Tag Archives: mr. darcy

Review: Dancing with Mr. Darcy, Anthology

dancing-with-mr-darcyAs a Jane Austen fan, sometimes you want to read the classics, and sometimes you want to read a new variation. Other times, you just want to sit around and geek out with your friends on your favorite parts and what might happen if you stepped into the novels. Well, if you’re in your geek-out mode, I have the book for you. Dancing with Mr. Darcy is an anthology that includes twenty stories inspired by Jane and Chawton House. Now, these are not variations per se. They are more about Jane or the fans themselves and how her stories effected them.

One of my favorite shorts is the very first one called “Jane Austen Over the Styx” by Victoria Owens, where all of the older women in Jane’s books try to prosecute her for portraying them in a bad light. It’s pretty funny to see Mrs. Bennett, Lady Catherine, Mrs. Ferrars, Mrs. Churchhill, Lady Russell, and Mrs. Norris call Jane out on her unfair ageism.

“…charge: namely that you, Jane Austen between the years 1775 and 1817 did maliciously undercut the respect due for youth to age, in that when you created female characters of advanced years, you willfully portrayed every one of them as a snob, a scold, or a harpy who selfishly or manipulatively interferes with the happiness of an innocent third party.”

To see how she pleads and the hilarious evidence that is brought up against her, you must read the story. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Another story I enjoyed was “Eight Years Later” by Elaine Grotefeld, a modern love story told from a gentleman’s perspective. Chris is a guy who started reading Austen (especially Persuasion) as a child and sees his soulmate at a coffee shop one day, reading his favorite book. They can’t connect then, but years later, he proposes a meet up at Jane’s Chawton House. Will she show? Will she stand him up?

This book is full of little snapshots of Austen fans and is a delightfully different take on all the Austen fandom that we see in books these days. In the tradition of Jane Austen Book Club and Austenland, this little collection was a great break from my usual variation obsession.

Watching Pride and Prejudice with Hubby

During a recent Facebook discussion in Mr. Darcy’s Extensive Readers, started by Janis Barau regarding the “dryness” of Mr. Darcy’s trousers in the after the lake scene (BBC/Firth version circa 1995), I realized I truly do benefit from my husband’s point of view while watching Jane movies.

Sure, there is a lot of smirking and sarcasm involved, but his view can sometimes bring the characters into sharper focus. I consider my husband to have a lot of Mr. Darcy traits, whether he’ll admit it or not. He’s quiet and shy in social situations, almost to the point of being rude. Many times one of my acquaintances has approached me at a gathering and asked whether he was upset with them or if he wasn’t feeling well. My answer is always, “No, he just doesn’t converse easily with strangers.” And it’s surprising how many people can’t fathom what it’s like for him. Being proclaimed a social butterfly from my 5th grade report card-on, it was difficult for me to understand at first, too.

colin-firth-lake-scene-oBut back to Darcy and his dry breeches. As discussion of the lake scene progressed, I shared my husband’s take on the whole jump in the lake scene. From his view point, Darcy had just worked out his aggression from Elizabeth’s denial with his fencing instructor, rode in a fury to Pemberley, and just before he must become Master of Pemberley again, jumps in the lake to have a cry. While the scene is generally questioned by viewers as being necessary or not “period” as Janis points out (she notes he most likely would have been skinny-dipping on his own land) from my husband’s view point, it is a needed transition to allow Darcy to mourn his failure.

As a side note, the fencing scene is one of my hubby’s favorites and he has taken to answering me with “tomorrow week” whenever possible. “When is your appointment?” “Tomorrow week.” “When will the honey-do list be complete?” “Tomorrow week.” “When will it really be done?” “Tomorrow month?” You get the idea.

So although watching JA movies with my hubby is done sometimes begrudgingly and always sarcastically, I’ve found it’s brought me closer to Jane’s characters in a way I wouldn’t have if I didn’t try. Despite him calling Bingley “Willy Wonka” and Jane Bennett “Horseface” and despite him never being able to remember that Colonel Brandon and Captain Wentworth are two different people, I would much rather have his viewpoint than not.

Have you watched one of the JA movies with someone who opened you up to another insight? Share in the comments! We’d like to hear about it.

A special thank you goes out to all those significant others that suffer through JA movies. Thank you for indulging our obsession. We still enjoy it, no matter how smart aleck you become. 🙂

6 Things the Modern Man Can Learn From Mr. Darcy

colinmrdarcy

  1. She might be right.

    I know, novel concept, but if a gal you like tells you why she won’t date you, consider your faults. Is it something you can change or even want to? Maybe she’s waiting for you to make the effort to change so she can see you care. I’m not suggesting to go against your nature or to change something you can’t live with, but if it’s something that will make you a better person, try it.

  2. Tell her you care for her.

    One of the biggest unknowns in dating is how the other person feels. Often guys keep their true feelings locked inside. We want to know. The sexiest thing you can tell a gal is that you dig her. Keeping it hidden to preserve your cool doesn’t do either of you any good.

  3. If you feel for her, fight for her.

    Don’t just tell her, fight for her time. If you’ve got a Wickham (aka…manho) buzzing around her, show her what you can offer that he hasn’t got. Don’t resort to underhanded tricks, but prove to her why you are the better guy just by simply being the better guy.

  4. Allow her to make mistakes and change her mind.

    So, she didn’t like you last summer, what about now? If you feel like your relationship has grown and you still want to pursue her, ask again. Maybe she’s warmed to you. Maybe she’s considered your offer and is seeing you in a different light. Don’t be pushy, but ask again.

  5. Listen to her, take note of her likes/dislikes. You don’t have to agree.

    One of the best things about relationships is our differences. The thought that you have to like the same things is stupid. If there aren’t differences, what will you talk about? Allow her to like what she likes. Take an interest and she’ll take an interest in your things too.

  6. Don’t assume she knows how you feel.

    Guys have often told me they aren’t psychic. That their gals think they should pick up on hints. Well, it’s true for us, too. Although women do tend to be more intuitive than men, we don’t always know what you’re thinking. If you need something different, want something new, or want to take the relationship to the next level, we need to know. Use your words.

Unleashing Mr. Darcy Movie Premiere

Don’t forget to tune in! January 23rd for the premiere of:

Unleashing Mr. Darcy

unleashing

Hallmark Channel’s version of 
Unleashing will air January 23rd, 2016. Starring General Hospital‘s Ryan Paevey and Heartland‘s Cindy Busby.

“I’d love to encourage everyone to watch the movie when it premieres on January 23 and to live-tweet their reactions during the show using the hashtag #unleashingmrdarcy. Let’s get Mr. Darcy trending!” ~ Author Teri Wilson

Interview with Teri Wilson

Unleashing Mr DarcyIn August, I talked about this fabulous book, Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson, which is a fun modern P&P rewrite. Now, with the new year ringing in we also have the treat of seeing this awesome retelling in film form. Hallmark Channel’s version of Unleashing will air January 23rd, 2016 and I for one just can’t wait! I’m also dying to know if they kept my favorite scene for the movie.

Starring General Hospital‘s Ryan Paevey and Heartland‘s Cindy Busby, we are sure to have a gem to add to our Jane Austen DVD libraries!

Author of the book-turned-movie, Teri Wilson, graciously agreed to talk with me about the book, the movie, and what it was like to hear it would be produced.

Emmy: What inspired you to write a modern version of Pride & Prejudice?
Teri: I first had the idea for Unleashing Mr. Darcy while I was at a dog show. I used to show my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Bliss and Finn. There’s quite a bit of down-time at dog shows between grooming the dogs and waiting for your turn in the ring. I was hanging out ringside reading Pride & Prejudice, as it’s always been a favorite book of mine. (I also love all the retellings, too!) Showing my dogs always made me really nervous, and I just kind of started wondering what it would be like if Mr. Darcy was the judge. It would certainly be intimidating (and also amazing). I tossed the idea for the book around in my head for nearly a year before I actually began writing it. I honestly thought no one would ever be interested in it. I though it was too much of a niche idea. But I kept dreaming up scenes and conversations between the characters, and I finally had to just get it down.

Emmy: What is your favorite scene in the book?

 Teri Wilson author photoTeri: My favorite scene in the book is when Mr. Darcy takes Elizabeth and her dog to the Orangery at Kensington Palace in London. Kensington Palace Gardens is probably my favorite place on earth, so that particular scene is very special to me. I actually moved that scene around several times and almost deleted it entirely because it just wasn’t working, but as soon as I moved it seven chapters forward in the book, it worked. I also have a soft spot for the scene at the champagne bar at Harrods. I should probably mention that the movie takes place in the U.S. instead of the U.K. but the spirit of the story is very much the same as the book.

 

Emmy: The Orangery is my favorite scene in the book too! I’m so happy you kept it. Did you ever think you’d see the book on screen and what did you do when you heard it had been picked up for shooting?
Teri: Oh my goodness, no. I never imagined it would be a movie. In the beginning, the sales for this book were not stellar. But it’s held on. It’s actually done pretty well now. When my agent called and told me it had been optioned for film, I broke down and cried. I just couldn’t believe it. Of course I cried again when I found out that it was going into production…I was writing at my favorite cupcake bakery when I got that call, and I think everyone in the bakery thought something was wrong. Then a friend showed up with champagne, and I got myself together enough to share the news. It is ridiculous how many tears I’ve shed throughout this movie experience. I’m not actually a big crier, but this has been such a dream come true that sometimes I’m just a weepy mess.

 

Emmy: I’ve been watching the progression of this whole process on your Facebook page and I have to admit, I’ve shed a few tears of happiness as you’ve passed certain landmarks. What an awesome thing to watch and your enthusiasm for the situation is infectious! Have you already seen the movie, or are you going to be watching it with the rest of us? Will you have a party? 
CXWkwNRWMAEQA_f.jpg-largeTeri: I have not seen the movie, and I highly doubt I will before it premieres on January 23. The movie was filmed on an accelerated schedule because the network was really keen on airing it in January. My producer tells me they will be working on all the details up until the last minute. I’ve read the script, though. And I was on-set for some of the filming, so I have a really good idea of what the movie will look like. I couldn’t be happier. From the casting to Mr. Darcy’s mansion to the costumes…even the dogs. Everything is exactly how I always pictured it in my head.
I’m having a viewing party for my family and close friends the night of the premiere. We’ll be watching the movie live on a big movie theater screen, and we’ve got a red carpet and everything. It should be an amazing night.

 

Emmy: So exciting! If you could see any of your other books on film, which would you choose next? 
Teri: Unleashing Mr. Darcy would have been my first choice, hands-down, simply because so much of myself is in that story. It’s hard for me to choose what I’d like to come next. Any of them, to be honest! ha ha. But if it were up to me, it would be either Unmasking Juliet or Alaskan Homecoming. I love ballet, so I would really, really love to see Alaskan Homecoming onscreen as it has a ballerina heroine. Unmasking Juliet would also be gorgeous because it’s set in the wine country, has a chocolate theme and some really great dogs.

 

Emmy: I agree. Unmasking Juliet runs a close second to Unleashing as my favorite book. I’ve yet to read Alaskan Homecoming, but I love the idea of Alaska and ballet together. I don’t think I ever seen that before. Where can readers find out more about you and your books? 
Teri: My website is www.teriwilson.net, and I’m on Twitter @TeriWilsonauthr and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TeriWilsonAuthor. I’m also a contributing writer at HelloGiggles, so readers can check out my fun non-fiction pieces at https://hellogiggles.com/author/teri-wilson/

Emmy: Do you have any new books coming out?
Teri: My newest book is Alaskan Sanctuary, which is part of my Alaska series for Harlequin Love Inspired. I’m very excited about this book because it’s set on a wolf sanctuary and was great fun to write. The print book is in stores now and the Kindle version comes out on January 1.

I also have a new classic retelling coming out in March from Tule Publishing called The Art of Passion. It’s a fun romantic comedy version of the Pygmalion/My Fair Lady story with fine arts theme. I loved writing this book and incorporating all sorts of fun artsy details.
 
Emmy: Ohhh! I can’t wait to read these. Thank you for joining me here on the blog. I know your readers are going to love hearing about your journey. Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers?
Teri: Thanks so much for this! I’d love to encourage everyone to watch the movie when it premieres on January 23 and to live-tweet their reactions during the show using the hashtag #unleashingmrdarcy. Let’s get Mr. Darcy trending!

Thank you so much Teri for chatting with me. And now, for a special treat, the trailer of Unleashing Darcy premiering on the Hallmark Channel January 23rd, 2016. Synchronize your watches for swoon!

Review: Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson

Unleashing Mr DarcyUnleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson is a fun modern P&P rewrite with more to offer than just the same old re-hash.

Just finished this masterpiece after two sleepless nights up reading! Loved the book more than my sanity apparently, but happy to reveal to those concerned about the dark circles under my eyes, that sleep deprivation was cause by the best modern Darcy adaptation I’ve read in years.

Unleashing Mr. Darcy stars what you’d expect, a middle-class Lizzy and an aristocratic Darcy. But although there are some similarities in this retelling, I was happy the author really built a different sort of tale around our two favorite leads.

Elizabeth Scott is a middle-class school teacher, caught up in a high-society scandal at a NYC boarding school. As they give her a leave of absence to “investigate”, which she knows is code for “make her disappear quickly”, she takes a friend up on a job offer in London. As an amateur dog trainer, Elizabeth becomes involved in the British dog show circuit and meets judge, Donovan Darcy. Donovan is everything we Janites love to see in a Darcy. Handsome, well-built, dressed impeccably, with just one flaw. He falls head over heals for Lizzy at first sight despite his family, high-social standing, and even his own better judgement.

True, the author borrowed some of our favorite lines like, “Allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” But her story line is truly unique in that she changed many of the main plot twists. I loved seeing Darcy’s point of view as he struggled to keep himself under control. I was glad Elizabeth stood up for herself and was a strong sort of woman of today that didn’t at once cower to his attentions.

The bad guy/gal were evil enough, but not so irritatingly harsh that it depressed me. The sub-characters were fun and surprisingly entertaining – especially Sue Barrows, who I am sure was Lizzy’s fairy god-mother in disguise.

I really enjoyed the intimate scenes between Darcy and Lizzy – something missing from the original text. The way the author was able to make even a brush of fingertips mean something, gripped me. I felt I was more invested in the love affair working than the characters, if that’s possible.

The funny thing about all of this praise is that I am not an animal lover. I don’t care much for dogs and would never watch a dog show on TV, much less attend one in person, and yet, I loved this book. A very enthusiastic five stars from me. I’d love to see her tackle Emma or Sense & Sensibility.

For those of you interested in the Romeo and Juliet trope, Teri also has a book with that theme. I’m not much of a Shakespeare lover, but her take is sensual and yummy. Find out about that book here: Unmasking Juliet.

Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson can also be found on Amazon.

Review: Mr. Darcy’s Rival by Kara Louise

darcyrivalJust finished another one of Kara Lousie’s brilliant Pride and Prejudice variations, Mr. Darcy’s Rival. I really don’t know how she does it. It’s as if she’s had Lizzy and Darcy over for tea halfway through the book and read their tea leaves, but they are all jumbled up. She sends them on their way and tells the ending differently, but so seamlessly that neither one of them knows what really should have happened.

This book starts at Rosings with Lizzy visiting Charlotte. Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam have not arrived at Rosings yet. In their place is another of Lady Catherine’s relatives, Mr. Rickland. He embodies the best qualities of both Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam put together. When Darcy arrives, a sort of tug of war ensues over Elizabeth. There is a letter involved that I love and had to read more than once.

I enjoyed seeing more of Anne De Burg in this rendition as she is usually just a cardboard cutout in most novels (even in the original). One of my favorite side characters is Col. Fitzwilliam and we get to see a lot of interaction between him and Darcy. Although I am not a big fan of Charlotte, her part in this book was well played. I liked the discussions between friends that we don’t really see in the original.

The original character Mr. Rickland is cut from a very close cloth of the rest of the cast. He fits in, plays his part, and does his very best to draw Elizabeth’s attentions away from the man who wants to claim her. If he succeeds, you will have to find out for yourself.

To tell you anymore would spoil the fun the author unravels. I’ll just say, there are all the deceptions, injuries, payoffs, and misconceptions one would expect from an Austen variation. I love how the author can rip apart our most beloved tale and sew it up again.

Kara has become my all-time favorite Austen author and this addition to her list leaves nothing to be desired.

Kara Louise Launches New Book!

One of my most beloved Jane Austen variation authors has launched a brand new book.

darcyrivalMr. Darcy’s Rival by Kara Louise 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 or for your Nook.

On June 29th, Kara will be visiting my blog to answer a few questions from one of her biggest fangals…ME!

Until then, check out the rest of her blog tour and some chapter sneak peeks, here: Mr. Darcy’s Rival Launch

10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Compare the Modern Man to Mr. Darcy

amanda_darcy1. Mr. Darcy was written by a woman.

Yes, Jane Austen fulfilled our fantasies by writing a delicious character, but he is written from a woman’s point of view. He says the right thing (or wrong thing) at precisely the right time and approaches Lizzy with expressive and romantic language real men don’t use. “Hey, wanna take a trip with me this weekend?” can be just as tantalizing from a real guy as, “I must tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Read his signs like you’ve read Pride and Prejudice, with care and attention to detail. Asking you to hang out with him, means you are special enough to spend time with. Give him a break on the flowery declarations of love.

2. Even Jane Austen didn’t write the Darcy in your head.

You’ve read her words, but you’ve blown Mr. Darcy into this full-blown fantasy that can’t compare to ANY real man. In your mind he is perfect, much more perfect than Jane’s text could speak of. Remember his faults, like being too uppity and assuming Lizzy is nothing because she is poor and lives with a family of nutjobs. You’ve mentally fast-forwarded through all his distain like you do on the DVD to get to the really juicy bits. Our minds have powerful forgiveness for faults when we’re fantasizing.

3. Perfect men are obnoxious.

mr-darcyDo you really want to be tied to a man so perfect, only his man servant sees him naked? Who knows how many girdles are beneath those perfect suits and that pants bulge might not equal happiness in the bedroom. Will he be as uptight while undressing you, or will his servants do that for him? If you think about it, Darcy is kinda creepy. He follows Lizzy around, being all uppity and superior and then involves himself in a family scandal. No one is that psychic to cater to your every need before you even ask. It’s rare to find that much gallantry in a man, especially one too perfect to be in the same room with your loud-mouthed mother.

4. Showing emotion is not a fault.

Being with someone so stoic could drive a person mad. This brings up images of dancing in front of him to make him smile like the royal guard dudes with the big fuzzy black caps. Will he show emotion while bedding you, or will you just receive a nice tap on the head and off you go? You want a man who shows chinks in his armor every once in awhile. You want one you can smile and laugh with, one who shows his passion for you and sometimes makes a fool of himself in the process.

mrd5. No real man is free of fault.

And his faults are never as tame as being so proud he’s prejudiced! Let real men have faults and don’t compare them to Darcy unless you want them to fail every time. Find a man you can love despite his faults. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to find his faults cute or romantic. If you can adore Darcy’s snobby attitude, making fun of Lizzy, calling her names, and putting down her family, maybe you can let Joe Schmoe’s fetish for baseball cards slide, eh? And just remember, women have faults too. Find someone who thinks yours are adorable and not to be corrected.

 

6. Times have changed.

mrd210,000 pounds a year ain’t what it used to be. Falling for a man because of his wealth is like signing up for disaster. In the olden days, rich men tended to stay that way and if they didn’t, they still had their title to make doors open for them. In this day and age wealth is something that can change quickly. What if he loses an account, his mansion, or his job? Will you still love him when he’s jobless or his life situation changes? Are you wishing for riches to make your life easier or to truly be happy? Money doesn’t breed happiness and if the relationship isn’t built on something stronger, it’s doomed to fail.

7. Looks are fleeting.

What happens when Mr. Darcy turns 50, has the comfortable couch gut and starts losing his hair? You want someone you love for qualities other than looks. Ten to twenty years from now, do you want to be looking at him thinking, “Geez he WAS gorgeous, but now he’s a bit chubby and has rather odd ears.” Or do you want someone who you can love despite his graying temples and age spots?

8. What will you have to measure up to?colinmrdarcy

Do you want to be with someone that you constantly don’t feel good enough for? What will be expected of a girlfriend or wife of Darcy? Are you ready to manage Pemberley? Will you be expected to have perfect children before you’re ready? Will you have to raise your children as heirs to vast wealth, thinking only of riches and status? Would you be able to still live your own life, go out with the girls, or finish school? You want someone who appreciates your talents and has just as much fun discussing your interests as recounting his smelly old fox hunt!

9. What’s so great about Darcy anyway?

Does he have any hobbies? Does he do or accomplish anything besides keeping up his family estate? What are any of his accomplishments beyond being born into a rich, titled family? What is Darcy when these days you can have a musician, artist, techy genius, or an architect? An evening at Pemberley seems rather drab, sitting around reading, pretending to enjoy whist… in a corset no less! Wouldn’t you rather be in your comfy leggings, dancing at a concert or strolling the boardwalk?

10. You might be missing out on your Mr. Right.

Just because the guys you date don’t fit your cookie-cutter hero costume, doesn’t mean they’re unworthy. What if Mr. Wrong is Mr. Right for you? What if the jeans and t-shirt guy from the laundromat turns out to be the love of your life? Sure, you don’t want to struggle through life, you’d like to find rich Mr. Darcy, but how do you know that you plus T-shirt guy doesn’t equal success unless you give him a shot?