list goes on and on.  But yet somehow Mr. Darcy always stands apart.  He isn’t Prince Charming or James Bond or Superman or Edward Cullen, yet Darcy somehow manages to feel more real and more romantic than his fictional counterparts.  Austen herself wrote some great romantic heroes, but Darcy is somehow different.  Why is that? What is his enduring appeal?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  Any fictional character with such a powerful grip on our collective imagination is bound to be a complex and multi-faceted cultural phenomenon.  But I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Darcy’s appeal as I’ve written stories about him, and I’ve identified some salient traits. While these characteristics are not necessarily completely unique to Darcy, they do set him apart from the majority of other romantic heroes.

  1. He is steadfast. She turns him down, but he still holds out hope for gaining her love.
  2. He is willing to overlook her family. Yeah, it takes him a while to get there, but he must love her an awful lot to put up with Mrs. Bennet, Lydia and Wickham. Talk about difficult in-laws…
  3. He likes her intelligence. This is a biggie.  He does think she has fine eyes, but what he really likes is her wit, cleverness, lively conversation.  Wouldn’t every woman like to be appreciated for her brain?
  4. He values her backbone. One of the first things he notices about her is that she stands up to him.  I always assume most women treat him like Miss Bingley, fawning over him and agreeing with everything he says. Darcy likes Elizabeth because she’s her own person.
  5. He defends her to other people. Isn’t this a female fantasy?  A guy who will tell other people (including catty women) you’re beautiful and smart when they’re criticizing you.
  6. He fixes problems for her. Yeah she generally takes care of her own issues, but she can’t fix the Lydia/Wickham fiasco. He wades into the scandal for her sake, and doesn’t even want to take credit for it.
  7. He’s played by Colin Firth (and that other guy who’s kind of cute too).

However, in my opinion #8 is the biggest single contributor to his enduring appeal:  Darcy is willing to change his behavior for Elizabeth’s sake.

Let me say it a different way:  He admits he was wrong and tries to be a better person so he can deserve her. 

He essentially starts as a selfish character (at least in the way he views love and marriage) and evolves into one whose primary consideration is the happiness of the woman he loves.  Who wouldn’t love that guy?

I don’t know about you, but this is a bigger fantasy for me than a guy who can play baccarat smoothly or defend me from gangsters (not just because those other situations don’t arise very often).  No matter how much you love your significant other, there are always ways you wish he or she could change to make your life easier.  But Darcy’s kind of change is a bit of a fantasy.  Real life is far more messy.  If your beloved does change his/her behavior for you, it tends to be with far more strife, more gradually, and over a longer period of time.  In other words, changing one’s behavior (at least the behavior that springs from one’s intrinsic nature and beliefs) is a long, painful process.

But in Pride and Prejudice, this rich, powerful, handsome man who could wed just about any woman, changes his behavior because he wants Elizabeth Bennet.  (Sigh. Swoon.) His willingness to change is a testament both to Elizabeth’s worth and to the power of love—which is part of the appeal of Pride and Prejudice itself.

4.5 Star Review for A Very Darcy Christmas!

Claudine at JustJane1813.com  gave A Very Darcy Christmas 4.5 stars, writing a very insightful review:

“It’s a challenge to write JAFF that has a more humorous than serious bent without losing some credibility, but Victoria Kincaid handles this challenge with her uncanny ability to combine Austen’s storyline and characters with a variety of different forms of humor so that her jokes stayed funny throughout the story, while at the same time, the characters felt true to their original personalities. Mrs. Kincaid is also an author who has a knack for moving a story along without getting caught up in descriptive language or other superfluous details that could slow down the pacing of her story, and in “A Very Darcy Christmas,” she demonstrates this skill throughout her story.”

You can check out the review, read an excerpt, and enter a giveaway for a free copy of the book at https://justjane1813.com/2016/12/04/a-very-darcy-christmas-by-victoria-kincaid-a-review-an-excerpt-a-readers-choice-giveaway/