Saturday, November 23, 2013

Interview with Lynne Scott, Author of Mr. Hurst's Ambition

I'm pleased to have Lynne Scott visiting my blog today to talk about her book, Mr. Hurst's Ambition


Violet Bedford: You’ve written several screenplays and novels that are all contemporary. What made you decide to write a Pride and Prejudice spin off ? 

Lynne Scott: It certainly wasn’t planned, that’s for sure.   Most of the contemporary stories I write take place in a “world” that I know well and understand.   That’s not true of England in the 1800’s, obviously. 
Then I read Eric Metaxes’ excellent biography on William Wilberforce, who worked tirelessly for abolition, going against the class standing of his family and being political when politics was unfashionable.  Not long after that, I read “Coming Apart,” which is a nonfiction work that, among other things, discusses the need for meaningful work, and particularly among men.
During a conversation with friends regarding the limitations women of the Austen era faced, it made me wonder if men may also have constraints.  Once I felt like I had a topic to explore in a story, I was ready to write.

Violet Bedford: So once you decided to write a Pride and Prejudice variation, why did you choose Mr. Hurst, of all people?

Lynne Scott:  Two years ago when I first became aware of Austen fan fiction (I know, I’m late to the party), a friend and I discussed who was the most unlikely to have their own story.  I chose Mr. Hurst.  With the idea that I had in mind, he was the perfect candidate.

Violet Bedford: Do you see Mr. Hurst as a romantic hero?
 
Lynne Scott: HAHAHAHA…oh, you’re serious?  Um, no, I don’t think he’s a romantic hero in the way a reader may think of in a typical romance novel.  In no way is he a Mr. Darcy.
However, since Mr. Hurst dared to make some changes and challenge convention, I’d call him a hero.  Austen said the Hursts were newly married.  I thought maybe some of the changes Mr. Hurst tried to make may carry over into appreciating his wife as they started their life together.  Hopefully his wife found him romantic.  

Violet Bedford: What is it about Pride and Prejudice that makes it so appealing? 

Lynne Scott: Jane Austen was wonderfully witty and her writing jaunty and fresh.  It’s just a pleasure to read.  It’s such a relatable story.  Who hasn’t experienced a time when they were wrong or were wronged by a false first impression?   When I first met the man I eventually married, I did not like him at all.  It was my own pride that got in the way.  
Nearly all the characters in Pride and Prejudice are entertaining in their own right.  I think that’s why people endlessly try to give them their own stories or vary the one Austen wrote. 

Violet Bedford: What do you think Jane Austen actually thought of Mr. Hurst? 

Lynne Scott: Perhaps he was simply a foil for Elizabeth’s sober and careful sensibility.  Since he was married to the sister of Caroline Bingley, he was one more of that party that was antagonistic and reflected a lifestyle for which Elizabeth held with disdain.

Violet Bedford: In the film adaptations, Mr. Hurst is generally portrayed as either drinking or napping, and not in a dignified way. Is that fair? Is that how he was portrayed in the book? 

Lynne Scott: One may argue that if Caroline Bingley was your sister-in-law, drinking and napping may be a person’s only defense.  One of the fun aspects of writing a Pride and Prejudice inspired novella was reading it with a pen in hand, to dissect what Austen wrote about him and also Louisa and Caroline.  Yes, the film adaptations are true to the book, though he never had a speaking line in quotes, just something he muttered about soup.  Somehow I imagine Austen laughing when she wrote that.

Violet Bedford: What are you working on now? 

Lynne Scott: I’m back to contemporary fiction right now.  In fact, it is the very first story I wrote almost ten years ago but it was written in script form.  

Violet Bedford: Anything else you’d like to share with my reader(s)? 

Lynne Scott: Writing in a different time period and in a different voice was really enjoyable.  I learned a lot from the additional steps it took.  If a person is considering giving it a try, I strongly urge them to be daring!
 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors

Has another week gone by already? I hope that in the midst of writing and reading you are all getting a chance to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.

This snippet is from Betrothed to Mr. Darcy, my P and P variation which was released on September 18.

This bit is from Mr. Darcy's POV. Enjoy! 




By all logical thought, he ought to have been engaged to Miss Bingley who was genteel and accomplished. Her family, though not of the same status as his, was respectable, and her fortune was not insignificant. Additionally, a marriage with her would have delighted his dear friend Bingley and would have increased the likelihood that Bingley would return the favor and marry his own dear sister, Georgiana, creating a significant and powerful alliance between their two families.
However, if Mr. Darcy had learned anything in recent months it was that love and logic rarely occurred together.
If truth be told, he had been shocked to his very core when he found himself in love with Miss Elizabeth Bennet. He struggled, but his feelings would not be repressed. His admiration and love for her were most ardent.
He looked down at her delicate features, the fine eyes brightened by the exercise of walking the three miles from Longbourn to Netherfield, and his admiration and love grew even more fervent.
Logical thought, and Miss Bingley, be hanged. 


Please visit all the other Weekend Writing Warriors. You can find them here.  




After a year of misunderstandings, misconceptions and missed opportunities, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy have finally opened their hearts to each other and will soon be wed.

However, the path to the altar is no smoother than the path to engagement. When the loquacious Mrs. Bennet causes a scene in a London dressmaker’s shop it becomes clear to Lizzy Bennet that she will never be able to rein in her family’s improper and embarrassing behavior.

Although she has learned to live with the humiliation caused by her relatives, particularly her sister Lydia’s elopement with the scurrilous Mr. Wickham, Lizzy realizes the dire consequences of inflicting them upon Mr. Darcy and his vulnerable younger sister, Georgiana.

Mr. Darcy’s words from long ago reverberate in her brain: The situation of your mother's family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison of that total want of propriety so frequently, so almost uniformly, betrayed by herself, by your three younger sisters, and occasionally even by your father.

Will Elizabeth’s sense of duty, combined with her profound love for Mr. Darcy, force her to call off the wedding in order to spare him, and his sister, the disgrace of a lifetime association with the Bennet family? Or will love find a way to prevail?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pride and Prejudice and Planes

This is a compilation of some posts I did a few weeks ago where I imagined what our friends (and enemies) from Pride and Prejudice would do on an airplane. Enjoy!


     "I dearly love to fly, is it not the most invigorating experience?" The eager faced man took his seat next to Mr. Darcy who did his best to be polite without encouraging further discourse. Undaunted, the other man put out his hand in a manner which required a response from Darcy. "I'm Chuck, Chuck Bingley. Just love flying. On my way to a sales conference. My father died and left me the business and now I'm learning the ropes." 
      "I am sorry to hear about your father," Mr. Darcy said and turned to look out the window. 
      "Pops was quite a guy. I just hope I can do as good a job with the business as he did." 
      "So, you're in trade?" Darcy turned back from the window and examined his seatmate. 
      "Trade, buy, sell. We do it all." 
      "Fresh from the oven cookies, gentlemen?" A flight attendant with vibrant eyes and a name tag that said "Liz" presented a tray of gooey confections in front of Mr. Darcy and his new, unwanted, friend. 
      "They appear tolerable, but not enough to tempt me," Mr. Darcy said. 
      "Upon my word, man, I would not be as fastidious as you for a kingdom. I've never seen such temptations." Chuck Bingley said reaching for a chocolate chip and a Snickerdoodle which he gobbled with delight and washed down with an enthusiastic gulp of milk. 
      Liz, the flight attendant observed all of this without speaking further, then turned away, though Darcy could swear he heard her giggle once she returned to the galley. 

***** 

      The plane was just about to pull back from the gate. Mr. Darcy glanced around and noticed the two seats behind him and his new friend, Chuck, were empty. If no one showed up, perhaps he'd be able to move and have those two seats to himself. He was ill qualified to recommend himself to strangers and thus preferred to travel without the necessity of social chit chat. 
      Just as he was about to release his seat belt and make his move, a clatter arose at the entrance to the plane and two women, presumably mother and daughter, clamored onto the aircraft, their hands overflowing with shopping bags. 
      "Oh my dear Lydia," the elder woman said. "We made it. Right on time. I always knew we would." 
      The commotion created by the two newest passengers brought Liz out of the galley. Mr. Darcy noticed that the look in her eyes went from vibrant to horrified to calm in an instant. She assisted the two women to get their bags stowed so that the plane could take off on time. 
      "Lord, I'm so hungry," the younger woman said. 
      "Look at us, flying first class. I always knew we were meant for such luxury. How fortunate that the odious Mr. Collins died before your father so that we were able to keep all of his frequent flyer miles." 
      "I never thought I'd have so many miles on me," Lydia said. 

*****
      Liz patted her hair to make sure it was in place, then softly tapped on the cockpit door before entering. 

      Her heart fluttered when Captain George Wickham turned from his piloting duties and smiled at her. She'd met many pilots in her day, but none looked so handsome in their uniform as George Wickham. Perhaps it was the way he wore his hat in rakish disarray, but she suspected it was the way his eyes looked at her and made her feel tingly and naughty; like he knew just how to get her wheels off the ground. 

      Their hands touched when she handed him a glass of soda and a shot of electricity spurted through her body. 

      "We're all meeting up for drinks at the hotel bar after we land, Liz. Will I see you there?"

      The invitation was just what she'd been hoping for. "Of course I can't stay out too late, but it would be nice to get out and see everyone." 

      Wickham winked at her. "I'll make sure you're in bed early." 

      Flustered, Liz retreated to the galley where her friend, Charlotte, was preparing hot towels for the first class passengers. She surveyed Liz and said "I see you've been flirting in the cockpit again." 

      "You told me that a woman needs to let a man know she's interested. I'm just following your advice." 

      "I would advise you to stay away from Captain Wickham. He is a notorious flirt and rumor has it he is broke since his first two wives have taken him to the cleaners. Better to find a nice steady man who has his feet firmly on the ground." 

      "Charlotte! What about love and romance?" 

      "Finding love is really just a matter of chance. Better to make sure you have a roof over your head and money in the bank or you'll be serving coffee and danish until you're old and gray." 

      This discussion was interrupted by a signal that the passenger in seat 1A needed assistance. "Oh, that man is so disagreeable. I can't imagine what he wants other than to complain," Liz said. 

      "I was just out there," Charlotte said. "I think he wants to see you." 

      "I am sure that nothing that I can do will please him," Liz said then left the galley to see to the somber gentleman's needs. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

WeWriWa and Snippet Sunday

Finally, my book, Betrothed to Mr. Darcy is available for sale, so for those of you who want more than just eight sentences, click here. 

The scene: Darcy and Bingley are discussing Mrs. Bennet. Darcy has suggested that her actions could damage their reputations.



Bingley shrugged---“What do I care about my reputation? I have money in the bank and soon I will marry the most beautiful and agreeable woman in all of England. You are the one who is overly concerned with the opinions of others, though why you care, I do not know.”
“I care,” Darcy’s firm voice emphasized his point, “because all a gentleman has is his reputation. Once he loses the good opinion of others, it is lost forever.”
“The good opinion of society can be bought and sold. The true love of a good woman, however, cannot.”

“It may not be able to be purchased, but it still comes at a hefty price,” Mr. Darcy said, then exited before Bingley could respond with more of his lovesick drivel.



Please be sure to visit all the other WeWriWa and Snippet Sunday participants. 


Blurb:  After a year of misunderstandings, misconceptions and missed opportunities, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy have finally opened their hearts to each other and will soon be wed. 

However, the path to the altar is no smoother than the path to engagement. When the loquacious Mrs. Bennet causes a scene in a London dressmaker’s shop it becomes clear to Lizzy Bennet that she will never be able to rein in her family’s improper and embarrassing behavior.

Although she has learned to live with the humiliation caused by her relatives, particularly her sister Lydia’s elopement with the scurrilous Mr. Wickham, Lizzy realizes the dire consequences of inflicting them upon Mr. Darcy and his vulnerable younger sister, Georgiana.

Mr. Darcy’s words from long ago reverberate in her brain: The situation of your mother's family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison of that total want of propriety so frequently, so almost uniformly, betrayed by herself, by your three younger sisters, and occasionally even by your father.

Will Elizabeth’s sense of duty, combined with her profound love for Mr. Darcy, force her to call off the wedding in order to spare him, and his sister, the disgrace of a lifetime association with the Bennet family? Or will love find a way to prevail?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's A Big Day

Today is the day! My book, Betrothed to Mr. Darcy, is now available on Amazon. I'm so excited and also nauseatingly nervous. If you would like to help calm my nerves, go to Amazon and buy the book. Go ahead, I'll wait here.

People often say that writing a book is like giving birth and I think there are some similarities. Sending your book out into the world is like sending your kid off to school for the first time and wondering if everyone else will think they are as wonderful as you do.
So today I have sent my baby off into the world and I hope s/he will make lots of new friends. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More Of My Fascinating Road To Publication: The Characters

Betrothed to Mr. Darcy will be released in just two weeks. Yikes! This is very nerve wracking. Will people like it? Will they buy it? Will production be able to keep up with demand..okay, I just think that's funny since it's an ebook and it's not like they will run out of copies.

So, last week I talked about the idea for the story. Scroll down and you can read it. I'll wait here.

Next, I had to write the story.

One of the particularly tricky things, I think, about writing a Pride and Prejudice Variation (what is the right word? Variation? Continuation? Spin-off?) is doing justice to the characters Jane Austen created and which have been studied and loved for two hundred years. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I'd hate to be disrespectful to such wonderful and complex characters.

On one hand, it's wonderful to have characters which are already named and have plenty of back story. On the other hand, they are so well known, that writing something which seems too far outside the realm of what the character is likely to do can cause problems.

Thus a bit of a quandary: how to create a story using known characters while still having them do something new and interesting.

For me, the first step was really getting to know the characters. I read Pride and Prejudice several times with an eye to all the little details. I read it slowly and tried to get all the subtleties. I watched the 1995 BBC production (oh, it was torture...) and even read my newest bit of geeky goodness, The Annotated Pride and Prejudice. All these little layers helped me to know the characters a bit better.

I also had many chats with my friend, Lynne, about the characters and their interactions and motivations. Is Mrs. Bennet really such a villain for wanting her daughters to be married? Is that any different from my mother pushing for me to get an education? It was tricky to put myself in the mindset of that era rather than looking back from my own 2013 perspective.

Mrs. Bennet was my favorite character to write because she is just so outrageous. Here is one of her first scenes in Betrothed to Mr. Darcy.

“Mama,” Jane said, “perhaps it would be best if you rested quietly.”
“Quiet, quiet, quiet. That is all anyone says to me. Well, let me tell you, Jane Bennet, I will not be quiet. If I had kept quiet would Lydia have gone to Brighton? And if Lydia had not gone to Brighton, would she now be married to Mr. Wickham? I think not.”
Mrs. Bennet set her tea cup down and spoke on, gaining volume and vigor with each word. “Was it not I who succeeded in persuading your father to call on Mr. Bingley last year? If not for me, you would not find yourself so happily engaged to a man with such fine prospects, now would you?”

Having forgotten about Lizzy and the earlier commotion, Mrs. Bennet stood, admired herself in a looking glass, and continued regardless of any response or encouragement from Jane. “No, Jane, I will not be quiet.” Mrs. Bennet adjusted her cap and smiled at her own reflection before turning to address Jane directly. “I suppose Lizzy put you up to this. Just the other day she tried to tell me that I ought not to talk so much about Lydia and Wickham. I suppose she thinks I ought to be talking about her instead. Well, I will not be told what to do by her or anyone else, even if she is marrying Mr. Darcy of Pemberley.” 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Road To Publication: The Idea for Betrothed To Mr. Darcy

It's hard to know what to write about on a blog, particularly if you don't think anyone is reading anyway (Hi Pat!). But, why would anyone read if I don't write? It's one of those chicken/egg situations.

So, I am going to write a bit about My Road To Publication.

Part of my motivation to write Betrothed To Mr. Darcy was because I wanted to see if I could. I think the fantasy that I, and many others, have about writers is that they happily sit at keyboards typing away as words magically spring from their fingertips. And of course, those words are always perfect the first time around so there's no need for editing or even spell check.

Fantasy for sure.

Writing is hard work. Parts of it are fun and even the hard work part can be invigorating, but for me, it also involves a fair amount of gnashing of teeth and self-loathing. I find that invigorating because aging and hormones have not provided me with enough opportunities to gnash my teeth and despise myself.

Before I could finish a book, I had to figure out an idea for the book to begin with. I came up with the idea for Betrothed to Mr. Darcy because there is that gap of about a month between the time Lizzy and Darcy become engaged and when they actually get married. I know that weddings were much smaller and less elaborate affairs at that time, but I still liked the idea of wondering how things would go for the two of them during that time. Remember, they never actually courted and their engagement was a surprise to nearly everyone, so the time for people to see them as a couple and for them to see themselves that way too, was that brief period of preparation for their wedding.

So, what happened during that time? It's fun to think about. I imagined Caroline Bingley forced to wear some hideous bridesmaid dress or trying to thwart the wedding, but the more I thought about it, the more interested I became in the idea of Mr. Darcy trying to get used to his new family, The Bennets.

How much could he tolerate in his lovesick state?

How did Lizzy really feel about her mother?

And, seriously, could Darcy actually marry into a family which now included George Wickham?

Thinking about these questions was fun and gave rise to lots of ideas. Try it. You'll see. How much of Mrs. Bennet's chatter could Darcy stand? What about Mary's piano playing? Can love really conquer all?

So, from those ideas came the nuggets of a story. Come back next week to find out more about that.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

WeWriWa and Snippet Sunday : A Gentleman's Reputation

Thank you for stopping by! 
In this scene from Betrothed To Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy are sharing their thoughts on the importance of a gentleman's reputation. 

 “What do I care about my reputation? I have money in the bank and soon I will marry the most beautiful and agreeable woman in all of England. You are the one who is overly concerned with the opinions of others, though why you care, I do not know.”
“I care,” Darcy’s firm voice emphasized his point, “because all a gentleman has is his reputation. Once he loses the good opinion of others, it is lost forever.”
“The good opinion of society can be bought and sold. The true love of a good woman, however, cannot.”
“It may not be able to be purchased, but it still comes at a hefty price,” Mr. Darcy said, then exited before Bingley could respond with more of his lovesick drivel. 

Betrothed to Mr. Darcy will be available September 18! I'm pretty excited. 

In the meantime, please visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday bloggers. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Snippet from Betrothed to Mr. Darcy

Sorry I've been MIA for several weeks (yikes, almost two months) but I had to actually write and edit the book. Go figure.

I've already shared a number of snippets but since it was months ago I think I'll start back at the beginning and work my way forward.

Here, Lizzy is sent to settle an argument between her father and Mr. Darcy who have disagreed over the marriage settlement.

“But, this man,” he pointed at Mr. Darcy yet again, “refuses to accept anything.” Lizzy wondered at the restraint her intended showed because a lesser man who dared to point at Mr. Darcy not once, but twice, might have found his finger snapped off at the joint.
Before she could voice her surprise, Mr. Darcy responded to the accusation. “I am simply being practical, sir; my income is more than sufficient to provide funds for the care of my future wife.” Despite his anger, a smile formed on his mouth when he said ‘wife’ and his eyes softened as they looked to the subject of his affection. “But you, sir, have a wife and two other daughters to provide for, not to mention the likelihood that your youngest will need financial assistance for the balance of her marriage and beyond.”

“Is it not shameful enough that I am obliged to you for the expense of one daughter’s marriage and the living of her husband, but you expect me to allow you the full measure of support for my most beloved daughter as well? It cannot be.”

Will these two work out their differences? Will Mrs. Bennet ever learn to keep her mouth shut? Stay tuned. 

Betrothed to Mr. Darcy will be available September 18 from Lazy Day Publishing. 

Be sure to visit all the other Weekend Writing Warriors  and the fine folks at Snippet Sunday on Facebook. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mr. Darcy at Summer Camp---Part Two

Part One of this exciting saga can be found here


Franks and beans appeared to be a favorite of everyone at Camp Pemberley except for the two Bingley sisters and Fitz Darcy who had all picked at their plates with dismay, despite the effusions of Charlie Bingley.

“This food is odious,” Lou said, scrunching up her nose in distaste. “I suppose they’ll be serving us Ragu tomorrow.”

 “Honestly, must you all be so fastidious?” the counselor said to his tablemates. “This stupid manner of yours is NOT the Camp Pemberley way.”

“Oh lord,” Caroline said. “There’s a ‘Camp Pemberley Way’? Pray, tell us all about it.”

“A Camp Pemberley Camper is cheerful and courteous at all times,” Charles recited pointing to a banner on the wall with a numbered list on it. “A Camp Pemberley Camper strives to accomplish much, whether it is in the arts and crafts room or on the playing field.”

“Must you go on?” Fitz groaned. “We can all read the list.”

“I am merely pointing out,” Charlie said, “that you would all have a better time if you had a better attitude.”

Before the conversation could continue, the nightly ritual of thanking the cook for dinner began. The song leader, Mrs. Bennet, stood up and was heard over the clatter of dinner even without holding up her hand in the universal Camp Pemberley sign for quiet. “Attention!  Attention everyone! It’s time for the thank you song.”

Whereupon she began to lead them in a rousing chorus of:
Thank you, thank you. You are so kind.
Thank you, thank you. Let us kiss your…hand.


While everyone joined in the song, a reluctant woman in a tall chef’s hat and white coat with the name Pat inscribed over her heart was drug from the kitchen. She blushed and waved at the campers. When the cheers died down she announced, “Tomorrow night…mac and cheese!”

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mr. Darcy Gets Frisky


Welcome Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday Fans. And welcome to anyone else who just happened to get here by some other means. 

One of the fun things about writing a book set in the Regency era is that everything was so restrained (or at least in Jane Austen's world). In this snippet, Mr. Darcy is getting bold. 


Seeing that all the other inhabitants of the room were happily occupied, Mr. Darcy took the opportunity to steer his fiancĂ©e toward a pair of chairs in a  quiet corner for private conversation, or as private as decorum would allow for a couple who were not yet married.

“The arrival of my sister and cousin signal that our wedding day is nearly here.”
Elizabeth blushed and looked up at him from under her lashes, but did not reply.

Darcy glanced around the room and once assured that they were unobserved slipped her hand into his and rubbed soft circles into the sensitive skin at the top of her hand with his thumb.

“As much as I am glad to see my sister and Colonel Fitzwilliam,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper, “I am over-joyed to think that in a few days’ time you will be my bride.” He felt his own pulse quicken when he said the word “bride”.


Although she had neither spoken nor retrieved her hand from his, Darcy could see the faint pulse in Elizabeth’s fair throat throbbing and her chest rose rapidly with shallow breathing, which indicated she was not unaffected by his words. 

This is from my current WIP Betrothed to Mr. Darcy

Please be sure to visit Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday for more samples from great writers. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Chat Between Gentlemen

Welcome Back! I've decided to move away from Mrs. Bennet. This week we are listening in on a conversation between Mr. Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy during a carriage ride to Longbourn for dinner with the Bennet Family. It is fun to imagine the ribbing Mr. Darcy probably got from his two closest friends. 

“She certainly has the ability to bring out the best in others,” Colonel Fitzwilliam said. “In fact,” he gave Mr. Darcy a mocking look, “I have heard that the most stoic among us has been known to smile and even laugh aloud under her charms.”
“My heavens, yes ” Mr.  Bingley said. “He has been so much more tolerable to live with this past fortnight. He was grouchy as a bear and prickly as a porcupine, but the affections of Miss Elizabeth Bennet have changed him and I, for one, am grateful to her.”

“We all owe Miss Elizabeth Bennet a debt of gratitude,” Colonel Fitzwilliam said, barely containing a laugh at his cousin’s discomfiture. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy was not a man accustomed to being the object of ribbing, no matter how light-hearted or well-intentioned.  Before the subject of this banter could compose an appropriate retort, the carriage mercifully arrived at Longbourn. 

Be sure to visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday participants. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Would Darcy Do---Mr. Darcy Goes To Summer Camp

I've taken a couple weeks off from my What Would Darcy Do posts. My apologies to my reader(s).

I had fun with the Pride and Prejudice Gang on an airplane, but I think I'll move on to another scenario.

Welcome to Mr. Darcy Goes To Summer Camp, Part One 

Standing in the doorway to the camp mess hall, Fitzwilliam Darcy surveyed the chaos that was meal time at Camp Pemberley. He found an empty table in the corner and hoped to have at least a few minutes of peace even if fine dining was not an option.

To his dismay, two girls joined him at the round table.

"I should hate to pass many hours in such company, don't you agree, Lou?" A tall, bony featured girl said looking around the mess hall with a sniff. She wore a crisp white tennis dress and the mandatory Camp Pemberley name tag with "Caroline" written in elaborate script.

"I cannot believe that we have been forced to attend this camp, simply because Charlie is a counselor," Lou said.

Caroline sighed. "I am still angry with Mummy and Daddy for going off to Europe and leaving us with Charlie."

"Shhhh," Lou gave her sister a meaningful look. "We shouldn't talk about this in front of strangers."

Caroline leaned toward Fitzwilliam and squinted at his name tag. "Well, Fitz," she said. "This is Lou and I am Caroline." She turned back to her sister. "There, now we are not strangers."

Lou rolled her eyes.

"Tell me, Fitz," Caroline surveyed him from head to toe in a way that made him decidedly uncomfortable. "What do you think of Camp Pemberley?"

Not exactly sure of how much he wished to reveal to these two girls, Fitzwilliam was slow to respond. Just when he opened his mouth to respond, a firm hand clapped him on the back. "Isn't this fantastic? My favorite camper and my sisters all having dinner together." Fitzwilliam looked up and his fear was confirmed. Charlie, his effusive counselor was also the brother of these two girls.

"Save me a seat," Charlie said before rushing off to the kitchen. "I'll be right back with our franks and beans."

Come back next Wednesday to see what happens next. Since I don't have any idea, feel free to offer some suggestions. 


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Even More Mrs. Bennet




Once I got started with the Mrs. Bennet snippets, I just couldn't stop. Maybe because her outrageous statements work so well for an eight sentence sample. 



“Oh dear, Lizzy---the circles under your eyes are hideous. I certainly hope that Mr. Darcy does not see you looking such a fright. How you managed to get a man like Mr. Darcy, who has ten thousand a year, is beyond me, but it certainly cannot be due to your eyes because they are droopy and red.” 

“Why thank you for noticing, Mama. As I plan to go for a solitary walk this morning I will hope the fresh air and exercise will remedy the situation and since I shall be alone, I will not inflict my unsightly appearance on others.” Or my foul mood.



“Then be gone with you and be quiet about it. I should most certainly hate for you to wake Jane for we cannot have her beauty diminished as well.”   

Thanks for stopping by! This snippet is from Betrothed to Mr. Darcy, my current WIP. Betrothed to Mr. Darcy takes place in the weeks between the time Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy become engaged and their actual marriage. Once the two families gather in preparation for the nuptials, the improprieties of the Bennet family are on full display, causing Elizabeth to question the wisdom of inflicting her family on Mr. Darcy and his sister, Georgiana. Will they make it to the alter? 


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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Banquet Hop--- Let's Talk About Regency Wedding Cakes


It's June, the month for weddings; what better topic for a food related blog hop than a discussion of wedding cakes from the Regency Era? 

Imagine if Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy got married today. Given Mr. Darcy's remarkable income (some estimate that it would be roughly $1M annually) and prestigious family, we would certainly expect their wedding cake to be a fancy multi-tiered concoction created by any one of a number of reality show bakers. 

Today, they might have something like this, though I suppose Mr. Darcy would not care for something so whimsical.


But Lizzy and Darcy married at a time when weddings, and wedding cakes, were a much simpler matter. 

Regency Era wedding cakes were a single layer and may not have even been frosted (What??). They usually included nuts and dried fruits and copious amounts of liquor as a preservative. 

 This image is probably a bit optimistic since it includes a layer of frosting and maybe even a layer of fondant.

Remember: it's not like they had giant freezers to keep the cake in until the day of the event. Also, weddings were much smaller and usually only included immediate family and close friends, which eliminated the need for a ginormous cake. 

However, and this is important for the contest so pay attention, it was traditional for single women to take a piece of the cake home with them (and sometimes it was sent to distant relatives --- another good reason to have a sturdy confection) to place under their pillow with the promise that if they do so, they will dream of the man they will marry. 

To be entered in my drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card, please answer the following question in  the comments. Please leave your email address in the comments so that I will be able to contact you if you are the winner. A winner will be randomly selected from those who enter. 

Question: Select one of the single women who might have attended the marriage of Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy (Caroline Bingley, Mary Bennet, Kitty Bennet, Georgiana Darcy) and tell me the type of man you think they might marry. 

Alternate Question: If for some reason you are not familiar with Pride and Prejudice (you can get a FREE copy for your kindle from Amazon. ) then please share your favorite flavor of cake. Also include your email address to be included in the drawing. 

Confession: I'm planning to write a book on this very topic with the women taking home pieces of cake and dreaming about the men they will marry, so I'd love to hear your suggestions. 

For more fun and prizes, please be sure to visit all the participating blogs. 

Hop Participants
  1. Random Bits of Fascination (Maria Grace)
  2. Pillings Writing Corner (David Pilling)
  3. Anna Belfrage
  4. Debra Brown
  5. Lauren Gilbert
  6. Gillian Bagwell
  7. Julie K. Rose
  8. Donna Russo Morin
  9. Regina Jeffers
  10. Shauna Roberts
  11. Tinney S. Heath
  12. Grace Elliot
  13. Diane Scott Lewis
  14. Ginger Myrick
  15. Helen Hollick
  16. Heather Domin
  17. Margaret Skea
  18. Yves Fey
  19. JL Oakley
  20. Shannon Winslow
  21. Evangeline Holland
  22. Cora Lee
  23. Laura Purcell
  24. P. O. Dixon
  25. E.M. Powell
  26. Sharon Lathan
  27. Sally Smith O'Rourke
  28. Allison Bruning
  29. Violet Bedford
  30. Sue Millard
  31. Kim Rendfeld

Mrs. Bennet Puts Her Foot In Her Mouth

Welcome back Weekend Writing Warriors and Sunday Snippet fans. We've had a couple of fun scenes with Mrs. Bennet, but this week, she puts her foot in her mouth and causes a great deal of upset for bride to be Elizabeth Bennet. 

This snippet from Betrothed to Mr. Darcy, brings us to the crux of Lizzy Bennet's dilemma. You see, George Wickham once attempted to elope with Miss Darcy and if word of such a thing were to get out into polite society, her future would not look bright. Wickham then went on to seduce (and marry) Lizzy's sister, Lydia. Now, by marrying Mr. Darcy, Lizzy faces the prospect of forcing Miss Darcy to be 1. an in law of Mr. Wickham's and 2. subject to the mention of his name more than would ever happen in her world now that he has gone. 
Mrs. Bennet, unaware of any of these past events, innocently sets off quite a kerfuffle. 






 “Oh my, I believe you know our dear Mr. Wickham. Well, then you know what a charming and handsome man he is. My Lydia is fortunate indeed to have a husband such as him.”

Miss Darcy simply stared at Mrs. Bennet, her bottom lip quivering, though she managed to prevent a reaction which was likely to be discernible to anyone other than those who knew her best.


Mrs. Bennet, after an entire evening of moderated conversation could hold back no longer, particularly as the topic related to her favorite subjects, marriage and her daughter Lydia. “What a proud day it was when Lydia and her fine husband in his red coat arrived here at our home. But now they have gone off for who knows how long and I shan’t see her or dear Wickham. I had hoped they could be here for Jane and Lizzy’s weddings, but Wickham is needed by the militia for I am sure he performs important duties and cannot be easily spared.” 


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