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mr-darcys-debtI’m thrilled to welcome April Floyd to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate the release of Mr. Darcy’s Debt and learn about her inspiration for the novel, which I will be reviewing here soon. Please give her a warm welcome, and stay tuned for a very generous giveaway at the end of this post.

I am pleased to be a guest on Anna’s blog today and share with her readers the birth of the idea for Mr. Darcy’s Debt.

It’s always hard to say where ideas begin for stories and variations, mainly it is an exercise in asking yourself what if Elizabeth or Darcy did something different at some point in the story that changes the outcome.

For this story, the idea of Elizabeth not only being an accomplished walker but an excellent horsewoman tickled my fancy. I read about women racing in Regency times and I could see an Elizabeth Bennet that loved horses being more than tempted to race.

When I sat down to write that Elizabeth, the idea of an estate near Pemberley that was in the Fitzwilliam family sprang to life. Apparently, this story wanted me to move Elizabeth and family to Derbyshire and so I had to consider how to make that happen.

Cue the scene of Lady Anne and Lady Catherine at a frozen lake on their family estate many years before we meet the Bennet family as we all know them from Jane Austen’s classic, much beloved tale.

I knew there had to be some reason that their eldest brother would consider Thomas Bennet’s future offspring and subsequently provide for them if the entailment on Longbourn came into play.

So, back to that partially frozen lake we go. Bertram Fitzwilliam was a daredevil and Thomas Bennet his partner in crime. Of course the two handsome, young men would test the waters so to speak.

But Lady Anne was never meant to come to harm, it’s just a detail that entered the scene as I wrote it. Originally, it was only Bertie who would go through the ice and Thomas Bennet would save him only to lose him months later as he would not beat the pneumonia that overtook his already weakened body.

By saving his friend, Thomas Bennet would inspire the young man to make a deathbed promise that would lead the rest of his family to honor his dying wish.

Now, with that bit of history, I could have Mr. Bennet succumb to the illness that plagued Jane at Netherfield while Mr. Collins was visiting. Marriage proposal denied, Bennet ladies out in the streets, but how to get them to Derbyshire.

Enter Lady Catherine, a very different personality in this story than the original. She comes to the reading of Mr. Bennet’s will and observes Collins as he deals with the ladies of Longbourn.

She steps in when he’s been provoked by the sisters’ camaraderie and delivers the news that shocks the ladies and sends them on their way to Somersal, that estate near Pemberley where Elizabeth and Darcy will fall in love, have their misunderstanding, and find their way back to one another.

I chose a stronger Bingley for this story and a happy ending for Lydia.

For some, the match made by Lydia seemed a stretch but it was her frivolity and lack of maturity that was needed to lift the severity of the situation instead of her sister Mary.

I considered making a match for Mary instead, but her demeanor would not have been the tonic that was desperately needed.

I hope that you come to love this story as much as I loved writing it and I’m happy to offer THREE digital copies to THREE winners.

Again, much thanks to Anna for hosting me and allowing me to share my writing process with you.

Thank YOU, April, for being my guest today. I am very much looking forward to reading the book!

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About Mr. Darcy’s Debt

Thomas Bennet has died and left his wife and five daughters during the visit of his cousin Mr. Collins who has come to offer marriage as an olive branch to soothe the way when he inherits their home, Longbourn.

A deathbed promise from the past saves the ladies and Elizabeth Bennet becomes better acquainted with the wealthy, handsome Mr. Darcy, the man who insulted  her at the assembly in Meryton.

With the Bennets living at Somersal, a country estate that belongs to the Fitzwilliam family and is only a short distance from Pemberley, the home of Mr. Darcy, their mutual love of riding fosters a love neither Darcy nor Elizabeth can deny.

After a terrible accident, Elizabeth believes she must race in the spring to secure her family’s future, much to Mr. Darcy’s dismay. His proposal, given to keep her from racing, is summarily refused as Elizabeth Bennet will not marry from necessity.

Check out Mr. Darcy’s Debt on Goodreads | Amazon

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About the Author

April Floyd lives in Alaska with her husband and youngest son. She loves happy endings, nice people, and reading great stories. Once upon a time, she was an Army wife and a phlebotomist and recently ran a successful ebook deals site for four years. Historical fiction, Jane Austen, and fantasy/dystopia are her favorite genres.

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Giveaway

April is generously offering three ebook versions of Mr. Darcy’s Debt. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will close on Sunday, March 5, 2017. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

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mr-darcy-loves-elizabeth-bennet

Source: Review copy from authors
Rating: ★★★☆☆

She had never considered that perhaps Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley were more of a blind-leading-the-blind tragedy. If she and her sister were not the lasses tangled up in this mess of beaus, why Elizabeth would have enjoyed sharing this mess of matchmaking with her father on any afternoon in his study!

(from “Much to Conceal,” by Elizabeth Ann West)

Mr. Darcy Loves Elizabeth Bennet was a limited edition box set featuring short stories inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Each of these stories is now being published separately (more information below). Two of the stories are set during the Regency era, and two are modern-day variations.

“Darcy and Lizzie’s Wedding Breakfast” is an installment in Barbara Silkstone’s Mister Darcy Series of Comedic Mysteries, in which Lizzie recounts how she and Darcy met and the trials of his secret life. Lizzie is a bit disappointed when Darcy’s Templar business forces them to cancel their wedding breakfast, but of course, Darcy finds a humorous way to make it up to her. I’ve only read the latest book in the series, Mister Darcy’s Maltese Falcon, so I was able to follow the story. However, if you haven’t read any of the books in the series, you might want to save this story for later.  (Barbara is currently posting the story in installments on the Mister Darcy Series Facebook page.)

“An Accidental Assignation” by April Floyd (now available on Amazon) is set during the Regency era and involves Darcy accidentally compromising Elizabeth outside the Meryton Assembly when he attempts to apologize for his insult. Mr. Bennet witnesses the scene and demands that Darcy marry his daughter. There is an immediate, intense passion between Darcy and Elizabeth, and despite it being a fairly short story, Floyd manages to insert plenty of drama and humor involving Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine.

“Much to Conceal” by Elizabeth Ann West (now available on Amazon as part of another box set) also is set during the Regency era and has Jane Bennet conspiring with her aunt Gardiner to get Elizabeth and Darcy together after his failed proposal. Elizabeth shows Jane the letter from Darcy, and Jane takes action, which culminates in a hilarious dinner at Darcy House.

“Honeymoon Postponed: A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Adventure” by Kristi Rose (now available on Amazon) is a short story in the Meryton Matchmakers series that finds a modern-day Darcy and Elizabeth outrunning tornadoes and other calamities on what is supposed to be their honeymoon. Because I haven’t read any of the installments in this series and know nothing of the back story, I felt a little lost at first, but I was able to enjoy the story in the end. There is a lot of “what can go wrong will go wrong” here, and it definitely was amusing.

Mr. Darcy Loves Elizabeth Bennet offered a great way for me to get a feel for each author’s writing style and enjoy lighthearted, romantic stories featuring Darcy and Elizabeth. The stories are a bit rushed and underdeveloped, but that’s to be expected with short works. Some of the events are a bit over the top, but I was willing to overlook that because the theme of the collection is love and love often makes people do outrageous things. Plus, these were simply feel-good stories meant to be enjoyed in little bits of free time and not to be taken too seriously. I finished the collection thinking I’d like to read more by each of these authors, so I’d call that a win!

Disclosure: I received Mr. Darcy Loves Elizabeth Bennet from the authors for review.

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mr-darcy-loves-elizabeth-bennetWhat happens when 4 Jane Austen Fan Fiction authors get together and write stories?

A boxed set called Mr. Darcy Loves Elizabeth Bennet.

What happens when they decide to play a game of Ask Me Anything all together? Well, take a look . . .

Elizabeth: Elizabeth Ann West
April: April Floyd
Barbara: Barbara Silkstone
Kristi: Kristi Rose

Elizabeth: So here are the rules, we each get to ask one question of the other, and unlike Truth or Dare, it’s all Truths! April gets to ask the first question!

April: Okay, this question is for Barbara because of something you said the other night when we were chatting on Facebook. Why would you need to carry around a sewing kit?

Barbara: I am grossed out by holes in fabric. Just the thought of them makes me quake. If I see someone wearing jeans or a T-shirt with holes, I will cross the street to avoid them. If I check into a hotel, I immediately uncover the sheets to do a hole-inspection. If I find one, I ask to be moved to another room.

I have had this affliction for as long as I can remember. I do believe in reincarnation, and think perhaps I was done-in by an icky, shredded cloth in a previous life.

Elizabeth: Oh boy, needle and thread stat for Barbara! You definitely win the right to ask the next question.

Barbara: Right, so this is for Kristi, everyone has a phrase they use repeatedly, what’s yours? And I bet I can guess from all of the Facebook chats we had to have to publish this book!

Kristi: That’s right up my alley. Or Ain’t nobody got time for that.

April, Elizabeth: We say that, too!

Barbara: Which one?

April: Ain’t NOBODY got time for THAT.

Elizabeth: Yep, it always brings a giggle on the phone! Okay, Kristi, it’s your turn . . . who is your question for?

Kristi: My question is for you, Elizabeth, what is something you can’t do well that people would be surprised to learn?

Elizabeth: ::deep breath:: I cannot bake. I know, I know, follow the instructions. But I just can’t seem to make most recipes work! I can cook, make sauces, but baking? My Achilles Heel. I mostly stick with boxed sets for that reason. Or like that scene in Bad Moms? I totally buy the baked goods for any school obligation.

Elizabeth: I get to ask April’s first question! Hmm, decisions, decisions, almost not fair since we’ve worked together for 4 years . . . how about what would you consider is your most annoying habit?

April: Well you know I like to talk! And my youngest and I both have to talk all through a movie, but only if we are watching at home. We never, ever do this in public because that’s just rude. My husband can’t bear to sit through a movie with us because we are constantly wondering what’s next and discussing what just happened.

April: I do the next question, right? Here’s another one for Kristi, are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?

Kristi: If by gatherer you mean hoarder then yes, that’s me. I horde paper. My office looks like a paper factory exploded. I’m ashamed of my role in not preserving the trees.

Elizabeth: Oh Kristi I am just as bad! I totally shopped my office supply stash to outfit my oldest for school this year. Sssshhh. Or don’t sshhh, you get to ask the next question.

Kristi: Hey, the stores might run out of paper and pens, you just never know! Now, it’s Barbara’s turn, because the first question about fears made me curious, what is your greatest fear if holes in clothes is your weirdest one?

Barbara: Oh boy, you’re really ganging up on me! Escalators! I get sweaty palms just thinking about them. In London they have multistory monsters that make me feel as if I am falling backwards. I grip the railing and look down at my shoes and pray.

One of the tallest escalators in London is the Angel Tube Station. You almost have to use it to get to the theater district, unless you go by cab. I have palpitations each time I plan to go to the theater. I stand around waiting for some burly guy to get into the queue, and then I jump in front of him. I figure he might be strong enough to catch me when I fall.

To overcome my fear of escalators I took up hot air ballooning. Don’t ask…it made sense at the time. I competed in hot air balloon races and overcame my fear of heights, but I still won’t set foot on an escalator. I will walk miles to find an elevator or stairs, anything to avoid a bloody escalator.

Elizabeth: Right, elevators only for Barbara. And hot air balloons if available! I think you have a question for me, next.

Barbara: Indeed, Chief!

Elizabeth: That and kiddo, I have the best nicknames from you!

Barbara: So if you were an animated character, who would you be?

Elizabeth: I am busting out some obscure character here, Bright Heart Raccoon. When I was a kid, I loved Care Bears. And Bright Heart Raccoon was different, and purple, and his friends liked him for his ideas.

I was that kid growing up. I was the one in my neighborhood that read Ramona Quimby and made stilts with 5-gallon drywall buckets and jump ropes. Or came up with all of the games we played, like riding bikes we went on journeys to crazy places with mailbox stops to “stamp our passports.” The backyard was Terabithia because I read it in a book. More or less, if I read it in a book and liked it, I tried to make it real life. 🙂

Elizabeth: Okay Kristi, I will give you a food related question since I had to confess I can’t bake! What’s the oddest thing you like on your pizza?

Kristi: Pizza toppings? Well, this isn’t something I find many others like, so I’ll share this. I like peas. Green ones. In the south they call them English Peas.

Elizabeth: Well will you peas ask April her next question?

Kristi: Absolutely! April, we all sing alone, but if you don’t know the words to a song, do you improvise or just skip it?

April: Oh, even when I know the words I still improvise the lyrics to make them funnier! I will sing a tune as a country song if it is a pop song or turn it into a rap song if it’s country. I just act like a goofball whenever the radio is on. My youngest is not amused as he is now getting to the age where he likes the Top 40 on the radio. One favorite is Shawn Mendes Stitches. I replace stitches and kisses with fishes, wishes, dishes….just pulling a Dr Seuss basically.

April: And I get to put Elizabeth’s feet to the fire again. I know a lot about you since we work together and talk almost everyday, so let’s do another question about your childhood. What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?

Elizabeth: When I was 10 we did a really cool unit in science called Voyage of the Mimi, and I loved it! We even sponsored a whale as a class and had pictures of the fluke. I wanted to be an oceanographic cartographer and go to college at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. As I grew older, I wanted to be an international businesswoman, and so far, the closest I’ve come to the later is being a publisher worldwide, and the former, I married a submariner!

It actually turns out that now just footage of underwater scenes gives me the creeps. I can’t watch it! And a shipwreck? I hyperventilate. And when I was 10 I was all about learning about the Titanic and everything I could about maritime topics. And that has turned into a kind of strange phobia like Barbara’s which brings me to her last question.

Elizabeth: This is a dark question, but it was one you agreed to answer, so here goes. How would you like to die?

Barbara: Not on an escalator.

Elizabeth: I think that might be cheating, but we’ll let the judges decide! You get to ask April her last question.

Barbara: Well since everyone asked me about fears, here’s my question for April…On a scale from 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you?

April: That depends on several factors. My imagination for one. If I’ve been reading something creepy then I have to jump in bed and pull the covers over my head so that’s a 5. If it’s summer and lightning bugs are out, then it’s a wonderland and that would be a zero on the 1-5 scale. If it’s Halloween night and my 9 year old is acting silly saying he saw a werewolf across the street in the shadows and I look and there’s the figure of someone ducking behind a building then we’re zooming up to a 4 about to pass 5. So yeah, it’s situational.

Kristi: I think that’s a fair scale for the dark! So now it’s your turn! What questions do you want us to answer? Add them in the comments below and who you want to answer and we will go at it!

Thank you so much to Anna for hosting us on her blog, and we hope you all will check out our anthology of stories with our favorite Dear Couple!

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About Mr. Darcy Loves Elizabeth Bennet

Join authors Elizabeth Ann West, Barbara Silkstone, Kristi Rose, and April Floyd as they each share an exclusive short novella reimagining our dear couple falling in love! We all know Mr. Darcy loves Elizabeth Bennet, but the question universally wondered is how many ways can they show that love? Two Regencies, Two Contemporaries, there is a perfect story for every Jane Austen Fan Fiction lover!

Included in the anthology:
Darcy and Lizzie’s Wedding Breakfast by Barbara Silkstone
An Accidental Assignation by April Floyd
Much to Conceal by Elizabeth Ann West
Honeymoon Postponed: A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Adventure by Kristi Rose

Check out Mr. Darcy Loves Elizabeth Bennet on Amazon | Goodreads

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About the authors

Elizabeth Ann West

Elizabeth Ann West

A Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none! Elizabeth Ann West is the author of 4 novels and 7 novellas, 10 of which are story variations of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Her books have won reader conference awards and hit the Historical Bestseller lists on Amazon, Kobo, and the iBooks stores multiple times. A lover of all things geeky, Elizabeth codes websites, dabbles in graphic design, and is always looking for new technology to learn and master. A Navy wife and mother of two, her family has lived all over the United States, currently residing in upstate New York. Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, you can keep up with Elizabeth on Twitter @Eawwrites and on her website, http://elizabethannwest.com where she posts new fiction as she writes it!

Elizabeth is EXTREMELY proud and honored to have A Winter Wrong win Best Novella and Best Literary Fiction in the 2015 eBook Festival of Words. Thank you to all of the readers who nominated the novel and have voted for it. You made Elizabeth smile!

To contact Elizabeth, please visit her reader site: http://elizabethannwest.com or writer@elizabethannwest.com

Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the MISTER DARCY SERIES OF COMEDIC MYSTERIES ~ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE contemporary variations. Light comedies based on Jane Austen’s timeless tales of love denied and love discovered.

“I enjoy doing playful things with language, blending two distinct words to create a new word. If I’m laughing out loud when I’m writing, then I know I’ve hit the mark. I laugh so loud while I’m writing that the neighbors think I’m having wild parties. I’m not. I live in South Florida where I survive on buttered popcorn and fried chicken… extra crispy.”
~ Barbara Silkstone

Kristi Rose

Kristi Rose

Kristi Rose was raised in central Florida on boiled peanuts and iced tea. Today, she’s a wife and a mother. She’s been lucky enough to travel the world and has lived by an active volcano, almost fallen off a German Alp, and eloped in Arkansas. No matter where she is, she enjoys watching people and wonders about their story. That’s what Kristi writes about: everyday people, the love that brings them together, and their journey. Kristi is a member of RWA. The Girl He Knows is her debut novel.

April Floyd

April Floyd

April Floyd lives in Alaska with her husband and youngest son. She loves happy endings, nice people, and reading great stories. Once upon a time, she was an Army wife and a phlebotomist and recently ran a successful ebook deals site for four years. Historical fiction, Jane Austen, and fantasy/dystopia are her favorite genres.

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A big thank you to Elizabeth, Barbara, Kristi, and April for being my guests today. I really enjoyed learning more about each of you through this post! Stay tuned for my review of Mr. Darcy Loves Elizabeth Bennet!

© 2016 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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