Maria Grace has just released her first book (kindle and paperback) and is here to introduce you herself, her love for Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and her "Darcy's Decision" . Read her piece, leave your comments or questions , don't forget to add your e-mail address in order to get the chance to win a paperback copy if you live in the US continental or an e-book if you live in the rest of the world (please, specify in your comment). The giveaway ends on January 25th.
“As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. … I was spoilt by my parents, who, … allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own.”—Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
This particular line always fascinated me. It gave so much insight as to who Darcy is, but it also begs the question: What is to be done with a man like Fitzwilliam Darcy? One who knows better but does not know how to do better? After much consideration, it came to me—you give him a mentor! So that’s exactly what I did. We meet them both in ‘Darcy’s Decision’, the first volume of the Given Good Principles series. The tale is not so much a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but rather a reimagining of what the story might have been if our hero (and in the second volume, our heroine) had the opportunity to learn how to live up to the standards they had been taught and to follow them from the beginning. Our beloved characters remain true to their essentials while they make different and arguably better decisions throughout.
Ah, but you must ask, since much of the conflict in the original story came from Darcy’s pride and Elizabeth’s prejudice, would there be a story left to tell if those things were dealt with before our dear couple meet? The short answer is yes, I promise there is quite a story to be told. It begins even before Darcy is born. John Bradley, long-time friend and advisor of George and Lady Anne Darcy, isa man whose wisdom is hard won, refined in the fires of personal tragedy. He stood by the elder Darcys through their good times and bad and is committed to do the same for their son. He does not lecture Darcy, but rather challenges him not to settle for the status quo, to reach for a higher standard.
Not surprisingly, the task of managing Pemberley is enough to awaken Darcy’s deepest insecurities. His Aunt Catherine and Uncle Matlock provide no help and little encouragement. So he turns to Bradley as he tries to fill his father’s shoes. An alternate version of Georgiana’s near disaster at Ramsgate and the surprising revelations that follow rattle Darcy to the core and force him to confront dark family secrets that nearly destroyed his father. The question is,of course: will Darcy be the man his father was, or will he succeed in reaching for more?
While Darcy faces his challenges, Elizabeth, too, must confront uncomfortable truths in the soon coming sequel, ‘Darcy’s Helpmate.’ I have to confess, I loved exploring their characters through the course of these tales and I hope you will enjoy it too.
Though Maria Grace has been writing fiction since she was ten years old, those early efforts happily reside in a file drawer and are unlikely to see the light of day again, for which many are grateful.She has one husband, two graduate degrees and two black belts, three sons, four undergraduate majors, five nieces, six cats, seven Regency-era fiction projects and notes for eight more writing projects in progress. To round out the list, she cooks for nine in order to accommodate the growing boys and usually makes ten meals at a time so she only cooks twice a month.
Six months after his father's passing, Fitzwilliam Darcy still finds solace in his morning reflections at his parents' graves. Only in the quiet solitude of the churchyard does he indulge his grief. None but his unlikely mentor recognize the heartache and insecurity plaguing him as he shoulders the enormous burden of being Master of Pemberley.Not all are pleased with his choice of advisor. Lady Catherine complains Darcy allows him too much influence. Lord Matlock argues, "Who is he to question the God-appointed social order?" But the compassionate wisdom Darcy finds in his counselor keeps him returning for guidance even though it causes him to doubt everything he has been taught.In the midst of his struggles to reinvent himself, his school chum, Charles Bingley, arrives. Darcy hopes the visit will offer some respite from the uproar in his life. Instead of relief, Darcy discovers his father's darkest secret staring him in the face. Pushed to his limits, Darcy must overcome the issues that ruined his father and, with his friends and mentor at his side, restore his tarnished birthright.
Maria Grace can be contacted at: author.MariaGrace@gmail.com. You can find her profile on Facebook facebook.com/AuthorMariaGrace or visit her website at AuthorMariaGrace.com.