Tag Archives: emmy z. madrigal

Haunts and Hellions Emmy Z. Madrigal Excerpt

Harkening back to the glory days of gothic romance that had us up reading all night, HorrorAddicts.net Press Presents:

Haunts & Hellions edited by Emerian Rich

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13 stories of horror, romance, and that perfect moment when the two worlds collide. Vengeful spirits attacking the living, undead lovers revealing their true nature, and supernatural monsters seeking love, await you. Pull the blinds closed, light your candle, and cuddle up in your reading nook for some chilling—and romantic—tales.

With stories by: Emily Blue, Lucy Blue, Kevin Ground, Rowan Hill, Naching T. Kassa, Emmy Z. Madrigal, R.L. Merrill, N.C. Northcott, Emerian Rich, Daniel R. Robichaud, Daphne Strasert, Tara Vanflower, and B.F. Vega.

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An excerpt from Haunts & Hellions

 

Hungry Masses

Emmy Z. Madrigal

1909

HH3DPromoOff the Coast of Australia, aboard ship

“Miss Smith! Miss Smith, my word! Would you slow down, girl?” Mrs. Linden called after her as she entered the corridor.

“What is it?” Vivienne paused, taking in Mrs. Linden’s flushed cheeks and heavy intake of breath.

“Such news!” Mrs. Linden took hold of her forearm, holding a little tighter than she would like as the older woman led her to a couple of chairs by the window. “Haven’t you heard? The most dreadful thing!”

“No, what is it?”

“Seven more passengers are ill. Seven! And all from the upper-class cabins.”

“No!” Vivienne covered her mouth as she felt faint. How could an illness spread so fast?

“The young Dr. Radley has been called in to service as even the ship doctor himself has been feeling under the weather.”

“But are you sure? Seven? Seven overnight? Surely that must include the maid and…”

“No, I’m afraid not, sweet girl. It is on top of. There are now five passed on and…oh!” Mrs. Linden pressed her handkerchief to her mouth, her watery eyes speaking of fear and uncertainty. “I must go… I’ve only come to tell you, my husband and I will be dining in our cabin for the remainder of the trip. We’ll be leaving as soon as we come to port and booking passage elsewhere. I advise you to do the same.”

“Yes, that is wise. Thank you for telling me.” Vivienne helped the lady from her chair and took her side to walk her back.

“No, now, you must return to your room. I won’t have you sick because of me. Fare thee well, young Miss.” Mrs. Linden waved her hanky to her as she passed and hurried down the corridor as quickly as her little stubby legs could take her.

Vivienne’s heart thudded hard in her chest. What could she do? Should she see Charles? Was there a cure?

Noticing some commotion out on deck, she peeked out and saw several crewmen lifting a large flat object, covered in dark cloth, up on the railing. It almost looked like a…body. The captain was up above them on the steps, crossing himself.

She couldn’t help drawing nearer.

“Heave…ho!” the crewmen called and the form slid from the flat plank of wood, into the water below with a splash.

As the crewmen pulled yet another body onto the wooden slab, one of the shipmates saw her.

“Oh, now this isn’t the place for a lady. Please go back inside, Miss.” His words melted into nothingness as she locked eyes with the captain and saw the shame and disgust in his eyes.

“Miss Smith!” She turned to see Dr. Radley without a jacket and his shirt-sleeves rolled up. His eyes held concern and he came to her side, gently touching her on the elbow.

“Charles?”

“I think you should be in your room.”

“Yes…”

Charles gently grasped her arm and led her away from the most disturbing thing she’d witnessed in her young life. He held her as she wilted into him and led her down the hall to her cabin.

Once seated inside her stateroom, Charles fetched her a cool glass of water and stood against the doorframe, studying her. After a period of silence, she looked up at him.

“Charles… Mr. Smithe, he….” She touched again the place where he’d placed a kiss.

“What did he do to you? Are you alright?”

“Yes, but he was coughing and coughing and he kissed me… Right here on the cheek.”

“I see.” Relief washed over his face. He retrieved a washcloth and brought out a small vial from his pocket, dabbing the cloth. “I’m sorry, but you won’t have to worry about him anymore. He is… Well, he’s sure to be laid up the rest of the trip.” He smoothed the cloth over her cheek and the smell of rubbing alcohol caused her nose to tingle.

“But I’m sure to get it now.”

“No.” He shook his head, brushing back her hair and looking into her eyes. “The chances of that are…and besides, I’ve just disinfected you.”

She smiled weakly, hoping he was right.

“How many?” she asked. Mrs. Linden had said seven, but the bodies coming out of the hall seemed in the dozens and she wondered if there were more to come.

“Twenty-six in total.”

“Twenty… Why are they being dumped into the sea? Won’t their families want to—”

“The captain doesn’t want to take the chance. With how quickly it spread, he fears… He wants to protect the other passengers.”

“Who…were they? Anyone I…” She gulped back tears. Having not been on the boat long, she didn’t particularly have feelings for any of her shipmates especially, but she still didn’t want to see them die.

“Mostly below deck crew.” Charles kneeled before her and took her hand in his. “Try not to worry, Vivienne. You are safe here in your room.” He leaned in and she could not help but touch her lips to his. They kissed and she felt so safe in those moments.

“I should get back.” He stood, kissing her once more before taking his leave.

“Charles…” she called as he opened her door.

“Yes?”

“Will you come back this evening?”

“I shall try.”

To read more, read Haunts and Hellions at: Amazon.com

Inspiration behind Emmy’s new story, “Parsers and Prejudice”

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your very own Mr. Darcy? Yeah, me too.

In my new story “Parsers and Prejudice” I took a different spin on the modern-day Jane Austen variations. In a future world, where men are all but extinct, Laney falls in love with her only companion, a male android built to meet her every need. But when a deadly virus sweeps the bot population, she must do everything she can to save the bot she loves.

Laney is an IT call-center rep at the largest male-bot company, Alpha-bot. Alpha-bot specializes in only the best models. Mr. Darcy, Romeo, Casanova, Nicholas Nickleby, or for those inclined to the fantastical, Dracula, Tarzan, Phantom of the Opera, and The Beast. Alpha-bot makes their models in every skin tone, ethnicity, language, and accent. They are issued near the owner’s age and can be enrolled in the progression program that enables them to age with the owner.

But imagine having your very own Darcy-bot! He’d cook, clean, and take care of you in whatever capacity you wanted him to. Looking for a maid and chauffer? He can do that. Want something more intimate? He can do that, too.

In Laney’s case, she has used her company discounts and hacking skills to create a bot that is as close to a human male companion as possible. He thinks on his own and displays mannerisms beyond what normal robots do. Has she taught him enough to help him be immune to the bot virus? Or will he too succumb to the deadly plague?

Check out this excerpt for a taste of what “Parsers and Prejudice” has to offer.

Parsers and Prejudice

by Emerian Rich

“Alpha-Bot, this is Laney. How may I help you?”

“My bot’s acting up. He overloaded the clothes washer and broke three of my dishes. Also, something is wrong with my vid screen. Not sure what happened there.”

“And what model do you own?”

“Mr. Darcy.”

“Ah, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that a robotic Mr. Darcy is never as perfect as one hopes…”

“Can you make him stop or what?”

Obviously, caller 29406 was a fan of the Pride and Prejudice films and clingy pants, not the book.

“Sure, linking up now,” Laney said, which always sounded a bit naughty to her. Interfacing with Mr. Darcy wasn’t as cool as one would think. “Ah, I see. It looks like Mr. Darcy has a virus.”

“A virus, crap. He’s been with my daughter all day.”

“It’s not contagious to humans. He’s a robot.”

“Oh, good. So, what the hell do I do now?”

“Well, he’s not responding to my commands. Are you able to reach his right ear?”

“I can try.”

“Good. There is a latch behind his right ear.”

“Pardon me, my lady,” Mr. Darcy-bot’s voice came through the phone. “May I be of assistance? Are you unwell?”

“I can’t quite…”

“Oh, my lady, you are feisty tonight, but you’ve not even eaten your dinner yet.”

“Shut up, Darcy, and let me…”

“Have I angered you? Allow me to tell you how much I ardently admire and lo—”

Laney heard a click and the voice stopped mid-sentence.

“You did it,” Laney said.

“Yeah. So, now what?” It was hard to imagine bitchy caller 29406 meshing well with a pleasant Darcy-bot, but to each her own.

“I’ve already dispatched a repair bot. He should be there within the hour. He can help you tidy up and then he’ll attempt to repair Darcy.”

“And if he can’t?”

“You still have four months on your repair plan. If we can’t repair him, a new model will be issued to you, free of charge.”

“Damn! He’s been with me ten years. He knows all my schedules and routines.”

“I see he’s recently backed up his main system, so—”

“Yeah, but I’m on privacy mode, jeez…”

Laney smiled. About fifty percent of the population used their bots on privacy mode because of their fear the government would have control. There were also those who kept it on privacy mode so the government wouldn’t have access to personal things like sexual preferences and kinks. Laney actually had hers on a private lock too, but she backed hers up at home manually once a month.

“Oh, no. I know how devastating that can be, which is why we will do everything in our power to cure him. Would you like to extend your repair plan now?”

“Let’s see what happens first.”

Laney knew that tone of voice. It meant, “If this bot dies, I may trade it in for another company’s bot.”

“Of course, we’re on our way. Feel free to call us back if you have any other issues.” The phone clicked before she could offer a survey but that was fine with her. She hated offering the survey.

Working the repair line was rarely a happy event. People were mad. Their bots were family. But recently there had been more virus calls than usual. Where the virus came from, no one really knew, but it was spreading like wildfire.

She smiled to herself as she thought of the Mr. Darcy-bot vid ad.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in the 23rd century must have a male-bot. Why not make it a Darcy-bot?” 

But it was true. Whether for pleasure, help around the house, or simply companionship, male-bots had become a necessity, just like smartphones in the 2000s. After the male-only pandemic, Y-Chrome, had wiped out most of the men on the planet, there were only a few thousand left and they lived in protective custody in the pristine and lavish city sarcastically called Harem City, doing little more than providing sperm for the growth of future generations.


Meant to Be…Spooked

Falling in love is scary,
especially in these four witty,
otherworldly tales from Meant to Be Press

“Parsers and Prejudice” by Emmy Z. Madrigal
Sometimes digital love is all you got.

In a future world, where men are all but extinct, Laney falls in love with her only companion, a male android built to meet her every need. But when a deadly virus sweeps the bot population, she must do everything she can to save the bot she loves.

“Cursed by Cupid” by Naching T. Kassa
Nothing is scarier than love.

Jane Sanders is a professional matchmaker and her new client is to die for. Henry Roberts is a handsome and charming Englishman, someone every woman would want. There’s just one problem. Henry is also ghost, cursed to appear as each woman’s nightmare. Can Jane aid him in his hunt for true love? Or will she experience her first failure and condemn his soul to hell forever?

“The Phone Booth” by M.M. Genet
What would you give for one last chance?

What would you give to talk one last time to someone you lost? Would you give up your savings, your house or car? How about your best friend or a member of your family? After a tornado hits their small town, the names of the missing gradually become the names of the dead. A haunted phone booth might give Ahi one last chance to call his missing girlfriend.

“Cordial Foe” by H.E. Roulo
Magic isn’t found, it’s made

If not for the magic embroidered into her tattoos, Cherry would already be dead. Isaac’s life revolves around duty and protection, so he hardly has time for the rockabilly woman bringing chaos to his mountain. Sometimes, a little chaos is a wake-up call. Too bad what Cherry wants is at odds with what Isaac has to give. His secrets might be worse than hers.

An anthology of otherworldly love stories from Meant to Be Press authors.
Meant to Be…SPOOKED
Available now on Amazon.

New Fiction! Meant to Be…SPOOKED

Meant to Be Press continues the Love Notes series with…

Meant to Be…Spooked

Falling in love is scary,
especially in these four witty,
otherworldly tales from Meant to Be Press

“Parsers and Prejudice” by Emmy Z. Madrigal
Sometimes digital love is all you got.

In a future world, where men are all but extinct, Laney falls in love with her only companion, a male android built to meet her every need. But when a deadly virus sweeps the bot population, she must do everything she can to save the bot she loves.

“Cursed by Cupid” by Naching T. Kassa
Nothing is scarier than love.

Jane Sanders is a professional matchmaker and her new client is to die for. Henry Roberts is a handsome and charming Englishman, someone every woman would want. There’s just one problem. Henry is also ghost, cursed to appear as each woman’s nightmare. Can Jane aid him in his hunt for true love? Or will she experience her first failure and condemn his soul to hell forever?

“The Phone Booth” by M.M. Genet
What would you give for one last chance?

What would you give to talk one last time to someone you lost? Would you give up your savings, your house or car? How about your best friend or a member of your family? After a tornado hits their small town, the names of the missing gradually become the names of the dead. A haunted phone booth might give Ahi one last chance to call his missing girlfriend.

“Cordial Foe” by H.E. Roulo
Magic isn’t found, it’s made

If not for the magic embroidered into her tattoos, Cherry would already be dead. Isaac’s life revolves around duty and protection, so he hardly has time for the rockabilly woman bringing chaos to his mountain. Sometimes, a little chaos is a wake-up call. Too bad what Cherry wants is at odds with what Isaac has to give. His secrets might be worse than hers.

An anthology of otherworldly love stories from Meant to Be Press authors.
Meant to Be…SPOOKED
Available now on Amazon.

Contemporary Romance: Sweet Dreams Musical Romance

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Although this blog is dedicated mostly to Regency and Historical fiction, I thought perhaps some of you cross over and would enjoy hearing about my Contemporary Romance series, the Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series.

sweetdreamsbignewAt twenty-one, Rob Malloy is a successful San Francisco entertainment manager and has achieved more than most men twice his age. Wealthy and famous for closing any deal, he may seem to have everything a man could want. However, he longs to meet a woman he can share his life with.

Victoria Knox is a poor eighteen year old student who dreams of nothing but becoming a singer. Dating is the last thing on her mind when she accidentally bumps into Rob in an airport gift shop on Christmas day. Instant attraction draws them to one another, despite their different lifestyles. Looking as if he stepped out of a GQ ad, Rob exudes high class and money. Victoria is convinced he is too good for her, but Rob is immediately attracted to how she freely shares her innocently opinionated views. He likes her down to earth personality that is such a breath of fresh air compared to the gold digging socialites he is normally plagued with.

In this love story, Rob introduces Victoria to a high society world where she meets the rich and famous. For the first time she dares to believe her dream of becoming a singing star is possible through Rob’s industry connections. However, Rob is different from anyone she has ever met and she fears she won’t fit into his world. Her mother adds fuel to Victoria’s misgivings by questioning Rob’s intentions. Though sincere, Rob may have trouble convincing his country club parents that Victoria is a proper match. Join Rob and Victoria as they battle social class lines, parental disapproval and ghosts from their pasts to prove to others and themselves that their love is meant to last.

starstruck omtbetter tlsmall sweetdreamsbignew undecided1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob and Victoria’s story may start on Christmas day, but it continues in the novels:
Star Struck, True Love, Undecided, One More Try, and coming soon…2B with U, Anything 4 U, and Life and Death.

There is also a companion book written from Rob’s perspective of the first book.

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Robert W. Malloy’s Journal, Uncensored

Readers,

You know Robert Malloy as the sexy business man who swept Victoria Knox off her feet. Here’s a glimpse into his thoughts with the unauthorized publication of his personal journal. What does he really think about Victoria and those intimate moments spent together? Experience Sweet Dreams exclusively through Rob’s eyes, uncensored.

~Emmy
*A companion to Sweet Dreams Volume #1*

You can listen to the free podcasts, buy the text books, or visit the extras area (where you can play with an interactive map of San Francisco and see author sketches of book locations) at SweetDreamsNovel.com

Winner of eBook Giveaway – Mr. Darcy’s Rival by Kara Louise

 

And the winner is….darcyrivalLauren K.

Thank you all for participating and Lauren, please check your email for details.

For those of you who didn’t win the drawing, Kara’s new book isn’t out of your reach.

Download Mr. Darcy’s Rival 

now and let me know what you think of this awesome new installment of Jane Austen Variation fiction.

Thank you Kara for visiting us.

To find out more about Kara, go to:

http://www.karalouise.net

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kara-Louise-Author/110662582307647

https://www.facebook.com/karalouise.214

Win a Copy of Mr. Darcy’s Rival by Kara Louise

WIN A COPY OF MR. DARCY’S RIVAL!

darcyrivalMost of you have already read my blog post today about Kara Louise’s work and her new book, Mr. Darcy’s Rival. Per Kindle, I’m only 8% into it and I am loving every minute!

Well, now you have the chance to own an eBook copy for free! From now until Sunday, July 5th, Midnight (PST) you can be entered into the drawing by commenting here on this post, or my earlier post: Interview with Mr. Darcy’s Rival author, Kara Louise. Comment on both to increase your chances. 🙂

Winners will be announced Monday, July 6th.

Mr. Darcy’s Rival begins when Elizabeth Bennet sets off to join her friend, Charlotte Collins, in Kent. When she arrives, she is delighted to make the acquaintance of a young gentleman from Rosings, the nephew of the late Sir Lewis de Bourgh. She enjoys getting to know him and spending time with him. When Darcy arrives, a couple weeks later, he discovers that Elizabeth is just across the lane. This story is about Elizabeth’s perception of the two men and how Darcy is faced with a harsh reality and difficult decision.

If you can’t wait for the giveaway, you can find the book on Amazon as a print or eBook and for your Nook.

GOOD LUCK!

 

 

Interview with Mr. Darcy’s Rival author, Kara Louise

A Love Letter to Kara Louise

When Kindle first came out, I was excited by the technology of it. All my author friends were at first excited, then scared of the ramifications of what readers loving this machine would do to our sales. We’ve seen that through and now it’s become commonplace to have your Kindle eBook QR codes on author tables right alongside your print books. We really don’t care which format you enjoy, just enjoy them!

But, back to my first Kindle experience. So, I downloaded some of the free public domain works, of course going first for Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, and Emma. I had read them all, but wanted them on my Kindle for posterity sake. Ever the Austenophile, I then trolled for variations and came across Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise. Amazon tells me I bought it on March 4th, 2011, but I still remember the book like it was yesterday.

voyageYou see, Darcy’s Voyage blended two of my favorite things: the Darcy/Elizabeth love story and the magic of travelling on a large ship like in Titanic. Kara transported me into this world where I could see, feel, and touch everything around me. Not only did she bring two of my favorite characters along, she did it right. I felt like she really understood the characters and what they would say or feel or do. And to have the characters brought to life after I thought they were gone forever with the last page of Jane’s novel, it was a like a gift. Kara certainly has that ability to bring our beloved characters to life and I think that comes from her being a fan of Austen as well. After I read Darcy’s Voyage, I gobbled up her other works like they were chocolate truffles! In fact, through the power of Amazon record keeping, I can see I digested her entire library in less than a month! Even one told from a dog’s point of view, which is odd for me to enjoy because I’m not especially a pet lover.

So, to Kara, I say…Thank you for the gifts you’ve given me. You brought Darcy and Elizabeth back to life in a way I never thought possible. You’ve given me them in the past, in the future, through dogs eyes, through Georgianna’s eyes, with confusion, and misconstruance. You’ve shown me they are not static characters forever locked in 1813. You’ve given me hope that I will be able to learn of new adventures and continue to be in their lives. You unlocked the door to variations that was closed to me. To me, you will always be the mother of the variation (even if some came before you) and have instilled in me a reverence for the retelling of our sacred tale, a standard by which all other variations must stand up to. And lastly, before I turn into too much of a fangirl, you restored my love of reading when it was almost snuffed out by bad Jane reboots! Thank you!

darcyrivalNow that all the gushing is over, let’s talk about what Kara Louise has new for us. Mr. Darcy’s Rival begins when Elizabeth Bennet sets off to join her friend, Charlotte Collins, in Kent. When she arrives, she is delighted to make the acquaintance of a young gentleman from Rosings, the nephew of the late Sir Lewis de Bourgh. She enjoys getting to know him and spending time with him. When Darcy arrives, a couple weeks later, he discovers that Elizabeth is just across the lane. This story is about Elizabeth’s perception of the two men and how Darcy is faced with a harsh reality and difficult decision.

I can’t wait to read it! If you’re with me, you can find the book on Amazon as a print or eBook and for your Nook.

Now comes the best part of this post! I actually got to chat with Kara and ask her a few questions…I know fangirl flip-out right? Here’s what Kara has to say about her books, her love of Austen, and what she has coming next.

What is your favorite Jane Austen novel?

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite with Persuasion coming in at a close second. I have never been as moved by any film or book as I was with P&P. I love Elizabeth’s determination to dislike Darcy despite his being such a sought after gentleman. I love her liveliness and spirit, and I love that Jane Austen keeps us from knowing the truth about Darcy until Elizabeth finds out. Like her, we are left questioning everything we thought we knew about him!

What was your first JA variation?

The first variation I wrote was Assumed Engagement. I had based this book on the assumption that Darcy corresponded with Georgiana frequently and would have informed her that he was going to ask for Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s hand. Of course, Georgiana would assume they were engaged, and when Darcy is in an accident and knocked unconscious, she sends for Elizabeth, not knowing she turned him down. I had originally thought it would be about 7 chapters and it surprised me by being 20.

I loved that book. One of my favorite side characters is Georgianna and I loved how you played out what a relationship between them would be like if Darcy wasn’t in the picture. Where did you get the idea to put Lizzy and Darcy on a ship?

I had just read the book, Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana, which was his diary of being a sailor in the mid-1800s. He was just sailing from Boston to California, but I was drawn in by his descriptions of the ship and his experiences, and that was where the idea first began to take shape.

Besides Lizzy and Darcy, who is your favorite P&P character?

I like several characters, so let me answer it this way – which other P&P character do you enjoy writing about as they interact with Lizzy or Darcy? That would be Colonel Fitzwilliam as he interacts with Darcy. I think there are times when Darcy can be so clueless (especially in Mr. Darcy’s Rival), that his cousin has to shake him up a bit, tease him, set him straight.

I love the way you amped up Colonel Fitzwilliam in your writing. Before I read your work, he was just a cardboard cut out to me. You made him come alive in a way I didn’t expect. How did you think of writing a Darcy variation from a dog’s point of view?

masterI had read a couple other stories where Darcy had a dog, and I began to think about what kind of influence his dog might have in the storyline. That was one story where I strictly adhered to Jane Austen’s story, only inserting events of my own devising when we did not know from her novel what happened, such as the months between Darcy leaving Netherfield and then showing up at Rosings. Writing that story about Reggie, an English Springer Spaniel, prompted us to get an ESS and name her Reggie. Yes, this Reggie is a female, and is not as well behaved as Darcy’s Reggie was.

Do you have a favorite JA movie adaptation?

Definitely the 1995 Pride and Prejudice. I personally don’t think you can beat Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

Very true! Too bad we can’t freeze Colin in time so he can play Darcy for the rest of his life. I bet he’d get tired of that though. Heheh. I’ve read all your JA variations, even the modern one Drive and Determination. Do you enjoy writing modern or Regency fiction better? Which is harder?

I definitely prefer Regency. Drive and Determination came about when I was standing on a street in Guatemala in a downpour. I got the idea for the story, which was not, in its first conception, a Pride and Prejudice story at all. But I made a few changes to make it more of a P&P inspired story. It definitely takes a different direction than P&P. Regency is more difficult to write because not only the lifestyle of that era is different, but also the language and how things were said. Words were used differently back then and you want to be correct on what they said and did not say. I have two gals who edit my books who are very good at catching some of the things that I let slip by.

If you were to cast Darcy and Lizzy in Darcy’s Voyage, who would play the parts?

I really like Jessica Brown Findlay, who played Lady Sybil on Downton Abbey and think she would make a fine Elizabeth Bennet. As for Darcy, I’d have to say definitely, Henry Cavill. How fun would that be!

How do stories come to you?

Not as easily as they used to! I wrote my first stories within 3-6 months, and this last one took 2 years. Actually, I get an idea, and I can usually write a pretty good first chapter. Then I have to chew it over and see if it can go anywhere. Sometimes an idea comes just from reading P&P and stopping at something that makes me stop and wonder how things would have transpired if this or that change was made.

Do you work off an outline or go with the flow?

I don’t use an outline, but I do have an idea where the story is going. There are times I find it veering off in another direction. In Mr. Darcy’s Rival, Miss Anne de Bourgh reveals to Elizabeth that she is a writer and even her mother does not know. I have no idea where that came from, but it became a substantial part of the story.

I really liked that veer you took with Anne. Pride and Prejudice begs for a writer in the mix and Anne was the perfect choice. Besides Jane Austen, what kinds of things inspire you?

darcydoBefore I began writing, all my creative energies went into crafting. I still have boxes of unfinished crafts or craft supplies. I’ve done everything from basket weaving to cross stitch, to paper crafting, to tole painting. I also love music—either listening or singing along. I don’t have a solo voice (my sister was gifted with that), but I have a voice that can blend. I sang in the choir at my former church for several years. When I’m home alone and listening to music, I usually sing along with it. Fortunately, no one can hear me.

I love music too. I would love to see a music inspired P&P! What do you do in your life that is completely different from writing? Any hobby, social club, charity, or sport you enjoy?

I love sports. Volleyball was a favorite of mine, having grown up in California, I played it a lot. But in 2011, I broke an ankle, and haven’t played since. My husband and I are very involved in our church. It’s a small church we started attending when we moved to St. Louis to be near our son and his wife. And this past year, a new granddaughter became a very big and special part of our life. I’ve enjoyed having a regular schedule babysitting her so our daughter-in-law could continue working with pregnant teens.

Besides JA, who are your favorite authors to read?

I read such a variety, that it’s hard to pinpoint a favorite. I do enjoy Georgette Heyer, who writes fun Regency stories, much like Jane Austen. But one other favorite I have is Elly Griffiths, whose character, Ruth Galloway, is a forensic archaeologist in England who gets called in to help solve murders with Detective Chief Inspector Henry Nelson. She just came out with her 7th novel.

What is your favorite period in history?

Since I know so much about it, I would have to say Regency.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

The best advice I have is to write what you like. If you can put your heart and soul into your book, it will be more enjoyable. But at the same time, before you even think of publishing it, have others read it whom you can trust to give you good, honest advice about plot, characters, and your writing so that it will be the best it can be before you hit the ‘publish’ button.

What are you working on next?

Right now I’m taking a break from novel writing to do some writing for our austenvariations.com blog. I hope during that break I’ll get some inspiration for my next project.

Where can we find you on the web?

karaMy website is: http://www.karalouise.net

My Facebook author page is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kara-Louise-Author/110662582307647

My Facebook personal page is: https://www.facebook.com/karalouise.214

Thank you, Emmy, for inviting me to being a part of your new Austen blog as I announce my new Austen book!

You are very welcome Kara! It was a pleasure, truly. And readers, please check out Kara’s new book, Mr. Darcy’s Rival.

Alone with Mr. Darcy by Abigail Reynolds

alonewithI just finished a great Pride and Prejudice variation by Abigail Reynolds that you Janeites would love! In Alone with Mr. Darcy, Lizzy and Darcy have met, Jane is in London, and it’s Charlotte and Collins’ wedding day. Irritated with the wedding festivities, Lizzy takes a walk in the snow to clear her head. When she happens upon an injured Darcy, lying in the snow bleeding, she helps him to a little cottage where they spend several days trapped in a blizzard with little heat or food.

Romantic, yet sticking to the JA sense of decorum, this book was hard to put down. In fact, I got a Kindle nose-bonk one night when I read too long and fell asleep. The author took great care in creating the atmosphere and characters that we all love. I found Darcy and Lizzy’s relationship intoxicating. Their time in the cabin had me clicking forward faster than my eyes could take it in.

I adored Abigail’s take on things and to see Darcy’s view, which was sadly left out of the original. The supporting characters all did their best to hinder as they always do, but this is a happy ending even though at times it looks as if it won’t be.

I think my two favorite characters in this variation are Charlotte and Col. Fitzwilliam. I enjoyed seeing more of them and how they worked together to accomplish something phenomenal. Also, Mr. Darcy’s valet, Crewe, was a nice surprise. I adored the author’s twist on Georgianna’s origin and it was nice that Wickham didn’t have to be front and center as he always is in JA rewrites. At first, I thought the absence of Jane and Bingley as constant companions would be disappointing, but I soon forgot the old tale because the new one is so much fun.

After enjoying this book, I felt compelled to get in touch with the author. Turns out, this is only one of many variations by Abigail, so yeah, I have a lot of catching up to do!

To find out more about Abigail and her path to JA variation, I asked her some questions about the book, her inspiration, and what’s coming next.

EmmyZ: When did you first discover Jane Austen?

Abigail: I first read her books as a teenager.

EmmyZ: What is your favorite supporting character in Pride and Prejudice?

Abigail: I love Mrs. Gardiner, with her combination of good sense and tact, along with what I suspect is a wicked sense of humor!

EmmyZ: What made you want to rethink Jane Austen’s original tale?

what would mr. darcy doAbigail: It wasn’t planned out. One time when I was re-reading P&P and got to the Lambton Inn scene, I just couldn’t bear watching the misunderstanding where Elizabeth thinks she has lost Darcy and he thinks she knows he still cares. I just wanted to shake them both and tell them to just open their mouths and talk to each other. But they refused to do it in the book, just like always, so in a temper I started writing What Would Mr. Darcy Do to remedy the situation!

EmmyZ: If you could transport into any Jane Austen character and live their life, who would it be and why?

Abigail: Tough question! Probably Lizzy Bennet just because she has the willingness to speak her mind at a time when women generally didn’t.

EmmyZ: What are your other Darcy or Jane Austen variations?

Abigail: Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections, The Darcys of Derbyshire, Mr. Darcy’s Refuge, Mr. Darcy’s Letter, Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World, By Force of Instinct, Mr. Darcy’s Undoing, What Would Mr. Darcy Do?, To Conquer Mr. Darcy, A Pemberley Medley (short story anthology), and The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice.

EmmyZ: Do you have plans for any other JA rewrites?

Abigail: I’m working on a new variation which involves the Luddite rebellion, and have a plan for at least one more beyond that.

EmmyZ: What is your favorite JA movie adaptation?

Abigail: Tough question! I suppose I’d give a slight edge to the 1995 Pride and Prejudice.

EmmyZ: What inspires you to write?

Abigail: It’s the only way to get the characters in my head to be quiet!

EmmyZ: What sort of music/atmosphere is your ideal to create in?

To-Conquer-Mr-Darcy-blue-small2-182x280Abigail: I usually like silence for writing, though I can ignore noise around me, which is important since it’s usually there! And cats trying to get on the keyboard or my lap are a crucial part of the writing experience – just ask them!

EmmyZ: Who are your favorite writers outside of Jane Austen? What do you enjoy reading?

Abigail: I’m extremely eclectic in my reading. I read romance, fantasy, science fiction, classics, and historical fiction. Almost anything that doesn’t have lots of violence. In the Regency department, I’ve really enjoyed Tessa Dare’s romances. Gillian Bradshaw, Kate Elliott, and Robin McKinley are other favorites.  But any given day, I’ll give you different answers!

EmmyZ: Do you have any other projects going that aren’t JA related that the readers might be interested in?

Abigail: I’m working on another novel in my modern series set on Cape Cod. The first book in it, The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice, has obvious Austen ties, but the other books not so much.

Thank you Abigail for allowing us to get to know you! If you’d like to know more about Abigail, go to:

www.pemberleyvariations.com

www.austenvariations.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abigail.reynolds1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/559634.Abigail_Reynolds

Twitter: @abigailreynolds

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Abigail-Reynolds/e/B001JRZP8K/