Good Afternoon everyone,
I hope you are enjoying your weekend as much as I am! I have finally bought an embossing machine today and started playing a little bit with it, I’m just getting started and I’m not that good with arts and crafts but I was even able to make this postcard, what do you think? Do I have any hope of doing something cool in the future?
I’m eager to learn everything about this machine and start making really cool postcards to send to all my friends, so fingers crossed! Let’s hope experience will allow me to improve 🙂
As you can see my afternoon was not literary and I haven’t really read anything, but I hope to make it up by hosting one of my favourite authors today and bringing you an excerpt of her latest novel. Please join me in welcoming Victoria Kincaid and enjoy her guest post and excerpt of Darcy and Deception 🙂 And don’t forget, there is a giveaway 🙂
Happy New Year, Rita, and thank you for having me for a visit! I always enjoy learning about the Regency era when I’m researching my books, and the writing of Darcy and Deception was no different. Most of the novel is set in Brighton, home of the iconic Royal Pavilion. While the building is mentioned in the story, it would not have appeared in 1813 the way it does today. Still, I found the story of the Royal Pavilion to be fascinating.
The Prince of Wales visited Brighton in 1783 for the first time—having been advised that seawater would be good for his gout. At the time seawater was believed to benefit many different ailments and this helped to fuel the growing popularity of Brighton as a resort.
In 1786, the Prince rented a farmhouse in Brighton that faced the Old Steyne—a grassy promenade that was the center of a fashionable neighborhood. The house also happened to be a convenient location for the prince’s liaisons with his mistress Maria Fitzherbert.
In 1787 the prince had architect Henry Holland design an addition to the existing building. It became one wing of what was now dubbed the Marine Pavilion. Decorated in a neoclassical style, the Pavilion contained three main rooms: a breakfast room, dining room, and library, flanking a rotunda. In 1802 the Pavilion was further enlarged with a new dining room and conservatory. The prince bought the surrounding land and had stables built to house 60 horses.
Marine Pavilion before 1802
It was not until 1815 that work on the final design phase began—based on plans by John Nash. This construction (finished in 1822) gave the Royal Pavilion its distinctive façade and the Indian/Chinese/Islamic flavored architecture that seems so out of place in an English town. It is considered excellent example of the exoticism that was an alternative to the Regency’s more predominate classical style.
Royal Pavilion today
Unfortunately, because Darcy and Deception is set in 1813, Darcy and Elizabeth do not get to visit the Royal Pavilion in all its exotic splendor. But the building does play a role in the book, and the Prince Regent makes a guest appearance near the end of the story. Still, it’s fun to imagine what they would have made of such fanciful architecture. I suspect Elizabeth would be delighted by the whimsy, and Darcy would be appalled by the lack of neo-classical design elements.
Below is an excerpt from Darcy and Deception. Please enjoy! .
“Darcy, sit down. Simply watching you makes me restless!” Bingley complained as Darcy made his seventh or eighth lap across the drawing room floor, seemingly attempting to wear a path in Netherfield’s carpet.
Darcy threw himself into a chair. “I should have departed tonight. Waiting was a mistake.”
Bingley rolled his eyes. “Once again I remind you: the journey to Brighton is long—and dangerous on a moonless night.”
“Imagine if Jane were in Brighton with that blackguard!” Darcy growled.
Bingley pressed his lips together until they turned white.
“He could compromise her—make her marry him. Or force himself upon her!” Unable to contain his energy, Darcy launched himself from the chair and resumed pacing.
“She is with Colonel Forster and his wife,” Bingley pointed out for at least the third time. “They will protect her.”
“Have you met the colonel’s wife?” Darcy asked. “She may be all of eighteen years, and a strong wind would carry her away. She could not be trusted to protect Elizabeth from a sparrow.”
“Well, the colonel is a level-headed man,” Bingley said.
“He has other duties; he cannot watch her all the time.” Darcy’s hands clenched into fists as if preparing to fight.
Bingley shifted on the settee. “Have you considered your actions upon arriving in Brighton? You must have a plan. You did not part on the best of terms with Miss Elizabeth.”
Darcy ran both hands through his hair. He had done nothing but think on that question in the past few hours but had discovered no satisfactory answer. “I will reason with her.”
Bingley’s brow furrowed. “She may not be disposed to heed your reasoning. If she refused to read your letter, she may refuse to listen to your words.”
Darcy ground his teeth. Naturally this had occurred to him. “I will make her listen!” He could hear the desperation in his own voice. “She will not be able to ignore me.”
“An auspicious beginning to a courtship,” Bingley remarked dryly.
“Knowing the truth about George Wickham is more important,” Darcy bit out. “More important than her feelings for me. Her safety is paramount.”
“But surely you will agree it would be best if she were not further disaffected from you.”
Darcy sighed. What a muddle! “Yes, of course.”
“Have you considered that she might be in love with Wickham?” Bingley spoke slowly and carefully. “People in love can be blind.”
Darcy had exerted tremendous effort to banish such thoughts. “She cannot be in love with Wickham!” he said savagely. Bingley said nothing, waiting for his friend to grow calmer. “But I can woo her away from Wickham.”
Bingley raised an eyebrow. “Have you ever courted a woman before?”
“Ladies have pursued you. It is not precisely the same,” his friend said with a grin.
“It cannot be that difficult,” Darcy grumbled irritably.
“It would not be difficult if you were not the last man on earth she would ever consider marrying.” Bingley shrugged.
Of course, Bingley was right. Who was Darcy fooling? He and Elizabeth had parted on the least amicable terms imaginable, following the world’s most disastrous offer of marriage. Sinking back into his chair, Darcy closed his eyes and dropped his head. “I would welcome any advice you might have on the matter.” He had no pride remaining when it came to Elizabeth Bennet.
After a moment Bingley shook his head. “I have none to offer, my friend. I have properly bungled my courtship with Jane.”
“She appears to have forgiven you.”
“Yes, as long as I make no more blunders.”
Darcy would give anything to be in his friend’s place.
“Are you certain you do not wish me to accompany you to Brighton?” Bingley asked.
The offer was tempting, but Darcy shook his head. “You must remain here and woo your lady. I will either stand or fall on my own merits.” He fervently hoped she would listen to reason—that her future happiness did not rely on Darcy’s paltry courtship skills.
“I have all the confidence in the world,” Bingley said with a hearty smile. “Just be yourself.”
Darcy snorted. “That is what created this mess.”
Returning home from Kent, Elizabeth Bennet is still distressed over Mr. Darcy’s insulting marriage proposal. However, her attention is diverted by the local militia commander who asks her to observe Wickham, now suspected of being a French spy. Pretending to be besotted with Wickham, Elizabeth accompanies the regiment when they relocate to Brighton.
Darcy arrives at Longbourn with the intention of making amends to Elizabeth, only to discover that she is now at Brighton with Wickham. Desperate to save her from the scoundrel, Darcy follows her to the seaside, where he hopes to woo her away from the other man.
Deception piles on top of deception as Elizabeth attempts to carry out her mission without betraying confidences—or breaking Darcy’s heart. However, the French plot runs deeper than she knows; soon she and Darcy are plunged into the confusing and dangerous world of international espionage. Can Darcy and Elizabeth escape with their lives and their love intact.
Victoria Kincaid would like to offer one ebook copy of Darcy and Deception to one of my readers, the giveaway is international will end on the 16th of January. Winners will be announced shortly after that 🙂
To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts on the excerpt Victoria shared with all of you.
Please do not forget to check the blog to confirm if you were the winner 🙂
Good Luck everyone!