Wednesday, 24 September 2014


My love affair with writing began in childhood but didn’t blossom until my midlife crisis. At the age of forty-something, I traveled the country interviewing men for what I thought would be a serious book on how men really felt about women and relationships. That adventure turned into a bittersweet dark comedy novel titled The Adventures of a Love Investigator. Emotionally spent from interviewing over five hundred men, I turned to writing a series of riffs on classic fairytales. Novels like The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters, were loosely based on some of my misadventures.

Enter Wendy Darlin: Spun from the essence of Peter Pan, Wendy became my alter-ego. She did things I would never dare, and things I did and regretted. She is a blending of Lucille Ball and Indiana Jones. After finishing five books in her screwball series I wondered: what next?

JAFF author Elizabeth Ann West suggested I bring my quirky sense of humor to Jane Austen’s timeless stories. I hesitated. It would be like wearing tennis shoes under a ball gown. My sense of screwball inserted in the ballrooms of Jane Austen? Could I do this?

I began the first in my Mister Darcy series – Mister Darcy’s Dogs – this summer. I discovered Elizabeth Bennet had much in common with Wendy Darlin and yours truly. We share an insubordinate sense of humor and a talent for mumbling under our breaths. We are attracted to and irritated by gorgeous men with chocolate-colored eyes and quirky personalities. We rarely hesitate leaping in to help a friend and occasionally regret it. 

I feel as if I have finally found my genre. I have come home… at long last. I am a JAFF author of light comedies, and I am finally happy. I thank you for inviting me to your lovely site.

Barbara Silkstone
About the Author

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series of  screwball comedy adventures that include: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Miami Mummies, Vulgarian Vamp, Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set. Her Romantic Suspense Fairy Tales series includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs. For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs. True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator.

Latest release: Mister Darcy’s Dogs

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About the book


Pride and Prejudice contemporary variation novella
A Light Comedy

Who needs a psychologist here? LOL!

The mysterious Mister Darcy retains the services of dog psychologist Lizzie Bennet to train his basset puppies for an important foxhunt. Despite knowing nothing about fox hunting, Doctor Lizzie takes on the challenge. Assigned to cover the hunt for the BBC is Society Reporter Caroline Bingley, the would-be paramour of Mister Darcy.

Lizzie’s sister Jane and Charles Bingley join the adventure and fall trippingly in love as Lydia involves Georgiana in an ill-planned caper. And why is Wickham lurking in the shrubberies?

Book One in the Mister Darcy series by Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series that includes: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Miami Mummies, Vulgarian Vamp, Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set. Her Romantic Suspense Fairy Tales series includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs. For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs. True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator.

Barbara Silkstone's done it again! In Mister Darcy's Dogs, she brings her zany sense of humor and witty writing to a modern take on Pride and Prejudice. Austen, dogs, and Silkstone make for a winning combination and an engaging, fun read.

Melissa F. Miller, USA TODAY Bestselling Author of the Sasha McCandless legal thriller series.

Read an excerpt

Chapter One

 Churchill Hounds Best of Show might have been the most exclusive canine competition in London but at the moment it sounded as if the hounds of the Baskervilles had cornered the tastiest fox smack-center in grand Royal Albert Hall. The baying of hundreds of dogs cut the night air of Kensington Gardens as our taxi pulled to the curb. I took a deep breath, rolled up the cab window and grabbed my battered leather courier bag.
This was my older sister Jane’s first time as coordinator of the Hounds event. Through her sweet demeanor and stiff determination she had secured the Royal Albert as a venue. Never before had animals graced the revered concert hall. All gilt, velvet, and posh, this would be the first and by the sounds of the chaos within, perhaps the last dog show held in the Hall.
I leaped from the cab, my little sister Lydia close at my heels, her eyes two giant blue eggs. I was the dog psychologist able to tame the wildest beast. Lydia was terrified of anything on four legs. Sixteen going on twelve, she clung to the pocket of my tan trousers with one hand, her other arm linked to the sleeve of my jumble-sale blouse.
There was no way I could have left Lydia alone at my home in the country. Not with the RAF reserves on bivouac at our neighbor’s farm. Lydia had a thing for men in uniforms, and her thing grossly exceeded her common sense.
The text that launched my mad race from Pansy Corners was marked urgent with the lovely words “paying client” at the bottom. Jane had not pluralized client. Could one lone distressed dog be the cause of this uproar? The possible new client for Elizabeth Bennet’s School of Canine Manners may have created a riot in the two hours since Lydia and I left Maidenhead.
As I cut through the barking beagles, the baying bloodhounds, and the odd otter-hound, Lydia fairly climbed my back to avoid the pedigreed pooches. The toff dog owners poised their human noses in the air as if avoiding the smell of something foul. How had the upper crust survived as a class with their hooters permanently upside down? A good rainfall should have drowned them all by now.
A tall gentleman in a gray bespoke suit elbowed me in the ribs as he bent to tend to his English Foxhound. He cut me a quick look, taking inventory of my worth. My lack of salon hair, my thrift shop blouse, and my Swatch watch lay claim to my working class status. Without an apology the non-gentleman turned and went back to tending his dog.
I will not tolerate rudeness in dogs or people. The gent injured my ribs and he needed to know it. I spun on the heels of my ballet flats and tapped him on the shoulder. He jumped and withdrew as if I were contagious with middleclass-itis.
“Excuse me, sir. You hurt me. An apology would be good manners as any dog would understand.”
The snob looked down his nose, which seemed to grow longer with each glaring second. “Whatever,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand. He turned his back to me.
I wasn’t about to take his boorishness like a whipped puppy. With a quick stomp I mashed the heel of my shoe into the arch of his right foot and immediately melted into the chaos with Lydia close behind. The sound of his cursing rose over the howling of the hounds.
“Nicely done.”
The compliment came from a tall, rather good-looking chap. His expensive suit screamed money, his expression said serious flirt. Was he the non-gentleman’s solicitor? Had I done permanent damage to the arch of an ass? Was I about to be sued? And where was Jane?
The gent extended his hand. I noticed he wasn’t wearing a wedding band. He caught me finger-peeking and smirked. I don’t know why I looked at his digits. I was not in the market for a date, not in the midst of my sister’s career defining emergency and truth-be-told, not at all. I was determined to build my canine consulting practice with no romantic distractions, as one must not live one’s life through a man.
“George Wickham,” he said, still smirking. “Please don’t stomp on my foot. I’ve been standing all day assisting a friend in preparing his miniature dachshund for show. Have you any idea how low one must stoop to comfort such a dog?”
“I should think you would have no problem as you appear to be a low-stooper,” I said. “Amusing as you are, Mr. Wickham, I’m needed elsewhere.”
“I didn’t catch your name.”
“I didn’t throw it,” I said. Could the man not see I was in a rush?
Sure as Swiss clockwork, Lydia stepped between us. “We’re the Bennet sisters. I’m Lydia and this is Lizzie… Elizabeth.”
Wickham gave Lydia a look that raised my hackles. This was a man who knew women. He possessed a tractor beam able to draw and hold. I pulled my anti-ingénue sister ahead of me and we forged through the tide of the escaping audience.
I felt Wickham’s eyes and the hairs on the back of my neck did a wiggly dance.
“He was quite handsome,” Lydia said, jumping up to reach my ear.
            “Hush! Do you see Jane?” I scanned the crowd feeling my older sister’s panic.
My phone vibrated. I pulled it from my pocket and read Jane’s text. Hurry. In the front of stage.
Cutting through the crowd and climbing over the plush theater seats, Lydia and I made our way to the enclosed circle just below the elevated stage. The audience continued to grumble as they pushed to the exits, a wave of designer cocktail dresses and Savile Row suits. I’m sure the dogs were very impressed.
I glanced up at the overhead screens; the cameras were filming. I could see Jane standing defensive guard between two basset hounds and a highlighted redhead who looked vaguely familiar. My sister’s face filled the screen, her tearful eyes impossible to hide, her blonde hair poking in spikes from what had been a lovely chignon, and her lower lip quivering.
“Jane! I’m here!”
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Lúthien84 said...

I loved the excerpt to this new P&P modern story. Though I have not rear a dog in my life, I prefer dogs to other furry animals as they are loyal and can be trained.

I must congrat Barbara for venturing into JAFF world with this new book.

Barbara Silkstone said...

Thank you so very much for hosting me. I am really excited. This is a lovely site to visit. I feel as if I have entered a magical world populated with dear old friends.

By the way... I think I have fallen in love with basset hounds. Who knew they were so precious?

Now back to work on Mister Darcy's Christmas. :)

J "Joy" Dawn King said...

I read this on-line and LOVED it. There were so many chuckle out loud moments. The cover is adorable. Best of wishes for a successful launch, Barbara, and welcome to an extraordinary genre. - Joy

Gaele said...

*waves* I love the concept. I'm just buried under year end commitments ...even though I have picked up my copy.

It's a fun concept.... and I tend to like most dogs better than many people anyways!

Gerry McCullough said...

I've read some of this book already and loved it. I'm a long time fan of Barbara Silkstone's writing, and with this new venture she's given us something which is fun, romantic and exciting all in one. Keep writing, Barbara!

cyn209 said...

already added to my Wish List!!!
thank you for the giveaway, & congrats to Barbara!!!

Wendy Norris Roberts said...

I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the chance to win and for such fun books to read

Unknown said...

I like the excerpt!!! Thanks for sharing with us the first chapter and for the giveaway.

Pam Stiers said...

YEA for Barbara Silkstone, I've read EVERTHING she's done and haven't been disappointed. would love to have a signed copy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barbara Silkstone said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments. You are so good to me.

Maria, I adore that picture you inserted. "Who needs a psychologist?" It's too funny!

Deborah Ann said...

I am not fond of contemporary romances as I love historical, but am looking forward to reading this book. I love the picture above with the caption. I never before noticed the dog sitting on Darcy's left side (right side from our perspective. I would love a signed copy as signed books are so precious to me.