Christmas at Darcy House – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! I’m getting some rest after a crazy week at the office but also getting quite nervous about the conference I’ll be participating in next week, so I needed something to distract me from all this stress and Victoria Kincaid’s new release was the perfect present I could have received for that! Her stories are always so cozy and warm that they make me feel better. There is something special about them and they are always the perfect escape from this crazy world.

After having loved A Very Darcy Christmas so much last year, I was eager to get Victoria Kincaid’s new Christmas book in my hands! Luckily for me she didn’t make me wait much longer and had it released a couple of days ago. Today I have the pleasure of hosting her with a guest post and excerpt I hope you all enjoy.

 

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Thank you for hosting me, Rita!

One of the fun—and sometimes frustrating—aspects of writing Regency romance is that you need to do research to make sure you get the historical details correct.  Fairly often this research inspires plot points and sends the story off in new directions.  This happened during my research for Christmas at Darcy House.  While reading up on Christmas traditions in London, I learned that Astley’s Amphitheatre had special Christmas versions of its show.

Here is a succinct description of Astley’s from the British Library website:

“Philip Astley was a distinguished soldier who opened a riding school in Lambeth in 1768. Together with his wife Patty, Astley began to exploit the late Georgian fascination with outdoor spectacles by performing horseback tricks and equestrian skills to the paying public. Astley’s displays of horsemanship were gradually complimented by other visual spectacles of strength and skill, such as acrobatics and tight-rope walking. After his original premises were burnt to the ground in the late 18th century, Astley quickly re-established himself by opening his new ‘Royal Amphitheatre’ in 1795, itself rebuilt following a further fire in 1804 (and pictured here).

Astley’s Amphitheatre is often considered to be the first genuine British ‘circus’ owing to its many features that are still familiar today. Horses travelled at speed around a ring while acrobats and clowns also topped the bill. The Amphitheatre, however, combined other elements of performance more akin to traditional theatres, such as drama and song.”

Some scholars credit Astley’s Amphitheatre as being the first circus.  Astley was the one who devised the optimal size for a circus ring—he figured out the exact size to create the centrifugal forces that allowed for spectacular feats of riding.  Although acrobatic riding was the first impetus behind the Amphitheatre, it also featured clowns, jugglers, rope tricks, acrobats and other acts.

One interesting aspect of the Amphitheatre was that it comprised a circus ring in front of a proscenium stage (as you can see in this picture).  Performances took place both in the ring and on the stage—and sometimes both at once.  No doubt it was quite spectacular.

I couldn’t find any records of what they did differently at the Christmas versions of the show, so in the scene where Darcy and Elizabeth visit Astley’s, I invented some holiday-themed details.  Hopefully I came close to the original.

We also know that Jane Austen was a fan of Astley’s.  In one of her letters she mentions attending the show in London, and in Emma, two of her characters take in the Astley’s spectacular.

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His arrival had interrupted a scene of some mirth.  Wickham was grinning while Elizabeth giggled, and Mrs. Gardiner had her hand over her mouth as if to suppress laughter.  When Darcy stepped into the room, the merriment quickly died away.

The other man raised his eyes slowly to meet Darcy’s, a smirk forming on his lips.  “Darcy,” he drawled.

“Wickham.” Darcy bit off the word.

Everyone stood to exchange an awkward series of bows and curtsies.  Darcy seated himself in the closest available chair, which happened to be opposite Wickham’s.  Unfortunately, the other man was also adjacent to the settee where Elizabeth and her aunt were situated.  How did Wickham come to be in London?  Why was he visiting Elizabeth?  Was he actively courting her?  Darcy’s breakfast sat like a lump of lead in his stomach.

He could not forget Elizabeth’s disappointment that Wickham had not attended the Netherfield Ball and her spirited defense of him during the dancing.  The conversation had caused Darcy twinges of anxiety, but he had comforted himself that her meager dowry kept her safe from Wickham’s depredations.  In perpetual want of money, the man would never pursue a poor woman.

And yet here he was.

“I was not aware you were in town,” Darcy said pointedly.

Wickham gave him a lazy smile.  “I have a fortnight’s leave for Christmas and thought I would visit some friends here in London.”  In other words, he was in town to gamble.  “I would not have expected to see you in Gracechurch Street.”

Darcy stiffened.  “I am on good terms with the Bennet family,” he said sharply.  “And I made Mrs. Gardiner’s acquaintance yesterday.”

“This is my third visit,” Wickham smirked.  “The Gardiners are most charming hosts.”

Three visits already?  Perhaps he was courting Elizabeth.  The room was too warm and too close.  Sweat dampened the back of Darcy’s cravat, and he tugged to loosen it.  It was unfair that providence had gifted Wickham with such pleasing manners and easy ways with people.  He readily formed friendships while Darcy struggled simply to say appropriate words in social situations.

Mrs. Gardiner cleared her throat.  “Mr. Wickham and I both spent our childhoods near Lambton, in Derbyshire.”

Darcy suppressed a desire to shout that he knew very well where Lambton was.

“We have many acquaintances in common,” she continued.  Darcy no doubt had acquaintances in common with Mrs. Gardiner as well; unfortunately, they most likely took the form of having patronized the shops that members of her family operated.  How have I arrived at this pass?  His feelings for Elizabeth had brought him so low that he was beginning to regret his superior birth.

“I grew up at Pemberley,” Darcy said.

The older woman’s eyes grew wide.  “Oh…Darcy!  I should have realized—!”  She turned to her niece.  “You neglected to inform me that the Mr. Darcy of your acquaintance was Mr. Darcy of Pemberley!”

Elizabeth’s expression revealed no chagrin.  “I did not realize you would know the name, Aunt.”

So she had rarely discussed Darcy with her aunt, and yet Wickham arrived for frequent visits.  Darcy had the distinct impression he was losing a footrace he had not known he was running.

For the rest of the visit, Darcy remained an outsider.  Elizabeth knew how Wickham liked his tea.  Mrs. Gardiner inquired after his cousin’s health.  Wickham referred to incidents which had occurred at Longbourn after Darcy had left for London.

Darcy made only occasional forays into the conversation, but his subjects were not taken up by the others.  In desperation, he blurted out an invitation for Elizabeth to join him for a curricle ride through London.

She blinked at him, a faint line forming between her brows. “I thank you for your most generous offer, Mr. Darcy.  But I fear I might be contracting a cold and do not believe it would be prudent for me to remain outside for great lengths of time.”

“Of course,” Darcy murmured while Wickham smirked.  “Another time perhaps.”

Nevertheless, Darcy refused to quit the drawing room and leave Wickham in possession of the battlefield.  To do so would not only admit defeat but would also leave Elizabeth unprotected from the other man’s whims. As a result, both men stayed quite a bit longer than was customary.  Finally, Mrs. Gardiner announced she felt a headache developing; both Darcy and Wickham regarded that as an invitation to depart.

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A Pride and Prejudice Variation. Mr. Darcy hopes Christmastime will help him to forget the pair of fine eyes that he left behind in Hertfordshire. When Elizabeth Bennet appears unexpectedly in London, Darcy decides to keep his distance, resolved to withstand his attraction to her. But when he learns that Wickham is threatening to propose to Elizabeth, Darcy faces a crisis.

For her part, Elizabeth does not understand why the unpleasant master of Pemberley insists on dancing with her at the Christmas ball or how his eyes happen to seek her out so often. She enjoys Mr. Wickham’s company and is flattered when he makes her an offer of marriage. On the other hand, Mr. Darcy’s proposal is unexpected and unwelcome. But the more Elizabeth learns of Mr. Darcy, the more confused she becomes—as she prepares to make the most momentous decision of her life.

It’s a Yuletide season of love and passion as your favorite characters enjoy Christmas at Darcy House!

 

 

You can find Christmas at Darcy House at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 

 

 

Did you enjoy the excerpt? And did the blurb get into you? Well, you have an opportunity to read this book quite soon because Victoria Kincaid is offering one ebook of Christmas at Darcy House to one of my readers.

All you have to do is comment on this post and let us know what you think of Victoria’s most recent release.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 16th of December, a very special date for all of us 😉

Good Luck Everyone!

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44 Comments

Filed under JAFF

44 responses to “Christmas at Darcy House – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

  1. Megan Wilkins

    After reading the excerpt, I can not wait to read the whole story!

    Like

  2. Daniela Quadros

    I am a big fan of Victoria’s books and this excerpt and the blurb left me really eager to read more. Poor Darcy, to be in such a situation where he sees Wickham courting Elizabeth!! It is so bad when he manages to ingratiate himself to her! But I am sure it will be solved in the best way with lots of romance for ODC. Thank you for the giveaway!

    Like

  3. Ria

    I feel such angst for poor Mr. Darcy

    Like

  4. Enjoyed the excerpt but felt bad for Mr Darcy. I hope that Mr Wickham’s true character is revealed before Elizabeth forms a strong attachment to him as they seem to be close here.

    Like

  5. I have read and enjoyed other books by Victoria and would love a chance to read this. Thanks.

    Like

  6. Sally

    What a different scene! Wickham at the Gardiner’s!I don’t like this one bit! So I have to find out what happens. Thank you for the giveaway and for the change from the same old same old.

    Like

  7. Wickham, what can you say about the man, can I say that I like the way he disconcerts Darcy

    Like

  8. Mary

    Oh,my! Elizabeth journey to the Gardiners’ for Christmas only to be met with not one,but two potential suitors vying for her attention. I can well imagine Wickham conversing sweetly with Mrs Gardiner,while Darcy,tongue tied with anxiety and inner turmoil Fahd his feelings for Elizabeth,sits by watching,a participator in a game he had no desire to play.

    Yes,the excerpt was just what we needed to whet our appetites and increase our anticipation!!
    Best of luck with your new book,Victoria.
    Rita,thank you for such a lovely post!

    Like

  9. Charlotte

    Really enjoyed reading this. Just wonder how Wickham likes his tea 😉

    Like

  10. Daniela Quadros

    I have already commented but I was just wondering … why would Wickham offer for Elizabeth? She has no dowry or connections, unless he plans to seduce her and leave her? Very curious!!

    Like

  11. Claire Ferguson

    I would love to read this book! I really hope Wickham doesn’t get the chance to propose though, or at least that Lizzy finds out what he’s really like before he does so she can deliver an amazing refusal 😂
    Love Victoria’s books!

    Like

  12. Glynis

    I believe i know why Wickham is proposing to Elizabeth and really hope she doesn’t accept him. I feel so sorry for Darcy trying to compete. Surely Elizabeth can see how smug and sly Wickham is. I hope she starts to see the truth soon and that Wickham gets his just desserts (as well as the person who persuaded him to pursue Elizabeth).
    I’m so looking forward to this book so thanks for the giveaway and fingers crossed 😊
    Good luck with your conference Rita.

    Like

  13. mbresticker

    Really liked the excerpt. Nice little touches of humor. Looking forward to reading the whole story. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Like

  14. caroleincanada

    What is Wickham up to? I am definitely intrigued! Thank you for a chance at the giveaway and good luck Rita next week! You will be amazing!

    Like

  15. Hi Rita, Thanks for having me visit! I’m sure you’ll be terrific at the conference. Having been to a JASNA conference, I think Jane Austen lovers are some of the warmest, friendliest people I’ve ever met. I bet they’ll be a great audience for you.

    Like

  16. J. W. Garrett

    Dang Wickham… I want to shake him into next Christmas. I also want to shake Lizzy. Doesn’t Mrs. Gardiner know anything about Wickham? Maybe she’ll write to someone in Lambton and ask? No? Maybe they don’t do that. Aarrgghh!! I’ve got to know what happens. Thanks to Rita for hosting this aggravation…em… post. Thanks to our author for shooting my blood pressure through the roof. I don’t need to sleep tonight. LOL!! Blessings on the launch of this book and good luck to all those who want a copy. I certainly do. What fun!!

    Like

  17. Reading the comments…Wickham has a reason for proposing to Elizabeth…she with no money and no connections? That alone is a reason to read this!

    Like

  18. Agnes

    Sounds like a lovely story, with so much torment for Darcy and a chance for Elizabeth to choose the truly worthy man of the two. The idea of a Christmas themed show at Astley’s sounds really a treat!

    Like

  19. I am rather frightened of ickham who goes to the trouble of following Lizzie to London. I am hoping Darcy speaks up to Mr. Gardiner, or Mrs. Gardiner hears from her contacts about Wickham.

    Like

  20. Ginna

    Oh, what angst! I could very much sense how Darcy probably felt like he was desperately treading water there. I look forward to reading more, especially about why Wickham proposes.

    Like

  21. Betty Campbell Madden

    I can’t imagine one of Victoria’s stories being anything but enjoyable.

    Like

  22. Pam Hunter

    Loved the excerpt (except for Wickham, of course)! Looking forward to reading this one! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    Like

  23. Sharon Legg

    A sword to my heart!!! Darcy without Elizabeth! Oh, can’t wait to see how this I sorted!

    Like

  24. So exciting! I enjoy reading Victoria’s books and am looking forward to a nice Christmas-y one.

    Like

  25. Dung

    Oh boy, can’t wait to find out what happens. Wickham proposing to Elizabeth? Yikes, Darcy better up his game…

    Like

  26. I got my copy of the incredible mr. Darcy i believe thats the name of it thanls i have all jane austins books forever keepsakes

    Like

  27. Pingback: Guest Posts and Giveaway for Christmas at Darcy House! | Victoria Kincaid

  28. KateB

    It was a funny scene, though I don’t think that Darcy was amused. Congratulations on the release of your new book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Like

  29. The problem I always have with giveaways is that I am so impatient to read the story after the excerpt that I don’t know if I can wait until the 16th! lol But, I will wait… then jump on it on the 17th if I don’t win!

    Like

  30. I am definitely intrigued by the blurb and delicious excerpt. It looks like Darcy is at a disadvantage as no one will help his cause of pursuing Elizabeth, not even Mrs Gardiner. Btw, the cover is lovely, Victoria.

    Like

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