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Beverly:

Here it is, my new novel under a new pen name. Why a pen name? Because not everyone who wants to read sweet and quirky contemporary romances will want to read Jane Austen fan fiction. However, some of you will, so I will keep you informed.
For those of you who are interested, I’m still working on Book 3 of the Love and Chocolate Series, but I was kidnapped by Darcy for a bit. Hope you don’t mind.

Originally posted on Jane Grix:

Here it is, my first Pride and Prejudice Variation.  It is now available on Amazon and should be on iTunes and Barnes and Noble within a week.

Darcy Unmasked:  When Fitzwilliam Darcy visits his friend at Netherfield Park, he does not expect to meet an old enemy or to fall in love.  But a Masquerade Ball changes everything.

Darcy Unmasked

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I just finished reading Pride and All This Prejudice by Alex A. King. It is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set in modern-day Greece.

Her Mrs. Bennet (Mrs. Baros in this version) was superb. Funny, outrageous, and embarrassing. She made me laugh out loud several times, and the antagonistic relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Baros was hilarious. Not quite the Mr. and Mrs. Bennet we’re used to, but totally appropriate (and insightful) for this new version.

I loved how Mrs. Baros insisted that Jane take a nightgown rather than pajamas to Netherfield (long story) and her marriage-minded machinations were brilliant.

Link:  Pride and All This Prejudice

I also liked the way the author rewrote some of Darcy and Elizabeth’s conversations, giving them a contemporary slant.

Since this story has a modern setting, some of the characters’ language and viewpoints are modern as well — with a little earthy vulgarity, but overall the novel is sweet — definitely PG, not PG-13. I’ll gladly read this again. Well done.

If you don’t know by now that I’m more than half in love with Darcy, you haven’t been paying attention.

Today I watched the last two episodes of Death Comes to Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice sequel/variation based on the mystery written by the brilliant P.D. James. It was great to step into Pemberley and see someone else’s “what-if” variation. Personally, when I first heard of the novel in 2011 I was hoping that Wickham was murdered and that Darcy was a suspect, but that’s not the plot. Instead, Wickham is on trial for killing his friend Captain Denny.

The lawyer in me loved the inquest and the trial with the different British legal system. And the food for the ball was beautiful.

I had read online that some viewers didn’t like the casting. They didn’t think the leads were good-looking enough. Hogwash. In my mind, they seemed like a more realistic married couple rather than some Hollywood version. Anna Maxwell Martin captured Elizabeth’s intelligence, and Matthew Rhys made an intriguing Darcy. He was a bit grumpy and distant at first, which made sense in this alternate Austen universe, and as the story progressed, I liked him more and more. By the end, he was another worthy Darcy.

I do agree that Mrs. Darcy’s clothes could have been better (some of maids wore more attractive dresses), but I have a good imagination and I assume there were some prettier gowns in her closet. And maybe when she’s not so stressed, she’ll take more time with her hair. However, we love Elizabeth Bennet for her sparkling wit, her fearless candor, and her strength of character, not for her hair.

Penelope Keith made a marvelous Lady Catherine, and I wish her screen time had been longer. It may be time to rewatch my favorite episodes of TO THE MANOR BORN.

All in all, it was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. I know I will return.

I don’t see many movies in the theater, unless Richard Armitage is in the cast. I watch most movies online. However, I’m writing a novel with a hero with a southern accent and I thought a few hours of Matthew McConaughey would be useful, so I went to see Interstellar.

Wow. This was a fun movie and definitely worth watching in IMAX. There were about five minutes in the middle when I was getting bored with Anne Hathaway making faces behind an astronaut mask and the spaceship spinning, but then the plot picked up and I was fine. There were interesting family relationships and interactions and a hint of romance, which nicely balanced the space travel/adventure/fighting scenes. I liked the music, too. Sometimes it is nice to escape into a different, exciting world. And after seeing this movie, I no longer think my house is dusty.

I thought I loved my Kindle, and I do — there are three in my house right now — but now I love the Kindle app on my phone even more. I can read little snippets of books while I’m waiting just about anywhere.

One of this week’s wonderful reads is a book about Erle Stanley Gardner’s storytelling techniques:

Erle Stanley Gardner

Apparently Erle often wrote 100,000 words a month and in pre-computer days managed to keep five full-time typists busy. Amazing.

But in addition to his output, the man was a genius at distilling the themes that readers like.

So, although I don’t intend to start writing murder mysteries, his methods will improve my sweet quirky romances.

I have been rereading Pride and Prejudice lately and that has led me to reread other Jane Austen books. Mansfield Park is not my favorite Austen novel – I still get a little wigged about first cousins marrying, although I know it’s legal in most places, etc., and Fanny Price is not as fun as Elizabeth Bennet.

She’s not as clever or ornery.

She’s small and plain, soft spoken and dare I say it – a bit of a doormat.

And I don’t think that her cousin Edmund appreciates her sufficiently by the end.

So as a romance, it’s not as satisfying as watching the proud Darcy fall in love with Elizabeth Bennet.

But, I will say that Austen’s insight into the way people think and react is amazing. Rereading her books is a joy. I am fascinated by the side characters.
Which makes me think about life and love and characters and my books and why there’s room for all of us.

Fanny Price is good, and although I don’t agree with all her decisions or behaviors, I admire her for keeping her principles. And I will try to give Edmund the benefit of the doubt.

Here’s my latest creation.

Married to Santa

Caroline has only two small problems this Christmas season.

1.  She has amnesia.

2.  The man who says he’s her husband thinks he’s Santa Claus.

Married to Santa is a sweet, quirky, rated PG Christmas novella.  It is available only on Amazon.

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