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My special guest today is J. Dawn King, who is here to celebrate the release of her latest Christie Capps’ novels: Elizabeth and Lost & Found. It’s always a pleasure to have Joy as a guest, and you’re in for a treat today, dear readers! Please give her a warm welcome!

Thank you for your warm welcome, Anna. I really enjoy the variety you offer on your blog.

For some reason, amidst tragedy comes the will to escape into fiction. For the past several months illness has impacted our family and friends. This breaks my heart. Writing gives me an opportunity to control every aspect of the character’s lives, to fix things when they are suffering, and to make everyone happy—or not. If only we could do this in real life!

Now that these two stories (Elizabeth and Lost & Found) are completed and out in the world, I’m settling back in to finish my story Letter of the Law by J Dawn King. I do love this story and cannot wait to see how it ends. I’m already 800 words into the next chapter. I’ll post the chapter along with the first 16 chapters already on my website as soon as I finish. (http://jdawnking.com) As far as these Christie Capps stories are concerned, Elizabeth is a bit tongue-in-cheek with Colonel Fitzwilliam acting out of character to move the story along. Lost & Found is about 98% Darcy and Elizabeth. Elizabeth is in danger and our hero, Mr. Darcy, comes to the rescue. Swoon!

Here is the premise:

When he lost his heart to her, he found happiness.

Miss Elizabeth Bennet is missing—vanishing without a trace from the library at Rosings Park.

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy feels duty-bound to find the most frustrating young lady of his acquaintance. He is Elizabeth’s sworn enemy. Yet, when he comes to her rescue, she is forced to rethink her opinion.

Trapped together for hours, each layer of their character is revealed until their masks are gone, and their worst fears are shared. Will Mr. Darcy’s arrogant pride keep him from finding tender affection and happiness? Will her prejudice withstand trials so a man worthy of her affection will not be lost?

In this sweet, angst-filled Regency variation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, our dear couple overcome all odds to find a love for the ages…or do they?

Lost and Found is about 100 pages in length and is appropriate for all readers.

****

Excerpt from Lost & Found

This scene describes how Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves confined for hours in a closet, which is the setting for the story.

“Secret passages? Of what are you speaking, Nephew?” His aunt stood and approached him. “As mistress of Rosings Park, I know every inch of this house, inside and out. Had there been hidden hallways from one room to the next, I would be aware,” she insisted. Fluttering her hand, she waved off his concerns. “No, Mr. Collins’ cousin has rudely run off to the parsonage with no intentions of thanking me for my hospitality. Young people these days!”

“She would never…” Darcy growled. His breath would be wasted defending Miss Elizabeth. There was nothing he could say his aunt would believe.

“I shall dismiss the footman immediately for his inattention.” His aunt was known for intolerance. “Miss Elizabeth has undoubtedly left Rosings, walking right by him, with no care to giving consideration to her hostess for my condescension.” Turning to her remaining guests, she insisted, “You may leave for the parsonage. When you come upon your guest, feel free to inform her I will no longer welcome her into my presence. She means nothing to me.”

As Mr. Collins sputtered his apology for the presumed slight given by his cousin’s daughter, Mrs. Collins approached Darcy.

“You will search until you find her?” she whispered. “Lizzy is not the sort to run off as your aunt stated. I fear she has come to harm.”

Darcy feared he same.

Reassuring the woman, he tasked Smyth with sending a rider to find the colonel. Richard would be the best man to find the missing young lady. When they were children, no matter how diligent Darcy was in finding a proper hiding place, Richard seemed to hunt him down with ease. It had been one of his life’s greatest frustrations before they outgrew the game.

The rest of Rosings’ staff were divided so every floor of the grandiose building was searched. A few of the grooms volunteered to look outside the doors and windows for evidence of her dainty footprints, a great sacrifice in the heavy downpour.

With a nod from the butler, they were gone. Leaving Lady Catherine standing alone in the middle of the room, Darcy gave her no further thought. Returning to the library, he stood at the room’s doorway to peer inside. Slowly scanning from one wall to the next, he finally noted something distinctly out of place. A narrow section of shelves was lined with cobwebs and dust-covered books to the point they appeared filthy and damaged. The wood holding up the books was dull in appearance, in direct contrast to the surrounding bookcases, which gleamed from having wax rubbed into the surface then polished out.

As he cautiously approached, Darcy noted an oddity he had never noticed before. The floor, thick with dirt and grime, had a circular seam in front of it which apparently ran behind the wall. The whole area in close proximity smelled of mildew and damp.

What is this?

Without hesitation, he stepped on the surface, placing footprints on a area that appeared to have not been disturbed in decades and started pulling books from the shelves. His uncle Sir Lewis had been short of stature, so Darcy began with the shelf at chest height. He was only three books in when he heard the click and felt movement below him. Before he could step aside, the bookcase, floor, and himself quickly spun into a dark void. The latch closing behind him when the wall came to a stop was deafening in the silence.

His rising panic was overridden by his need to find her. He hated the darkness.

“Help me.” The distant sound of her voice was a relief. “Help me. I am here.”

Fear for her drove him forward. Extending his arms, he easily touched both walls of the passageway. Running his hands through the dust and debris, his right foot unexpectedly hit the front of the first step of a staircase. Unable to stop his momentum, he crashed forward, the edge of the third stair banging into his knee. The pain was nothing to him.

Scampering to his feet, he again reached out for the walls.

Move forward. Find her. Move forward. Help her.

“Help!”

She must have heard his fall.

Rushing up the stairs, he pulled his hands from the walls. Instead, he held them in front of him feeling each upcoming tread, so he knew when he reached the top. Carefully, but quickly, he passed down a short landing only to reach another set of stairs. Climbing as rapidly as possible in the pitch blackness, Darcy gave no heed to hanging webs or the dirt now covering his face, hands, and clothing.

“Elizabeth!” His voice reverberated down the narrow passage. “Where are you?”

“I am here.” The muffled tone was clearer. He was getting closer. “Help me, please.”

The wall hit him square in the face while he was distracted by her voice.

“Oof!” Stepping back, his hands roamed the surface. The wood extended only to his right. He had reached the back corner of the house.

“Elizabeth,” he yelled again.

“You are closer. I hear you better.”

Taking six steps, he reached another wall. Pounding on the surface, he was thrilled when she immediately pounded back.

Her direction was clear. “There is a latch to the right of the door on the casing. It is a small button.” Her anticipation of rescue warmed him.

His fingers easily found the indentation. He pressed the small nob and the door at the same time. Within seconds he was inside, allowing the door to slam behind him.

“No!” Her despair sent chills down his spine. “No! No! No!” she cried as she roughly pushed him aside to reach behind him.

“What?” He could not see her but felt each rap of her fist on the wood with every beat of his heart.

“We are stuck, Mr. Darcy.” Her disappointment bordered on grief. “I have found no means of reopening either the door we came through or the one in front of us.”

****

What a great excerpt! Thank you, Joy, for being my guest today! I bet my readers feel the same way I do right now: I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Now I bet you all are dying to know about the other new Christie Capps’ release, Elizabeth. Here’s the blurb:

He could have anything he wanted…except her.

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy finds himself in the unusual position of chasing a woman rather than being chased.
Miss Elizabeth Bennet is exasperated as Mr. Darcy, the rudest man of her acquaintance, is being nice—to her! How can she continue to despise a man who apologizes so well?

Based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy’s arrogance and pride are equally matched by Miss Elizabeth’s prejudice. In this fast-paced novella set in Regency England, can they both overcome strongly entrenched personalities to discover peace and happiness? Of course, they can. This is Mr. Darcy and his Elizabeth, he hopes.

Elizabeth is appropriate for all readers. This story can be read in about an hour and is around 100 pages.

****

Giveaway

Joy, as Christie Capps, has not come to the blog empty-handed. She is offering three eBook copies each of Lost & Found and Elizabeth. Please include your email address, and indicate which book you’d like to receive if chosen as a winner. This giveaway will be open through Sunday, May 27, 2018. Winners will be randomly selected from those who leave comments and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Have you read any of Christie Capps’ stories? Which is your favorite?

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I would like to welcome Joy King (J. Dawn King/Christie Capps) to Diary of an Eccentric to celebrate the release of her newest novel, Friends and Enemies. This is her first visit to my blog, and I’m delighted to have her as my guest today. Welcome, Joy!

Thank you very much.

Your latest Jane Austen Fan Fiction (JAFF) released yesterday. Can you tell us how this one differs from your others?

Friends and Enemies is the first full-length novel I’ve written from one point-of-view. It is very Darcy-centric. Readers will travel with him as he metamorphosizes from the arrogant gentleman in Hertfordshire to the man worthy of Elizabeth Bennet’s love. The journey, for him, is painful and angst-filled. Boy, oh boy did I love this man. I think he’s my favorite Darcy so far.

What did you like most about this Mr. Darcy?

I loved his sheer determination. Each time a personal flaw was revealed, he meditated on the impact to his future and the future of others as he considered what he needed to do to adjust. Then, despite anguish and difficulty, he pressed on with his purpose. His honor and innate qualities as a true gentleman drove him. Underneath, he is a man worthy of the deepest love and devotion.

What did you not like about Mr. Darcy?

I think it’s a man thing – the need to be in control and take charge. And, his assumption that he was automatically deserving of respect. Bah!

Which character surprised you most in your story?

Lydia Bennet. She is not often in the book; however, there are short moments of brilliance where I think she has completely redeemed herself. Nevertheless, they were quickly followed by her acting as the youngest Bennet who makes us roll our eyes and snort.

Would you give us an example?

In this excerpt, Lydia has just acted with unbelievable wisdom and decorum. Here’s the events immediately following. Mr. Darcy is speaking:

He wiped his eyes. “Miss Lydia, after Elizabeth and I have been married for a while, it would be our pleasure to invite you for a visit to our home. You have proven yourself to be a true friend and despite my initial impressions, I believe with a little amount of instruction, you would outshine the silly ladies of the ton in no time at all.” 

“What a joke!” She jumped up and ran from the room. At the door, she stopped. “You just wait until I tell Kitty.” Whooping and hollering like a field hand calling cows, she left Darcy and her sister behind, quite alone and stunned by her wild behaviour after the compliment.

And, what about the Elizabeth Bennet in your story. What did you love most about her?

This Elizabeth is wise and less impulsive. We understand what motivates her caution with Mr. Darcy. Even though we want her to love him as soon as he loves her, he truly doesn’t deserve her devotion until she can trust him. Her kindness in this tale is exemplary.

What did you not like about Elizabeth?

The same thing as above. It drove me nuts. I kept thinking, “just get over it and tell him you love him!” However, as a studier of character, she had witnessed and lived with a relationship she abhorred. It was a tricky thing to be a woman during Regency times. We are reading these stories with 21st century sensibilities. We wear our independence and completely comprehend Elizabeth’s need to go her own way. However, she was an anomaly at the time. Jane Austen definitely wrote her as period correct.

What is in store for J. Dawn King?

I keep saying this and have for the past three years, but I’m working on my Bingley/Jane sequel to A Father’s Sins. My daughter, Jennifer, keeps telling me to give it up and move on. I’d love to. Yet, this Bingley barges into my psyche and nags me fairly frequently. He reminds me I have a lovely finished cover and a strong beginning. He silently demands his own happily-ever-after. The brat!

Thank you very much for stopping by. Here is the blurb for Friends and Enemies which is available at Amazon.

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the hero of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, has his world turned upside down when his character, of which he is particularly proud, is called into question by those whom he trusts.

Will he learn from his mistakes or remain his own worst enemy?

When he discovers a secret which could destroy not only the reputation of his beloved sister but threatens her very life, he can no longer hide behind his mask of social indifference. Dismaying circumstances will test the strength of his personal beliefs and convictions as well as his devotion to family and friends as a rival from his past determines to ruin him and take everything Darcy holds dear. Out of the flames of adversity, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, once scorned, becomes a beacon of hope.

Can love grow from adversity? Is happiness possible?

In this full-length novel set in Regency, England, true friendships are made, enemies are revealed, and happily-ever-after is on the horizon. Or is it…

I understand you come bearing gifts.

I do, Anna. I have six eBooks of anything I’ve written as J. Dawn King or Christie Capps and a lovely $50 Amazon gift card to giveaway. Do you think any of your readers might be interested?

I do. Thank you for your generosity. All of Joy’s giveaways are open internationally. To enter, please comment below with the answer to the question: Which quality attracts you to a man? (Some suggestions: honorable, sexy, kind, loves puppies and babies, learned, capable…) Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway will close on Sunday, June 11, 2017. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post (and I will email you as well). If you are selected for a prize and we do not hear from you by June 16, 2017, we will have to select someone else as a winner. Good luck!

And thank you, Joy, for stopping by today. I can’t wait to read your books; I’ve purchased a few on my Kindle and am anxious to start them. Please come back again any time!

Connect with Joy on Facebook: Joy King and J Dawn King | Twitter | Website

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