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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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I have said before that I would not be reading about Jane Austen zombies,  but as it turns out, I have been reading about Jane Austen shape-shifters.

I don’t read enough science fiction and fantasy to know what category this book would fall into, but I just finished reading Pride and Platypus by  Vera Nazarian .  This is one seriously weird version of Pride and Prejudice.  Apparently gentlemen in Regency England turn into different animals every month during the full moon.  Like werewolves.  It reminded me of the trailer for Teen Wolf with Michael J. Fox.  I never saw that movie but have thought that it could be amusing if watched under the right circumstances.

The animals Ms. Nazarian chose to have the male characters turn into were remarkably funny and insightful.  Wickham was a wolf, of course, but I won’t give any more spoilers.

Funny.  Weird.  A little rude.  Other than strange editorial notes highlighting the difference between Regency era language usage and modern slang, I don’t remember anything vulgar.

Part of me can’t believe I read the whole thing.  But it did make me laugh.

This is what happens when you download samples onto your Kindle.   I read a bit and wanted to find out what animal Mr. Darcy morphed into.

I hope Jane and I can still be friends.

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From richardarmitagenet.com

I’ve been reading some fun blogs about the difference between love in fiction and love in real life.

Since I’m working on a novel right now in which the main character (like me) likes Darcy, Thornton and Rochester a little too much, it has been on my mind.

In my not so humble opinion, a good romance is realistic.  There are enough “men are from mars” type insights in Pride and Prejudice, North and South, and Jane Eyre to make those male characters ring true emotionally.  Of course, they may be richer and better looking than the men at the grocery store, at church, or at work but underneath the fictional glitz, they really are men — and that’s why those books are so popular today.

Or am I just deluding myself?

One of the interesting blogs:

http://mgirouxstories.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/writing-past-the-passion-of-true-loves-kiss-a-tale-of-two-edwards/

 

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Cropped screenshot of Greer Garson from the tr...

Cropped screenshot of Greer Garson from the trailer for the film Pride and Prejudice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Laurence Olivier is dashing as Darcy and Greer Garson is charming as Elizabeth, but I’m thinking about Edna May Oliver as Lady Catherine de Bourgh.  She was suitably grumpy, but with a plot twist at the end that Jane Austen didn’t write, and that I found funny the first time I saw it.   Some people get upset over this, but with a movie that is only 118 minutes long (and it certainly doesn’t feel as if it lasts that long), there isn’t sufficient time for every part of the original book.  I believe that only the 1995 BBC version was long enough, and even that version missed a few bits that I like.

Cropped screenshot of Laurence Olivier from th...

Cropped screenshot of Laurence Olivier from the trailer for the film Pride and Prejudice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There is something to be said about sideburns.

And cravats.

And actors speaking clearly.

And a good smolder.

I love Darcy.

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