Adding Supernatural Elements to Pride and Prejudice

Guest blog by Mary Lydon Simonsen, author of Mr. Darcy’s Bite

Hi Keira. It’s good to be back at Love Romance Passion. In setting up this guest post, you mentioned that I love writing about history and that I’m pretty finicky about getting my historical facts right. Correct on both points.

Your question: How did you feel about adding elements of pure supernatural fantasy to Pride and Prejudice? What was easy/hard about it?

First, let me tell you how it was that I came to write a werewolf story. For two years, I was a contributor and reader of stories on A Happy Assembly, a Jane Austen fan fiction site. A contributor posted a werewolf story that was getting hundreds of hits and dozens of comments every time a chapter went up. Although I had never read a paranormal story, I was drawn in by the sinister atmosphere the author had created. Because Halloween was just around the corner, as a goof, I decided to write a short story called “Mr. Darcy on the Eve of All Saints’ Day” about a werewolf. The reception was so great that I expanded it to a full-length novel.

As mentioned, I love reading history and writing historical fiction, so, naturally, I had to research werewolves. But when I learned that these creatures of the night dined on exhumed corpses, I decided that, in this case, I was going to write my own history. I just could not imagine Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy visiting local cemeteries for reasons other than paying his respects.

Completely liberated from the shackles of being historically accurate, I went down my own path—werewolf wise. My intent was to write a love story about Darcy and Elizabeth, one in which Mr. Darcy just happens to be a werewolf. Of course, there were difficulties because what is more complicated than Elizabeth finding out that the man she loves grows fur, fangs, and a bushy tail and roams the woods of Pemberley’s for two days in every moon cycle?

It was easier to write the story than I thought it would be, and that is because I love wolves. I once spent a half hour watching a wolf in Yellowstone National Park trying to catch field mice. He was a determined critter, but on this day, the mice won. Here in Arizona, we successfully reintroduced Mexican wolves into the White Mountains. But people of the Middle Ages did not share my admiration for lupines. By the time of Alfred the Great (circa 900), wolves had been completely eradicated from England, and possibly, the whole of the British Isles. Considering my love of wolves, it seemed appropriate for me to reintroduce, not only wolves to England, but werewolves as well.

Here is the set-up for the story: Mr. Darcy had been calling on Elizabeth Bennet for six months. Although a proposal was expected, Darcy did not make an offer because he was unsure if Elizabeth could accept his dual nature. When he invites her to Pemberley, she must decide if she can love a man who is part beast, and if she does, she must understand that she will always be looking over her shoulder in order to protect the man she loves from those who would harm him. To thicken the plot, there is danger of exposure as well as another woman vying for his affections. Doesn’t that sound interesting? I hope you will want to find out and read Mr. Darcy’s Bite.

So what would you say if Mr. Darcy made you an offer of marriage and then revealed that he was a werewolf? I know what I’d say. 😀

Buy: Mr. Darcy’s Bite

Review: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud

Genre: Pride and Prejudice Variation, Contemporary

Summary: Slurry, the rock band started by Fitzwilliam Darcy has just lost another warm up band for it’s Grind tour. Due to rumors that the members of Slurry are Rock and Roll’s bad boys, Long Borne Suffering is the only band willing to help them out of a jam. Despite their talent, Darcy is only seeing trouble ahead. Bandmates Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam are making eyes at LBS’s Jane Bennet and Charlotte Lucas. The remaining member of LBS, Jane’s sister Elizabeth can hardly stand Darcy. Can they act likes professionals or will they act like the artists they are and give into their passions?

Couples:

Richard/Charlotte: They’re pretty steamy in these pages, but Richard has got lots of issues as he’s a serial addict. First it was alcohol, now it’s the ladies.To keep Charlotte safe from him, he’ll break up with her. When did boys get to be so dumb?

Charles/Jane: As sweet as the original. Jane is more outgoing and therefore Darcy can’t use her even temperament to persuade Charles that she doesn’t care. They will have troubles, but they simply can’t breathe without each other. One of the best scenes in the book is the two of them finally making love.

Darcy/Lizzy: Classic He said something harsh/She overhears and gets her back up. Darcy sticks his foot in it a lot, but that’s because he doesn’t know how what he says seems to have secret meanings to Lizzy. She judges him harshly, but in the end they figure each other out and learn to let go of the fear that’s keeping them apart. One of my favorite scenes is where Darcy doesn’t listen to Lizzy as she begs him for emotional space and he completely overwhelms her with his intensity. Hot and sad.

Other classic characters:

  • George Wickham: Is a real sleaze. Luckily he doesn’t go after Lydia.
  • Georgina Darcy: Sweet as can be, she graduates high school.
  • Lydia and Kitty Bennet: Cameo appearances in the beginning.
  • Mr/Mrs Bennet: Cameo appearances as well.
  • Collins: Hideous as usual but handled swiftly.
  • Ann/Catherine de Bourgh: Both are pretty unlikeable characters.
  • Caroline Bingley: Not an evil snob, but a hard working loyal sister.

Review: A fun alternative to Regency based P&P variations. Recommended if you like Rock & Roll & Sex!

[Rating:4]

Buy: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

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Review: Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise

How can you get Lizzy and Darcy to meet each other without prejudice? Take them out of the country of course! By sticking them on a ship bound to the Americas, Kara Louise gives them a chance to see them for themselves… well sort of 😉 There’s still some obstacles and misunderstandings.

Two years before the voyage Darcy and Lizzy met on a carriage ride out of London. (Darcy was on this hired carriage because the family one was being repaired.) They have a great conversation which sticks with both of them long after they separate. They just forgot one thing – to get each other’s names!

Darcy’s going to America to retrieve Georgiana after her governess takes ill and can’t return to England. There’s no way he’s letting her go by herself!

But that’s just what Mr. Bennet allows Lizzy to do. She’s traveling to America to be with her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners. Jane decided not to go because she gets seriously sea sick.

When Elizabeth falls ill after taking care of the women and children in steerage, Darcy chucks convention overboard and gets on bended knee. Lizzy is too out of it to really see that his “Marry me and you get a nice bed out of steerage, I promise this is totally platonic, you’ll be saving me from marriage minded barracudas, we’ll get it annulled back in England later” really means “I want to marry you, it will save me from marriage minded barracudas, can we please share a bed? I want you and I don’t want an annulment.” 😀

Of course he keeps by his vocal promise, which leads to misunderstandings and an angst ridden separation. Poor Lizzy and Darcy. They really need to work on their conversation skills and learn to say what they’re really feeling and not assume the other can read their mind.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Darcy’s Voyage: A tale of uncharted love on the open seas (Pride & Prejudice Continues)

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The Top 10 Rules Darcy’s Rock Band Will Never Follow

by Heather Lynn Rigaud, guest blogger and author of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

Hey Keira!

I’m so happy to be at your blog today. I love the topic you gave me, it made me immediately think of Entertainment Tonight. So without any more ado, let’s cue the music and bring in Mary Hart to present:

The Top 10 Rules Darcy’s Rock Band Will Never Follow!

Fitzwilliam Darcy is the white-hot leader of the famous rock band Slurry. Rock music’s ultimate bad boy, everyone wants to know what he’ll do next. The rumors of his exploits have become almost as well known as his music! So let’s take a look at all those rules he loves to break.

10. Never break the rules. For all the wildness of the Rock-n-Roll life style, there are some basics that everyone follows. Things like staffing and hotels are pretty much standard throughout the industry. And then there’s Slurry.

Never before have we seen a group like this take all the standards and throw them out the window. And it all goes back to Fitzwilliam Darcy. He’s not afraid to take any rule and change it, if it doesn’t work for him. From tour staff to hotel choices, this man is a world-maker. Within the industry, he’s become well known for his ‘take no prisoners’ attitude. If Darcy wants it done, he’ll do whatever it takes to get it done.

9. Never stop the tour. Rock Tours are big business. Hundreds of people work to put on shows that generate millions of dollars. Tours are how the big bands make the big bucks! But they’re also a big job. Hundreds of hour of planning and logistics are needed to get a show on the road. Record labels are expecting a significant return on their investment. So the word from on high is ‘never stop the tour.’

Except for Slurry. Of the three major tours these boys have been on, they’ve only finished one. The first was stopped at the famous Ramsgate festival, when the lead singer, George Wickham was fired and Darcy took his ball and went home. No one is quite sure of the details, but it was clear that Darcy and Wickham would never work again.

Their second tour went off without a hitch with new lead singer, Charles Bingley. But lightning stuck again during their third tour, when drummer Richard Fitzwilliam was arrested for DUI and sent to rehab. In an unusual move, Darcy cancelled the tour and went into therapy with Fitzwilliam.

Now Slurry is ready to hit the road again. Will they be able to break that losing streak or is this tour doomed from the start?

8. Never expose yourself. Rock and Rollers usually try to keep a boundary between themselves and their fans- but not Darcy! This man has no problem exposing his well-toned torso, with his many artistic tattoos, in concert. In fact, it’d be more of a surprise if he came out wearing a shirt!

The next three rules are all related, so we’ll cover them in a group:

7. Never leave press events early.

6. Never piss off your label.

5. Always make nice with the TV people.

Darcy is well known as being very polite and welcoming to his fans. His reputation for meet and greets is almost as big as his rep for trouble. But all bets are off when it comes to the press.

Darcy has no interest in the plastic people, and his feud with Carson Daly is legendary. He’s well known for not saying a word during interviews and if he shows up for a media event, better get in there fast, because he’ll be leaving ASAP!

Even more remarkable is his complete lack of fear of his record label, Rosings Park, led by the infamous Lady Catherine deBourgh. The Gorgon, as she’s known, has stared down many a super-star and made them feel like they’re were back in minor leagues, but not Darcy. He must a have spine of steel to stand up to her.

4. Listen to your security. Its no surprise that a rock superstar like Darcy has security. In fact, he has a whole team, led by the extremely able Rebecca Nelson. It may seem strange that a six-foot three-inch man is guarded by a girl, but Rebecca has proven her worth time and time again. And that’s a good thing, because Darcy is notorious for ignoring her. You would think that Darcy would listen to the lady he’s paying so much money too, but not our boy. He’s always darting about unescorted in his hot Mercedes coupe, making her job harder than it already is!

3. Never let rumors run wild. The rumors surrounding Darcy are almost as big as he is. But what to believe? They couldn’t all be true, could they? You would think that a star like him would be eager to clear the air on all those wild reports, but just look at this tape. You can see that when Darcy is asked about the rumored lawsuit against him, he just cocks his head and grins at the camera. What are we to make of that? Is it true? Is it false? Clearly Darcy isn’t saying.

2. Never play with groupies. We don’t know what to make of this one. We’ve had his staff, his warm-up bands, and other members of the press swear that Darcy never uses ‘Band-Aids’. They claim he’s a true professional and a perfect gentleman. But at every show, there are clearly ladies hanging around the band and many have been seen leaving the next morning.

Plus, how can you account for all the wild stories? Where there’s smoke, there must be fire, right? But person after person swears it’s not him. Could it be the other members of Slurry? What are we to believe?

1. Never get involved with your warmup band. One fact we can report with certainty is that Slurry has trouble keeping their opening act. In fact, on their current Grind tour, Slurry’s gone through three of them. What’s the problem? You would think that any band would be eager to tour with a top name act like Slurry.

The reason each band gave for leaving were all different, but the fact remains that Slurry goes through them like tissues.

Now Slurry has a new opening act, called Long Borne Suffering. Only time will tell if they can stand the Grind and finish the long North American tour.

Thanks Mary! That’s your gossip report on the Red Hot rock band Slurry and they’re dreamy leader, Fitzwilliam Darcy. What do you think? Do you believe the rumors? To find out the truth, read Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star.

Thanks for letting me share this bit with your readers. I look forward to hearing what they think.

Buy: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

Pride and Prejudice: The Wild and Wanton Edition by Michelle M. Pillow

Genre: Classic retelling, erotica romance.

Ahead there be Spoilers…

Summary: The sexual tension in the original P&P has readers begging for Darcy to pull Lizzy into his embrace and ravish her senses with his kiss to *rip her bodice* and that’s what this book promises to deliver. P&P all sexed up and ready to be consumed. It’s actually pretty tame though considering the wildness and wantonness I was expecting from other reviewers.

Review: The style really reminded me of what I heard about P&P&Z and other classic retellings where the second author really just tacked a paragraph here and there into the original plot. I haven’t read those retellings so I can’t compare the truth of those perceptions. While reading P&P Wild and Wanton I enjoyed myself quite a bit, because I was reading it at a time when the story and idea really appealed, but overall the impression was that the new stuff was very minimal (and clearly delineated in the Kindle version I read which bolded or italicized new passages) and didn’t really involve Darcy/Lizzy or Charles/Jane until the very end. It was more focused on Lydia being a slut with the officers (married or not) and Collins getting hand jobs by Charlotte (shudder!)

[Rating:3]

Buy: Pride and Prejudice The Wild and Wanton Edition (Wild & Wanton), Pride and Prejudice: The Wild and Wanton Edition (UK)