Tag Archive | The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth

Two Books Named to 2015 Best of Lists!


Wow!  What an end to 2015!  Pride and Proposals was named one of Austenesque Reviews 2015 Favorites.  I am so touched and honored.

The 2015 Austenesque Reviews End of the Year Summary and Awards!

If that was not enough, From Pemberley to Milton named The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth as one of the 2015 Top Ten!  Check out both lists for other great JAFF recommendations.  I’m honored to be in such august company!



Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to Ruth T., Monica P. and Tgruy for winning copies of The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth!  There was great geographic diversity: a winner each from the US, Mexico, and Canada.  Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and showed their support by voting for my book in the RONE awards.  Voting is over for that category, but my understanding is that winners won’t be announced until June.

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The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth is Nominated for a RONE Award!

The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth has been nominated for a RONE award through InD’tale magazine!  I’m excited and still recovering from the shock 🙂  It’s a wonderful honor and so unexpected.  Secrets is the only JAFF in the historical category, so I encourage everyone to vote for it.  http://indtale.com/2015-rone-awards-week-two

hapril2015 Indtale

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!


march2015 InDtale

Wonderful Review on Inaugural Page of Jane Austen Variations

The brand new Jane Austen Variations Facebook page chose my novel, The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, for their very first review!  In fact, she said my book inspired the whole endeavor.  I can’t say enough about how honored I am.  I encourage everyone who’s interested in JAFF to check out the page.  I’m sure it will be a great source of information in the future.



Inspiration from Austen Herself — Jane’s Writing Desk!

Hi Everyone.  Sorry for the long hiatus. Summer has been crushingly busy, but it included a wonderful trip to England — where I saw some truly inspirational Jane Austen sights I’ll be sharing here. This first picture is Jane Austen’s writing desk — on display at the British Library (actually the part of the British Museum that deals with documents). Above it is a first edition Pride and Prejudice.  Very exciting!


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!

Interview on My Jane Austen Book Club Site

Hi Everyone!  I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Maria Grazia on her My Jane Austen Book Club blog.  Below is the interview.  You can visit her site to see the interview and to enter a contest to win one of three copies of the book!

Jane Austen and the 21st century. She lives in book clubs, conversations, sequels and movie adaptations. Do you think she has traveled through the centuries unchanged?

I think how we view Jane Austen changes constantly because our culture is always in flux.  If you look at the 1940 version of P&P, it’s quite different from any Austen adaptation today because they were focused on different aspects of her work.  She’s enjoying a surge in popularity today because particular aspects of her writing are particularly appealing to our culture at this moment.  I guess I would say that Austen hasn’t changed, but how we see her changes quite a bit.

She’s loved and appreciated all over the world. Can different cultures find different messages in her work or is she actually so universal?

What makes Austen’s books great works of literature is that you can view them from many different angles and focus on diffferent layers of meaning and get different experiences from them.  I think only the very best literature allows for this multi-layered approach.  We tend to focus on Austen’s romanticism, but you could write multiple doctoral dissertations about her social satire or her subtle commentary on gender politics in the Regency time period.  And those are just a few examples.

So, that’s a long-winded way of saying that, yes, I think she’s universal.  I would imagine that readers in different cultures find her work appealing in different ways.

When did you decide to write a variation of Pride and Prejudice and why did you want to try yourself in such a challenging task?

It wasn’t actually a conscious decision!  I had read a wide variety of P&P variations – some of which are quite wonderful.  But I found myself thinking:  “What if…”  Before long I had a whole plot in my head and felt compelled to start putting it down in paper – or pixels, as it were.

What was the premise of your retelling? 

There was a brief moment of peace between France and England in 1803 – following the signing of the Treaty of Amiens.  During that time, hundreds of English citizens (who were huge fans of French fashion and French wine despite the war) flocked to Paris.  When the war broke out again, these travelers were desperate to escape the country. 

I thought it would be fascinating to put Elizabeth and Darcy among these English citizens. Austen doesn’t deal much with the war or politics, but I liked the idea of complicating their romance with these outside events – and taking them out of their comfort zones.  Darcy is used to being in charge of everything, but his wealth and position don’t mean much as a fugitive in France.

Traditionally, P&P variations have been set in 1813, the year the book was published, but Austen actually wrote the first draft long before 1800, so I didn’t think that changing the setting to 1803 was that big a stretch.

How much do your Elizabeth and your Darcy differ from the Austen models?

I tried very hard to stay close to the spirit of Austen’s characters.  I really dislike it when characters in variations behave in ways that I believe are totally out of character.  That said, I put Darcy and Elizabeth in some completely new situations, so it presents new challenges.  They spend a lot of time alone together since they’re escaping France in a two-person curricle.  And Elizabeth falls ill.  So these events force them into closer proximity than in the original P&P, and this compells them to examine their feelings.

At a ball you would gladly accept to dance – even twice –  with …

Darcy, of course.  He’s the only man I’d contemplate leaving my husband for. J  I’d also love to get to know Captain Wentworth or Colonel Brandon better – still waters run deep.

For which of the minor characters would you like to write a spin off ? Why?

That’s a tough question because I find Darcy and Elizabeth so compelling that it’s hard to imagine focusing on someone else.  But I could envision writing about Colonel Fitzwilliam or Georgiana.  A lot of the other minor characters would need a personality transplant before I could spend that much time with them. J

Let’s play Lost in Austen? Which of her novel would you like to end up in?

Definitely Pride and Prejudice!  It’s my favorite.  Although I would be thrilled to visit Persuasion or Sense and Sensibility – I even have a soft spot for Mansfield Park.

What would you miss the most if you could go back and live in the Regency? What would you be more excited about?

I think I would miss showers and deoderant!  And toothpaste.  But it would be wonderful to wear elegant dresses and attend dances.  I love to dance and that would be great fun.  And wouldn’t it be wonderful to go back in time and actually meet Jane Austen?

How would you present your The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth in about 50 words?

After his disastrous marriage proposal, Darcy unexpectedly encounters Elizabeth in Paris, but a declaration of war means English citizens are in danger, and Darcy must help Elizabeth escape France. When they return to England, they have secrets they must conceal—even from their own families.

What are you up next? Are you working on another Jane Austen – inspired writing project or something totally different?

I am currently writing another Pride and Prejudice variation.  I had such an overwhelmingly positive reader response to The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth and I learned so much from the experience that I’m very excited about releasing my next book! 



The Secret of Mr. Darcy’s Appeal

As I’ve been writing The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, it’s made me spend a lot of time thinking about the two main characters and their relationship.  Although I love Darcy as a character, I sometimes wonder what makes him so appealing to me–besides having been played by Colin Firth in the miniseries :).  After all, Darcy is condescending, rude, and distant for much of the book.  Why do I and so many other women like (or even love) the character?  I don’t pretend to have all the answers, because I think both P&P and its appeal to readers are complex and multi-layered.  So I think there are many facets to Darcy’s appeal.

However, I think one aspect of his appeal is that he admits he’s wrong and changes his behavior.  And he does so because he loves Elizabeth (also because it’s the right thing to do, but that’s not so romantic).  Since many female readers identify with Elizabeth, such devotion is likely to make them sigh.  I mean, admit it, how many time do you fantasize about the man in your life admitting he’s wrong and changing his behavior for your sake?  It’s almost as good as being willing to ask for directions!  Yes, I know Elizabeth admits she’s wrong and changes as well, but it feels to me that her alterations aren’t as big and it’s not as difficult for her to make them (she’s not as proud).  So, Darcy’s sacrifices for his love’s sake appear to be bigger — and therefore more romantic.  And I believe that is one reason so many women love him…..