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

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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. 

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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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