Hello dear readers,
When I first heard about the Darcy Monologues I could not believe it! Christina Boyd was going to bring to life an anthology where fifteen Austen-inspired authors got together to sketch Darcy’s character through a series of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times. The man himself would reveal his intimate thoughts, his passionate dreams, and his journey to love.
The authors participating in this anthology would be Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin Williams.
The idea was absolutely wonderful and I immidiately wanted to read the book. I didn’t even need to know what the stories were about, all I needed to know was that most of my favourite authors would get together and write several stories from Darcy’s POV.
All my excitement could have been forgotten considering how much time I still had to wait until the book came out, but it didn’t! And why not? Because Christina Boyd along with Beau North did an amazing job at promoting this book.
I don’t know if many of you pay special attention to advertising but my major degree is in Media Studies, so I love everything about media communication, and the advertising for The Darcy Monologues was definitely something worth to remember. That is one of the reasons why I am so happy to be featuring on my blog one of the people who contributed to this, Beau North.
Today I will be reviewing the book, but first, I would like to share with you a guest post by author Sara Angelini where she reveals the impact The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy had on her, and an interview with the author of the book, Beau North 🙂
How Beau North Restored My Faith in Regencies/ By Sara Angelini
Beau North restored my faith in Regencies. You see, I had tired of the usual JAFF Regency tropes: compromised brides, what-if variations, and interchangeable Darcies. They had all begun to blend, like chalked sidewalks in a spring shower, into a messy pastel of impertinence and pride.
Then I stumbled across Beau North’s The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy. A Groundhog Day / Pride and Prejudice mashup? Yes, please!
Beau’s unique premise hooked me like a hungry fish. Her prose – at time terse, at time poetic, and always lovely – kept me chomping on the bait long after I should have let go for sleep…or food…or a shower.
When Darcy finds himself living the same no-good, awful, very bad day again, and again, and again, his gradual metamorphosis from angry to wounded to repentant is a journey rich with insight, discovery, and, sometimes, mischief. Her deftly drawn characters, including Colonel Fitzwilliam and cousin Anne, could have as easily existed in Regency England as in contemporary San Francisco.
When I learned that Beau and I would be contributing to the same anthology, I was equal parts elated and terrified. I was star struck. I eagerly read You Don’t Know Me, and was not disappointed. You won’t be, either.
Beau North is the author of Longbourn’s Songbird, The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy, and a contributor to the anthology Then Comes Winter. Beau is a native southerner who now calls Portland, Oregon home with her husband and two cats. She attended the University of South Carolina where she began a lifelong obsession with literature. In her spare time, Beau is the co-host of the podcast Excessively Diverted: Modern Austen Onscreen and today she answers a couple of questions about herself and her story You Don’t Know Me.
As a writer who has contributed a contemporary story to this collection, can you describe for us why you believe Austen’s stories still speak to modern-day readers?
Because she wrote about the inner lives of people, their hopes and fears, their dreams and wishes, their secret longings. Those things never go away. Priorities shift over time, true, but we still yearn for things like companionship, love, safety, kindness, hope, and laughter.
Your story, You Don’t Know Me, and Jane Austen, what do you think makes them work together? What do they have to say to each other?
If there are “morals” to Austen’s stories, it’s that personal growth is vital to one’s happiness -or “know thyself” as the saying goes. It’s imperative to me in any story I write that there is some measure of self-discovery, of characters (especially a larger-than-life character like Mr. Darcy) begins to think differently about the world they live in, eventually turning that observation inward. It’s such a universal theme. Now, as far as what my story might have to to say to hers…well, anytime you’re updating a story like Pride and Prejudice to a more modern time, there are opportunities to explore the social stratas at that time. It’s not so easy to divide people by class nowadays, so you have to look at other methods. Demographics, religions, which Hogwarts house you got sorted into. Whoops, wrong fandom!
How did you come to be inspired by Miss Austen, as both a woman and as a writer?
Seeing how strong she comes through on the page. Her sly wit, her winking observations on the lives of women. 200 years later and she’s still so strong, so funny, and more relevant than ever.
The modern-day woman appears as besotted as ever by Mr. Darcy. What were the attributes that you felt you needed to include in the Mr. Darcy character in your story?
I really do love how he’s always tall, I have a weakness for tall people personally. A dash of cocky arrogance and a wry sense of humor were must-haves. I found Mr. Darcy to be quite funny more than once in Pride and Prejudice, so it made sense to me that he and Elizabeth would have that in common. I also wanted him to have a sense of ennui that comes from his party-boy lifestyle and a profound loneliness that he only recognizes when he begins spending more time with Eliza. Pair all that with a generous heart and yeah, we’ve made the perfect man.
Can you give us a six-word memoir about yourself?
“I prefer the company of daydreams”
What can readers look forward to reading from you in the future and how can readers stay in touch with you?
My next project, a novella titled Modern Love, will hopefully be published by this summer. And of course all of my books, podcast, and social media can be found at http://beaunorthwrites.com.
Last month I was attending a management training session and the trainer was telling us that when managing people we need to pay special attention to our reactions towards others. What he meant to say was that if we start the day with a bad attitude, that attitude will be reflected in our behaviour towards others and obviously in their response towards us.
So he asked us to always start the day with a positive perspective and shared a technique that his company calls playing from a 10. Playing from a 10 means that even if you’re having a really bad day, you should take a break and do something that will make you start your day from a 10 (in terms of positivism) instead of a 1 (negativism). For the trainer, the trick is to listen to some specific music, but he advised us to look for our own trigger, something that would make us play from a 10. And right there in the training session, while I heard him speak, I knew that my trigger to play from a 10 would be The Darcy Monologues!
This anthology has everything! It has regency, modernizations, different eras, comedy, drama, romance…and all that from Darcy’s POV. They are short stories that can easily be read before getting in the office, so whenever I’m starting the day at a 1, because I didn’t sleep or I got stuck in traffic for one hour, etc, I can always take a break, read one of them, and be ready to start my day playing from a 10!
I absolutely loved The Darcy Monologues, each story is special in its own way, and that is why I thought that it would be more enlightening to you if I wrote a little of each story.
Death of a Bachelor – Caitlin Williams
This story will follow Darcy’s last days as a bachelor until his wedding night. We will see how Darcy deals with all the changes in his life, the constant presence of Elizabeth’s relations and not controlling all aspects of life. I loved the tone Caitlin Williams chose for this story; we will read about a struggling Darcy, which was a raw but true perspective of the character. I could not have picked a better story to start the anthology.
What I loved the most about it: The incredibly prodigious writing style! Oh My God…Caitlin Williams is a natural talent!
From the Ashes – J. Marie Croft
Everyone knows how perfect Mr. Darcy’s letter was. It was written with some bitterness and it is a little harsh in some parts, but it was truthful, passionate and revealing of his true character.
But have you ever wondered if that was the first draft he wrote? Did he review it? Did he change anything? And what happened during that night?
Marie Croft describes the night when Mr. Darcy wrote Elizabeth’s letter…and I bet you would never imagine anything like this!
What I loved the most about it: The humour! I laughed so hard while reading this book! I can’t even say which was the funniest scene, but Lady C’s visit has a good chance of winning that competition 🙂
If Only a Dream – Joana Starnes
After the disastrous proposal Mr. Darcy wants nothing more than to leave Kent and forget about Elizabeth Bennet, but Lady Catherine turns out to be the biggest ally of this love story. It is unwillingly done, of course, but as she takes a fall down the stairs, she forces Darcy to stay in Kent. You all know that this means Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy will have another chance in love, and the romance and intensity in this story will make some of you swoon 🙂
What I loved the most about it: We are talking about Joana Starnes, so you are probably waiting for me to say the angst right? Wrong! It was the humour… Darcy’s dialogues with Lady C? Priceless! There is a new facet of Joana Starnes on this one 🙂
Clandestiny – Karalynne Mackrory
What if during the Netherfield Ball Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet found themselves trapped in a room with a secret passage? Could they have an open discussion about their feelings? Could they reach an understanding in one night? If anyone can make that happen it is Karalynee Mackrory!
What I loved the most about it: The coziness feeling that reminded me so much of Haunting Mr. Darcy. It was dreamy, romantic and breath-taking.
The Beast of Pemberley – Melanie Standford
In Melanie Standford’s story Pride & Prejudice meets The Beauty & the Beast and transports us to a magical setting with a coursed and disfigured Darcy who manages to bring the beautiful Elizabeth Bennet into his home. The story follows the narrative of The Beauty & the Beast but continues very truthful to P&P’s characters.
What I loved the most about it: The ending! I loved it that the author made sure the ending showed us a real life love instead of a Disney perfect ending. It may appear a small detail, but in my opinion this added a big value to the story.
A Resenful Man – Lory Lilian
Have you ever wondered why Darcy returned to Pemberley a day earlier than his party which allowed him to encounter Elizabeth Bennet there? Lory Lilian takes us into the depths of Darcy’s soul as he recalls his journey with Elizabeth Bennet from Meryton, to the Hunsford proposal and until he meets her once more at Pemberley. Their encounter will be slightly different than the one Jane Austen created and their HEA is found much sooner 🙂
What I loved the most about it: How Elizabeth subtly made her feelings known, and the touch of their hands… Their encounter was utterly romantic and obviously up to the standards we expect from Lory Lilian!
In Terms of Perfect Composure – Susan Adriani
In this story Darcy is encouraged by the Gardiners to travel to Hertfordshire to ascertain Elizabeth’s feelings and he arrives just in time to witness the famous confrontation between his aunt and Elizabeth Bennet. How perfect is that? I always wanted to read a story with this premise, and Susan Adriani made that possible 🙂
What I loved the most about it: The way the author played with the scenes and wording in Lady Catherine’s confrontation scenes, and how she changed it to fit Darcy’s discourse.
Without Affection – Jan Hahn
The last regency story in this anthology is also the perfect ending for this part of the book. It starts with an elderly Darcy having a flashback of the time his son was born and all the difficulties his marriage faced after that. After witnessing how complicated and painful the birth of his child was, Darcy reacts in a drastic way and Elizabeth will not like that at all! Without Affection is a story of a man who has too much affection for his wife. Had he loved her less, he would have behaved differently…
What I loved the most about it: The intensity of Darcy’s feelings allied with the grey cloud that involved the story. Also, the way Elizabeth sets Darcy straight. Jan Hahn knows how to get to my heart!!!
Hot for Teacher – Sara Angelini
The first modernization of the anthology transports us into a high school where Elizabeth is an art teacher and Darcy is the principal. But Wickham and Collins are also present and even Mrs. Bennet has a small appearance.
Needless to say I loved the setting…who wouldn’t want Darcy as a teacher?
What I loved the most about it: It’s hard to say if what I loved the most was the shocking revelation regarding Collins, the nicknames, or Darcy as a teacher…but I think I’ll go for Darcy as a teacher…sigh…
You Don’t Know Me – Beau North
You Don’t Know me will transport us back to the 60’s when radio still played an important role in people’s lives, and events were lived in a completely different way. I always feel I don’t belong in this century, well, at least not in this decade, and if I could go back, I would probably choose the 60’s. But I digress…
In this story magnate William Darcy is forced to leave his city condo to move to Buffalo and run his family’s radio station. This is where he will meet Bingley, Jane and disc jockey Eliza Bennet, or should I say Elizabeth Benowitz?
What I loved the most about it: Darcy’s proposal, well, it’s not really a proposal, but it is one of the best love declarations ever! Also, Lady C…she almost took Darcy’s declaration of the podium, but I could never let her win could I?
Reason to Hope – Jenetta James
Jenetta James will take us a little further back to a WWII setting in England. In this story, Group Captain Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet in a rather different encounter but the end results are pretty much the same: she will fascinate him, and he will upset her. Elizabeth’s family is a little different in this tale and Darcy finds a new way to save Lydia…
What I loved the most about it: The setting! I confess to love stories set in the WWII era. It gave the story a certain charm and a feeling that didn’t leave even after I read 🙂
Pemberley by Stage – Natalie Richards
Pemberley by Stage will take us to the Wild Wild West where Mr. Darcy’s stage is assaulted by the known bandit Wickham! Bingley is severely injured and Georgiana is kidnapped, but Darcy will not be alone in the quest to save his sister, he will have the assistance of Elias Bennet who soon reveals to be a very different person than Darcy initially thought.
What I loved the most about it: The companionship, regard and love that are created between Darcy and Elizabeth. I also loved the setting, the adventures and Wickham’s last moments, but Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship really stayed in my heart 🙂
Darcy Strikes Out – Sophia Rose
In this modernization Darcy is a well-known baseball player and the last man in the world with whom reporter Elizabeth Bennet will go out with. This story will actually follow a similar premise to P&P but with small nuances that made it unique, interesting and compelling.
What I loved the most about it: That Lizzie is a journalist, Darcy is not a morning person and the incredible perfect way Sophia transported the characters and the story into the XXI’s century!!! I loved the setting and the story 🙂
The Ride Home – Ruth Phillips Oakland
Elizabeth goes out on a date with Mr. Collins and soon realises the only way she will make it through the night is by drinking alcohol, lots of it… But not even that prevented her from getting horrified by the prick in front of her, so when the most ridiculous man on earth becomes truly insupportable, she tells him to stick his tongue up a certain place and leaves him standing.
With that she looses his ride home, but guess who will come to her rescue?
This story will focus on the ride home Mr. Darcy gives to Elizabeth and it is the sexiest story of the anthology 🙂
What I loved the most about it: Sexy Darcy! This was a hot, sexy, irresistible Darcy 🙂
I, Darcy – Karen M. Cox
Mr. William Darcy was named after the fictional character Jane Austen developed 200 years ago and that has upset him his entire life. So when he sees several people dressed up for a Jane Austen convention he is not afraid of voicing out his opinion to his friend…but the witty, intriguing girl standing nearby happens to hear is remark and is also unafraid to tell him he is completely wrong. Of course this is just the beginning, and as the story progresses we will have the pleasure of seeing Mr. William Darcy reading and liking Pride and Prejudice!
What I loved the most about it: The moral of the story: It takes an Elizabeth Bennet to see the Mr. Darcy’s of life 😉
The Darcy Monologues is the book every Janeite has been waiting for. It is the perfect anthology for anyone in love with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and I don’t think anyone will be able to resist it.
I thought I would prefer the regency stories, so when I realised the book would have two separate parts and that the last one would be for the different era stories, I thought I would lose interest, but I couldn’t be more wrong. I enjoyed the different era stories just as much as I did the regency ones. There is a perfect balance in this book that shows a particular care in making sure every reader will find a story for his taste…I personally found them all to my taste 🙂
The Darcy Monologues is an extraordinary piece of literature written by a very talented group of authors and edited by someone who knows exactly what the readers are looking for.
It can not to be missed and you can pre-order it on: Amazon.com
April 3 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Launch Post & Giveaway
April 10 / Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
April 17 / The Reading Frenzy / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 20 / My Love for Jane Austen / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 24 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway
May 1 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway
May 8 / Just Jane 1813 / Excerpt Post & Giveaway
May 15 / Austenesque Reviews / Book Review & Giveaway
May 22 / Austenesque Reviews / Guest Post & Giveaway
May 25 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review & Giveaway
May 29 / More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway
June 5 / So Little Time / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 12 / Diary of an Eccentric/ Book Review & Giveaway
June 19 / Book Lover in Florida / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 26 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway
July 3 / Savvy Verse & Wit / Book Review & Giveaway
The Darcy Monologues Blog Tour brings two special giveaways for our readers …
One winner will win our grand prize of 24 paperback books, each one autographed by the author, and mailed to the winner’s home.
The second winner will win their choice of either a Pride and Prejudice pocketbook or a Pride and Prejudice Kindle Fire Case with stand – Pride and Prejudice Book Cover Case for Amazon Kindle Fire 7″ and 6″ – Kindle Fire / Fire HD / Fire HDX tablet.
All giveaways are international and to enter it, you just need to click here.
Good Luck everyone!