Monday, 1 December 2014

SPOTLIGHT ON ... MR DARCY'S CHALLENGE BY MONICA FAIRVIEW + GIVEAWAY

Monica Fairview is giving away one e-copy of MR. DARCY’S CHALLENGE (international) and one paperback copy (USA, UK or EU only). 

For a chance to win a copy, you need to leave a comment answering the question at the end of the excerpt. Remember we also need an e-mail address to contact you in case you are one of the winners! Deadline December 9th, 2014.

Meanwhile, to whet your appetite:

Book Blurb

In this humorous Pride and Prejudice Variation, Mr. Darcy is determined to win Elizabeth Bennet's hand in spite of her rejection and he has a strategy worked out. He will rescue Lydia Bennet from Wickham and will return to Longbourn to convince Elizabeth to marry him. But when a chance encounter prompts Darcy to propose once again to Elizabeth before he has rescued Lydia, his plans go horribly wrong. 

Broken hearted, disillusioned and bitterly regretting his impulsive action, Darcy sees no point in assisting Miss Bennet. After all, rescuing Lydia might save Elizabeth’s reputation, but why should he care when they have no future together? His code of gentlemanly conduct, however, demands that he fulfill the terms of his promise to her. Once again, Darcy finds himself faced with impossible choices: helping Elizabeth when she is certain to marry someone else, or holding onto his dignity by turning his back on the Bennets once and for all. 

Pride and love are at loggerheads as he struggles to choose between his mind … and his heart. 

Volume Two of The Darcy Novels continues the story began in Mr. Darcy's Pledge but can be read as an independent book as well.



Excerpt from Chapter Two Mr. Darcy’s Challenge

Summary of events leading up to this chapter:

In the previous novel, MR. DARCY’S PLEDGE, Darcy decides to make a list of accomplishments to help him be rational about his choice of a wife. Rational choice rather than love is his guiding principle. However, now that he has seen Lizzy again at Longbourn, he tears up the list and tosses it behind him as he rides to London to rescue Lydia.
On the way, it occurs to him that perhaps it would not be wise to leave the list on the grounds of Longbourn where Elizabeth might find it. Unfortunately, by the time he rides back, it is too late. Elizabeth is in the process of picking up the papers.  
***
The situation was exactly as Darcy had feared. The white incriminating pieces of paper lay on the path, clearly visible, and Elizabeth was bending down to pick them up and fitting the pieces together. Darcy prayed for a sudden downpour that would wash away the ink, but the heavens did not oblige. It was vexing to think that he had just come from a muddy field, while the bridleway was perfectly dry. Meanwhile, Elizabeth bent down to pick up several pieces of the paper and held them together.
He raced towards her in a desperate effort to prevent her from reading them.
 “Why, Mr. Darcy,” said Elizabeth, looking up, her cheeks dimpling as he approached. “You appear to be riding in the opposite direction from London. Have you perchance lost your way?”She put her bonnet on her head and shielded her eyes from the sun to look at him.He had been so intent on reaching her that he had not thought of a possible response to that question. The sight of Elizabeth after all his recollections was in itself enough to make him tongue-tied. Having to come up with an explanation for riding towards Longbourn rather than away from it proved entirely beyond his ability. He tried to sort out his jumbled thoughts but his mind refused to assist him.
“Erm,” he said. It was as much as he could say.“I did not mean to challenge you, sir. I was merely curious,” said Elizabeth, laughing. “Your secrets are your own to keep. I will not attempt to ferret them out.”Secrets? Why was she speaking of secrets when he was doing what he can to prevent her from discovering the list? Did she already suspect something? If so, he had to distract her.
This sense of purpose enabled him to find his tongue – as well as a creditable explanation.“I have no secrets,” he said. “I was on the verge of taking the London road when I recalled that I had not asked for your uncle’s address. I intend to call on the Gardiners when in town.”He felt guilty for lying, but he could think of nothing better. Of course, he knew exactly where the Gardiners resided. He had paced outside their house on Gracechurch Street and even knocked on their door.
A shadow came over her face and the laughter disappeared.
“That is very kind of you, sir,” she said, looking pained, but as you know, my aunt and uncle are very preoccupied with— the whole business, and will very likely not be receiving anyone until the matter is resolved.”Now he had unintentionally upset her. He felt an irresistible impulse to alight from the horse and draw Elizabeth to him to comfort her. He struggled to bring the impulse under control.
“I am much obliged to you, sir,” said Elizabeth, bending down once again to pick up the bits of paper. “However, I cannot write the address for you. We have plenty of paper; it seems, but no quill.” She took up one of the larger pieces and peered at the handwriting. “I wonder what such fine paper is doing here.”Flustered, Darcy sought desperately for a way to distract her from reading what he had written.
“I need to be on my way,” he said, abruptly. “I cannot delay any further. If you will ride with me, we could go back to the house where we could obtain one.”The moment he said it, he wished it unsaid. Had he really suggested taking her up in front of him? The prospect of having her so close put him in agony of anticipation. He waited tensely, hoping she would say yes.She looked at the horse uncertainly.
“Do you ride, Miss Bennet?”“I am a poor rider,” she said, “I prefer to walk.”
The sense of disappointment was intense, but he acknowledged to himself that it would have been madness to have her so close. It would have stretched his self-discipline too far.
“Then I shall walk with you,” he said, sliding down from the saddle.“I see you have already been walking,” she remarked with smile, indicating his mud-splattered boots.
Darcy hoped she would not wonder why he had been walking about instead of riding off to London.
“I found the lavender fields irresistible.”“Did you, indeed?” she asked, looking pleased. “They are my favorite place to visit. I have a particular tree that I like to go to. I often sit with my back against the tree trunk and read, while the bees drone on around me and the delicious scent fills my head. It is my secret hideaway when I need to escape from home. I am glad that you liked the fields as well.”For now, they were in perfect accord. He cherished this moment in which Elizabeth spoke to him freely, her expression unguarded.“Perhaps one day I shall come back and we could visit the field together,” he said, envisioning a holding of hands or even a kiss.
“Then you shall have to bring a book to read, for I shall insist on silence.”The vision dissipated.“As you may recall, we both share a love of books.”Now that he was on the ground, he took the opportunity to pick up several of the papers closest to him.
She observed him in astonishment. “There is no call for you to do this, Mr. Darcy.”“I noticed them from a distance. They are an ugly blot on a pristine landscape.”“I did not realize you were so particular. Allow me to assist you, in that case.”
She moved to help, but he shooed her away. “Miss Bennet, I beg you, leave this to me.”
***
Question for comments: Mr. Darcy made a list of what he would like in an ideal wife. What are the qualities you think Mr. Darcy has that would make him an ideal husband?

About the author, Monica Fairview

Monica is a longtime admirer of Jane Austen and likes to write down her fantasies about living in the Regency period. Her first novel was AN IMPROPER SUITOR, a humorous Regency romance. Since then, she has written two traditional Jane Austen sequels: THE OTHER MR. DARCY and THE DARCY COUSINS (both published by Sourcebooks) and contributed a sequel to Emma in Laurel Ann Nattress's anthology JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT (Ballantine). STEAMPUNK DARCY is a post-apocalyptic tongue-in-cheek Jane Austen spin-off. Her new series, THE DARCY NOVELS, are traditional Pride and Prejudice ‘what-if’ variations. The first, MR. DARCY’S PLEDGE, reached number one in Kindle Classics Romance. MR. DARCY’S CHALLENGE is the second in the series.
Monica is part of the blog Austen Variations along with a baker’s dozen of authors who also write Jane Austen adaptations. She was a member of the team writing the popular Reader’s Choice serial THE DARCY BROTHERS, featuring the charismatic Theo Darcy.
Monica Fairview’s real claim to fame is that she lived in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester as a teenager, when it was crumbling and neglected, so you could say she has the smog of NORTH & SOUTH in her blood. After that, Monica lived in the USA for many years, where she taught literature to captive victims (not necessarily captivated). She now lives in Surrey within the Greater London area and loves visiting historical properties when it isn’t raining.

Visit Monica at
Austen Variations www.austenvariations.com
Twitter @Monica_Fairview


26 comments:

Jen Red said...

I'll go for reliable and loyal to a fault. Not to mention he is smart and logical. Then because he is so intense, I will speculate that he must have a smoldering passion that once unleashed would make another side of him very desirable. Is there really such a person??? ~Jen Red~

Babs BookBistro said...

I would have to say loyalty. He stands by all his frirends and family.
Babs
Babsbookbistro @ GMAIL DOT COM

Vesper Meikle said...

apart from his library and the grounds of Pemberley, his intelligence is the main attraction of Dracy

meikleblog at gmail dot com

Deborah Ann said...

I picture him as faithful and loyal to a fault, intelligent and trustworthy, protective and loving, reliable and honest, as well as logical, caring and passionate.
skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

Monica Fairview said...

Jen -- Colin Firth does a great job bringing out that intensity and smoldering passion, doesn't he? Come to think of it, Matthew MacFadyen is very intense as well.
Babs -- I agree that loyalty is a very strong trait in Darcy.
Vesper -- LOL!! I love your reference to the book. I, too, like his intelligence.
Deborah -- those are a lot of lovely qualities! Is there such a man?

BookLuver88 said...

I would say that the main attraction of Darcy is how he is as a person. He is protective of those he love and are close to him.

Patkf2007 (at)Hotmail(dot)com

Jo's Daughter said...

His honest is probably the best quality I think. Also he can be dependend on, he can admit a mistake & he does everything for those he loves :)

Lúthien84 said...

He's loyal to his family and friends, responsible to those under his care (like his sister Georgiana) and not afraid to own and when he is in the wrong. He's certainly passionate and willing to do anything for the woman he loves such as rescuing the Bennets' reputation by bribing his worst enemy Wickham to marry Lydia.

I'm international btw and my email address is evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

Allison said...

He's loyal, feels deeply, and takes his responsibilities very seriously. Oh, and handsome doesn't hurt!

Allisonpsullivan@gmail.com

L Fujinaga said...

He is a very honorable, loyal man to his family and close friends. He is also highly intelligent and reserve.
And yes, being handsome doesn't hurt either. Integr67 at aol dot com.

Lynda E. said...

Darcy's honor, integrity and (eventual) ability to admit his mistakes make him an ideal husband! Thanks for the giveaway--this sounds like a fun read! danandlyndaedwards (at) msn (dot) com.

Angela Smith said...

I think his gentlemanly manner and honour. You don't see much of that these days and I would like to find someone that would always hold the door open. angelzrkool76(at)hotmail(dot)com

Wendy Norris Roberts said...

Darcy is quite steadfast in his feelings for Elizabeth.
robmwmj at gmail dot com

Monica Fairview said...

Wendy -- I think he gets points for that -- he's like Captain Wentworth in that sense. I wonder if he would still have loved her years later?

Angela -- There is really something special about those old-world manners. Courtesy and courtship are both absent in our world. Certainly Darcy embodies those wonderful concepts.


Monica Fairview said...

Allison -- feeling deeply is certainly one of the most adorable traits in Darcy.

L Fujinaga -- handsome is definitely a plus!!! Loyalty, too.

Lynda -- the ability to admit mistakes is a crucial aspect of the ideal husband. Nothing worse than being obstinately wrong-headed! I know someone married to a man who will never admit he's done anything wrong. Not a good trait.

Joana Starnes said...

Please don't enter me, I just wanted to pop by to say I'm so glad this is out at last and I can't wait to read it! Also, gorgeous cover, Monica, just stunning! I just realised I recognise the setting (Long Garden at Cliveden?). How wonderful to catch it in such amazing bloom!

Monica Fairview said...

Joana, you have sharp eyes. It *is* the Long Garden at Cliveden. I'm impressed!
Thanks for dropping in!

ColleenL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ColleenL said...

Darcy’s intelligence, honesty, dependability, determination, and generosity would hopefully make him a good husband. Plus Pemberley, a house in Town and 20,000 a year are a nice bonus. Thanks for a chance to read it :)
colleenday at hotmail dot com

PdxIrishGirl said...

Honorable, trustworthy, intelligent,
loyal and generous - all describe Mr
Darcy.

Amy Z said...

I assume you mean for us to answer this question with qualities above and beyond his being a single man of large fortune... Okay, well he's good looking (which a young man ought to be if he possibly can). He possesses a certain air about him, something in the way he walks and the tone of his voice. And to all of that he's added the improvement of his mind through extensive reading! But putting all of that aside... he's also thoughtful, introspective, and fiercely loyal and protective of his loved ones. This last quality is perhaps the most important one to me. With all of those good qualities, I have to say, though that he could do himself a few favors if just had a bit of a sense of humor... or at least if he was more obvious about it.

Maureen Grinter said...

What I think are Mr Darcy qualities are: A Loving Brother, Honourable, Loyal, Trustworth, Intelligent, A Good Master to his tenants and servants, and of course he is Gentlemanly and Handsome, and love his wife till death do us part.

Monica Fairview said...

AmyZ -- love your quote from P&P ;)
I agree that a sense of humor would help, since that's what he loves most in Lizzy!

ColeenL -- in other words, a millionaire! That certainly is an ideal quality by any standard. It certainly would help for him to be generous!

PdxIrishGirl -- Sounds perfect :D

Maureen -- I'm very glad you added A Good Master to the list because that is really very important. Lizzy began to change her mind when heard Mrs. Reynolds' praise of her employer.


Dung Vu said...

So glad that the two book series is complete so I can start reading it!

Love the excerpt! Thanks for the giveaway!

mrg & grm said...

I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks!
Darcy is thoughtful (the piano for Georgiana) and goes to some trouble to make her happy (Mrs. Reynolds says he does for Georgiana whatever will make her happy). Miss Elizabeth recognizes how much power was in Darcy's hands, to affect people's lives and it appeared that he did so thoughtfully and well. He looks out for others, he's intelligent and well read, and he feels deeply.
mrgpublic at gmail dot com

Amy Z - I loved your parody of Caroline Bingley's speech!

Shela Killian said...

Mr. Darcy. I love how loyal he is, and then when he was found incorrect he made it right. So many times people wont admit when they are wrong... and even those who do... they don't necessarily do anything to attempt to make amendments. Mr. Darcy is great when it came to that.