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Monday, 25 May 2015

Pride & Proposals by Victoria Kincaid - Guest Post and Giveaway

Today I am welcoming Victoria Kincaid to my blog with a guest post. She has also provided me with an excerpt of her new book, 'Pride & Proposals' for you to enjoy, and as if that wasn't enough, she is kindly offering an international giveaway!

Here's the blurb:

Book Cover: Pride and Proposals by Victoria Kincaid
What if Mr. Darcy’s proposal was too late?

Darcy has been bewitched by Elizabeth Bennet since he met her in Hertfordshire.  He can no longer fight this overwhelming attraction and must admit he is hopelessly in love. 

During Elizabeth’s visit to Kent she has been forced to endure the company of the difficult and disapproving Mr. Darcy, but she has enjoyed making the acquaintance of his affable cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam.  

Finally resolved, Darcy arrives at Hunsford Parsonage prepared to propose—only to discover that Elizabeth has just accepted a proposal from the Colonel, Darcy’s dearest friend in the world.  
As he watches the couple prepare for a lifetime together, Darcy vows never to speak of what is in his heart.  Elizabeth has reason to dislike Darcy, but finds that he haunts her thoughts and stirs her emotions in strange ways.   

Can Darcy and Elizabeth find their happily ever after?

By the author of The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, an Amazon Regency Romance Bestseller.

Read on for Victoria's guest post about how she came to write Austenesque fiction, and details of a giveaway...

* * * * *
I didn’t set out to become a Jane Austen fan fiction author.  I’m sure many writers would say that, but I think my path into the genre is particularly unique (or backward).  I have never written for JAFF websites and didn’t start with short stories.  I just plunged in with publishing my first novel, The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth. 

My background is in playwriting (I’m also a professional writer/editor of marketing materials, but that’s a different blog).  I’ve written award-winning plays and I teach playwriting, but playwriting is a discouraging business.  There are few theaters with the money or courage to produce new works, so my plays would literally be competing against Shakespeare or Ibsen or Mamet for a slot in some theater’s season.  How would you like those odds?  Nowadays you can produce a new book by yourself for a couple hundred bucks.  A play takes the cooperation of many people, a lot of time, and thousands of dollars.  

Several years ago I was a new mom without the time or energy to write new plays let alone do the marketing required to get theaters interested in producing them.  While I was nursing my son I would watch movies, including some of my favorite Jane Austen adaptations.  I became curious about sequels to Pride and Prejudice, so I took a few out from the library.  Loved them and bought some more from Amazon.  Loved them.  Bought more….  

After a while I started having plot ideas for my own Jane Austen variations.  It took a long time for me to commit the first one to paper.  Although I have tons of writing experience, novel writing required developing some different skills than playwriting.  My first drafts were very heavy on dialogue and light on description and narrative since plays require that you provide almost all exposition, plot, character, etc. through dialogue.  

After I grew used to it and took classes to hone my fiction skills, I really enjoyed the freedom offered by the description and narrative in novels.  Plays are necessarily limited in terms of number of characters, length of time, and what you can show on stage.  In novels, just about anything can happen.  Someday I might even write Darcy and Elizabeth Go to Mars. :)

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Excerpt - Chapter Three

If someone wished to devise a personal hell specifically for him, Darcy mused, they could not possibly create a better one.  He stood at the foot of the stairs to Colonel Fitzwilliam’s new London townhouse. 

It was not as grand as Darcy House and the neighborhood was not quite as fashionable, but it was certainly elegant and spacious enough for a second son who, until three weeks ago, had no expectations of aspiring to any accommodations beyond a set of rooms to let.  

Darcy regarded the house’s impressive neo-Classical fa├žade.  He had been anticipating this day with all the joy most people might give a raging fever.  Now that he had arrived, somehow his legs had turned to lead and would not obey his instructions to climb the stairs.  

Even a simple glance at the townhouse caused dread to curl into a tight knot in his stomach.  How would he survive the evening with his dignity intact?  No, that was beyond hope.  How would he survive the evening at all?  

His eyes closed briefly, blocking the view of the offending structure.  Darcy had quit Rosings the morning after Fitzwilliam’s awful announcement.  Fortunately, Darcy’s plans had already been fixed, so no one thought his swift departure odd, and Richard apparently perceived no strangeness in Darcy’s manner.  Perhaps he should consider a career on the stage. 

Richard’s letters had described how he had traveled to Hertfordshire, easily securing Mr. Bennet’s consent to the marriage, and then returned to Hunsford where he escorted Elizabeth to her uncle’s house in London.  In the intervening weeks, Richard had sold his commission and visited his estate, attending to all the urgent matters involved in taking immediate possession.  Meanwhile, Elizabeth and her aunt made preparations for a wedding scheduled for some three months hence.  

Darcy had tortured himself by quite thoroughly perusing each of Richard’s letters, absorbing every detail of his cousin’s felicity with Elizabeth.  Bizarrely, he almost preferred to hear news of her—even when it concerned her betrothal to another man—than to know nothing of her life, a true sign of how pathetic his obsession had become.  

He had tried—oh, how he had tried!—to resume his former indifference toward Elizabeth.  However, now he had confessed his feelings to himself, the genie refused to return into the lamp.  In a moment of honesty, during one of many nights spent staring at his ceiling, Darcy admitted to himself that he had never been truly indifferent to Elizabeth.  When he had thought himself indifferent, he had only been fooling himself.  

Darcy could only count one slim success in his favor over the past weeks.  Since returning from Hunsford, he had adroitly avoided both Richard and Elizabeth.  

Until today.  

Richard was hosting a dinner so his family could be better acquainted with Elizabeth’s.  Darcy could not escape the invitation.  

He had considered inventing urgent business at Pemberley.  Or a sudden illness.  Despite Darcy’s abhorrence of disguise, these thoughts held alarming appeal, but finally, he had conceded the necessity of facing the happy couple eventually.  Prolonging the inevitable smacked of cowardice—and he had faults enough without adding to them.  

Darcy opened his eyes.  He might as well be a French nobleman facing the guillotine.  Perhaps cowardice had something to recommend it.  

His stomach churned sickeningly, and his hands were wet with perspiration inside his gloves.  But there was nothing for it.  He must go.  He willed his feet to climb the steps, one at a time, until he reached the porch, having failed to be struck down by a conveniently timed meteor.  

His knock was answered almost immediately by a smartly dressed footman who took Darcy’s coat and ushered him into Richard’s study.  Darcy saw no sign of other guests.  

Richard glanced up with a smile when Darcy entered.  He was seated behind a massive oaken desk, every inch the industrious landowner.  “Darcy, good to see you!”  He maneuvered around the desk to shake Darcy’s hand and gestured toward to a couple of elegant chairs near the fireplace.  “Brandy?” Richard asked.  Darcy nodded; spirits could only help him survive the night.

Richard poured two glasses from a crystal decanter and handed one to Darcy before taking his seat.  “I am pleased you have the opportunity to see the house,” Richard remarked.

Was that a subtle suggestion that Darcy might have visited sooner?  Well, Darcy supposed he would have visited more than once by now were it not for his cousin’s engagement.  “It is an elegant residence,” Darcy said.  “I hope you are pleased with it.”

“Oh, quite,” Fitzwilliam said.  “It is nothing to Darcy House, of course, but far superior to my set of apartments.”

“Indeed.”  Darcy admired the room’s large marble fireplace, happy to have a neutral topic of conversation.  

“The furnishings are a bit out of fashion, but Elizabeth will have the opportunity to redecorate as she wishes.”  Ah, so much for neutrality. Darcy suppressed his flinch at the mention of her name but finished his brandy in one gulp.  “Where are the other guests?”

“I invited you here early.  I wished to speak with you privately.” 

“Oh?”  Without waiting for Richard’s assistance, Darcy rose and visited the sideboard to refill his brandy glass. 

“About Elizabeth.”   

Darcy froze in place.  Could his cousin suspect something?  He willed himself to act normally, but his hand shook, and he spilled a small puddle of brandy, cursing under his breath.   

Richard peered over.  “Never mind.  The servants will clean.”

Having poured a generous amount of brandy on his second attempt, Darcy gulped, hoping to calm the coil of anxiety in his stomach.  He sank back into his seat, regarding his cousin warily.  

Richard was rubbing his hands together, gazing absentmindedly at the window.  Darcy believed he had been successful in concealing his feelings for Elizabeth, but Richard knew him better than anyone. 

Perhaps he had guessed.  

Darcy stared into the fire.  He could do nothing but admit the truth.  There was nothing he could say in his own defense, even though such an admission might irreparably damage his friendship with Richard irreparably.  Damn!  How had they come to this pass?  He valued Richard’s friendship above all others.

Finally, Richard sighed heavily. “Elizabeth believes you do not like her.”

* * * * *
Oh poor Mr Darcy! I am assured that there is a happy ending, which is one of my requirements, so I've added it to my to be read list!

If you'd like to find out more about Victoria you can visit her website, Goodreads author page, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

'Pride & Proposals' is already out, and you can buy it in ebook or paperback, on Amazon (US), Barnes & Noble (US)Amazon (UK) and very likely lots of other places too!

Giveaway time!

Knowing how much we all love a giveaway Victoria has very kindly offered to give away two copies of 'Pride & Proposals', one paperback and one ebook. If you'd like to enter the giveaway, just comment below, making sure you leave a way for me to contact you should you be one of the lucky winners. I will draw the paperback winner first and then the ebook winner. If you'd only like to enter the draw for one format then please say so in your comment. The giveaway is open to international entrants, and entries will be accepted until the closing date of Tuesday 2 June 2015 - Please note this giveaway is now closed.

37 comments:

  1. I just want to know how all these mess is sorted without the poor Colonel being upset

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

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    1. No spoilers here:) Good luck with the giveaway!

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    2. Hi Vesper, the Colonel's happiness is what makes me worry about this scenario too; I'm very fond of him!

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  2. That's what I was thinking, too, Vesper - is the Colonel truly in love with Elizabeth, and how will Darcy win her without the Colonel being heartbroken or killed off or abducted by aliens or something?!

    @jaffobsession

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    1. No aliens in the book, I promise!

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    2. Hi Monica, that is the angsty thing about this premise isn't it! Eeeeek!

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  3. I loved the excerpt and want to read this
    very soon. I especially appreciate the "human-ness" of Darcy in this scene! Thank you for the giveaway. I'd like to enter for the PB. ladysusan46(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you for your kind words about the excerpt! Good luck with the giveaway!

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    2. I thought his feelings were really well-drawn too, poor thing! Thanks for your comment :)

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  4. I read this as soon as it came out - excellent. Don't miss this MUST READ. Don't include me in drawing for a kindle copy - but I would take a paperback copy if I am so lucky

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    1. Sheila, Thank you for your great review on Amazon! Good luck with the PB giveaway!

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    2. You're so very welcome - well deserved.

      My contact info is odara7rox(at)rcn(dot)com

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    3. Hi Sheila, thanks for commenting. I am glad to know that you enjoyed it so much. Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  5. I would love to read this set. I hope to either win one copy in either format or to get some extra cash to buy it...

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    1. If I had the money and the storage space I'd get everything in both physical copy and ebook. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  6. Ooh, a torture teaser! Haha!

    It was fun learning how Victoria came to being a writer. That is sad about trying to compete in the playwriting industry. I hadn't given it much thought, but yes, our local playhouses usually stick to tried and true though the universities will get up plays by new writers some times.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Sophia, I found the guest post really interesting too. I'd never considered that aspect of playwriting. Thanks for commenting.

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  7. Thanks for the great post and the lovely story! Please don't enter me in the giveaway, I've already got it. Just popping by to say how much I've enjoyed it and good luck with the launch!

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    1. Thank you, Joana! Glad you enjoyed it :)

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  8. Colonel Fitzwilliam is one of my favorite characters, but pairing with Elizabeth? .... This will be a must read for me. I just have to know how this turns out. Thank you for the giveaway. Cherringtonmb at sbcglobal dot net

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    1. I just hope it doesn't break my angst-meter, Becky, I'm a bit of a wimp! Thanks for commenting :)

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  9. Just the summary has me feeling anxious - I'm anticipating a high level of angst while reading this! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity :)

    brendapwood at gmail dot com

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    1. Me too, Brenda! It's an angsty premise. Hope you enjoy it when you get to read it.

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  10. What a cruel ending for us readers! I can't wait to read it, just to read the very next paragraph! As for Darcy, I can imagine that internally, he's stifling an incredulous but pained guffaw. "Dislike her?! Farthest thing from the truth!" he mentally protests, but then has to be calm and rational for the Colonel and convince him that he likes her just fine. How miserable for him.

    I would like to be entered into the drawing; thank you. I have no preference for which form. GinnaSaisQuoi at verizon dot net

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    1. Yes, feeling too much for your close friend's intended is always bad news, whether it's too much positive or negative feeling! Poor Darcy, and poor Colonel Fitzwilliam too!

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  11. Love the excerpt! What a questions to propose to Darcy and completely different are his feelings for her... Can't wait to read the novel! Thanks for the giveaway! My email address is tdungnvu (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Thanks for commenting Dung, and good luck in the giveaway :)

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  12. Gah...poor Colonel...or..poor Darcy...or poor both of them :D :S.
    What a storyline! I´d love to be entered the giveaway please - I´d be happy with either format!

    kewinkler at gmail dot com

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    1. I know, so stressful! Thanks for commenting Katrin!

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  13. While I adore angst, I have a feeling this one is going to test even me! I can't wait to read it and learn what happens. And that everyone ends up happy - I hope! It was interesting hearing Victoria's story. I always wonder how others discovered JAFF.

    gailwarner at verizon dot net

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    1. I love to hear how people came to read and write the genres they do too. It's always interesting to see how somebody else started down the path where they ended up meeting you!

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  14. Wow! This books sounds so captivating!! I love Colonel Fitzwilliam, and to think that he's going to get the girl... hmm... don't give up Darcy!! Thanks for the chance to win a copy! :)

    newyorkgirl82(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. He can't get the girl, he mustn't! Poor Colonel!

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  15. What a tantalizing excerpt. I can't wait to read the book. Poor Darcy. The ebook is on my very long TBR. I would enjoy having the paperback sitting on my shelf. Thank you for the generous give away. skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks for commenting Debbie, and good luck in the giveaway

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  16. I LOVED this story. 100% loved it. And, I wanted to throw it down and stomp on it and/or pull my hair out too. Victoria! Victoria! Victoria! I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve for us next. This is definitely one I will reread and reread and reread.

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    1. Wow, that is high praise, Joy! I hope to read this book soon, if I am brave enough, and I hope I enjoy it as much as you did:)

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