Loving Mr. Darcy discussion time!

 

**Let’s keep the discussion going! Why limit it to 2 measly days anyway? Originally posted as part of my Launch Fete for Loving Mr. Darcy, the discussion was a hit and SO much fun! I’ll keep it open here on this link indefinitely so feel free to join in. I shall do my best to respond appropriately in a reasonable period of time, so check in every so often to see what new points have been raised. Thanks! Sharon**


It has been a difficult time for me these past several days and I did contemplate postponing my planned discussion of Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley. But, life does go on and since no one on this earth was prouder of my accomplishments than my mom, I know she would want me to carry on. Mom received her signed copy of my second novel a week before she passed and even though she had no time to read the new and improved version published by Sourcebooks, I am comforted in her expressions of delight and in the knowledge that she held it in her hands.So this fun discussion is in honor of my wonderful mother. Her favorite parts of my books, as she told me so many times, were the detailed descriptions of their gowns and the places they visited. She laughed about the sex scenes, admitted that she flipped past them, saying, “If I can’t get any then I don’t want to read about somebody else getting it on.” LOL! Personally, I like writing all of it!

Now it is your turn to share your favorite parts. Ask me questions if you have any. Tell me the modern invention you loved best. Wonder why I chose to go a certain route? Curious why I ignored some people? Annoyed about something? Whatever it is, I’ll do my best to enlighten!

**Spoiler Alert!

We will be talking freely about Loving Mr. Darcy, so if you haven’t finished it and don’t want to have the surprises ruined, think carefully about reading on. Don’t worry though – I won’t be giving away any hints for The Darcys at Year’s End or beyond.

OK, just to get the ball arollin’ here are a couple topics:

1. I present a Darcy who is starkly different in his private vs. public persona. We all are this way to a certain degree, but Mr. Darcy vs. William takes it to extremes. How does this feel to you? Does he stay true to his dual personality? Do you see him gradually moving toward a medium position on the spectrum as the story progresses?

2. I have several flashbacks in this book to events during their engagement. I would love to hear your favorite or the one you felt the most revealing. I was asked by Jocelyn, who can’t participate during these 2 days, whether Darcy and Lizzy ever frankly talk about how Darcy suffered after Lizzy’s rejection. The short answer is, no. I figured it was enough for Lizzy to know the depth of Darcy’s despair, as revealed by Lady Matlock. She would never force him to talk about what was so obviously a painful time. As he said, “I cannot revisit the period during which I lost you, and the torment that caused to my soul. The agony is too extreme.” That confession was enough for both of them. And, of course, it no longer truly mattered.

3. The bandit attack! Could you see the action? Hear the pistol blasts? Were you on the edge of your seat? Proud of feisty Lizzy?  Loving manly and tough Darcy? Scared that Lizzy might lose the baby? Worried that Phillips would die? Tell me what you thought!

Any topic is fair game! Bring it on!!

53 Comments for Loving Mr. Darcy discussion time!

  1. Thanks for your input, Mira. I really appreciate the information on Indian writers. The third novel, now titled "My Dearest Mr. Darcy" will be released on Jan. 1, 2010. It is currently available at online retailers for pre-order.

  2. Dear Sharon,
    Thanks for your reply to my post.
    I’m sorry I couldn’t write earlier. I am eagerly awaiting your technical questions regarding the indian culture. I do hope I can answer to all your queries.

    As for Indian writers, Arundhati Roy is an absolute must. Try Vikram Seth "The Suitable Boy" and "Raj". And if you are looking for glamour "Bollywood" style, try Shoba De.

    Have you set a specific date for the release of the third book yet?

    Take care and all the best.
    Warm regards,
    Mira

  3. Hi Mira! I really appreciate hearing from you! It is great to know I have an Indian reader who feels good about the tidbits of Indian culture I have thrown in. I admit that time never has allowed me to fully immerse myself into all aspects of how George would have lived. It is a dream of mine to further research and someday write his story. I’ll come to you if I have technical questions! I recently bought a book recommended by a friend named, "The Twentieth Wife" by Indu Sandaresan. I can’t wait to read it and wrap my mind around the culture in a vivid way.

    All the points you make about my story and the "plot" as I present it is perfect. Thanks for comprehending what I am trying to show and for understanding that it is indeed a "plot" despite what some say! LOL!

    For me the whole point of Lizzy being a "country" girl, was that despite her provincial upbringing and lack of education compared to one of Darcy’s stature (or even Caroline Bingley) is that she WAS his equal. Proving herself as a proper wife and mistress to Pemberley should not be a huge problem, should it? Otherwise one could say that Darcy was mistaken in marrying her and that Austen had written a flawed novel.

    The snobs in Town might present more of an issue, but if there is one thing we know to be true it is that money will pretty much buy anything! Meaning, a man as wealthy and prestigious as Darcy really had little to fear in the long run. History reveals that people in the Ton did much more scandalous things than marrying outside their immediate social circle.

    Mary and Mr. Daniels will always be a part of the story, have no fear! But of course, as always the problem is giving every last character their time to shine. There are just too many of them, so some have to take a back seat.

    Thanks for staying with my Saga. You will find plenty of romance and happiness in all of the novels, I promise!

  4. Hi Jenny and Mira! Glad you two added to the discussion. This is precisely why I am keeping it open. Anyone who has thoughts or questions can add them here and I will get to them eventually!

    Jenny, thanks for your email to me and for adding onto the blog. You are indeed in good company here.

    Caroline is interesting. It is very easy to make her a pure villain, but I have a bit of sympathy for her. Not a whole lot, mind you, but some! I allow her to soften a tad as the Saga progresses, and she does find her match in a mate. That is all I will say at this point!

    I threw in the Amy-jealousy bit for the fun of it. A little cliche, I know, but it was fun to write if for no other reason than the great make up. LOL!

    Twins for the Darcys: I haven’t thought to go there. Actually, I did consider it long and hard for their firstborn. On the one hand I thought it might be fun, but in the end I decided I wanted them to have one child to focus all their love and attention on. It really is more fun that way. And twins are not really all that common. I gave twins to another character, however.

    Jenny had also asked me, in an email, if I pictured Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley as Darcy and Lizzy. Here was my response:

    I definitly picture Matthew as Darcy. I see him as he was when cast as Darcy with the added intensity he brought to his role as Tom Quinn in MI5 (Spooks). You have to see him in that series if you haven’t already. Matthew is fairly perfect as is, although in real life he can lean toward gaining weight if not careful. So I see my Darcy as 90% Matthew, but a bit more buff (can’t help the romance novelist in me!)

    Lizzy is Keira only not quite that skinny. I love Keira as an actress and think she is just gorgeous, but WAY to thin. I imagine Lizzy as a bit more curvy, especially with maturity and pregnancy added on. At the same time, I liked that Keira was not this voluptuous thing. Darcy fell in love with who she was on the inside, not driven by lust for a lush body. If that makes sense.

    In general I picture all my characters as they were cast in the movie, but with tweaks. Especially as they grow and mature.

  5. Hi Sharon!
    I know the discussion on Loving Mr. Darcy is officially over. I’m also sorry to hear about your loss. I’ve had a tough year too.
    I discoverd both your books this year. I’ve been an avid P&P fan and have read several other versions of "P&P continues". But I must admit that your books bring a smile to my face. A content sigh at each chapter and the need for more bliss and happiness!
    I really don’t have much to add. Suzanne and many others have already put all my thoughts and analyses on the discussion board.
    Although, I would like to add the following:
    I completely love your "plot" in "Mr & Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy" of sheer happiness, discovery of each other with the bad Marquis and the duel. I absolutely adore the "Indian" influence in the second book. Being an Indian myself, I’m glad my culture has been referenced in your books 🙂
    When Lizzy has the accident in the first book, I was afraid that she’d have a more severe fate like in some other authors’ books. I don’t see why she should always be put through so many hardships.
    I also thought that the consequences of Mr Darcy marrying a mere "country chit" would be more visible in the first book. But when it came up in the second, it seemed more logical that it would be obvious when they arrived in Town. The fact being brought up by Lady C was very apt!
    I thought that the reference to Mary and Mr Daniels’ romance stopped rather abruptly. After reading the above comments, I’m glad that we’ll read more in the future books.

    I’ve already ordered your third book and will patiently wait to read all your books.
    I just love your idea of romance and happiness.

    I wish you all the very best. May all the "Indian Gods" pour happiness and inspiration into your thoughts.

  6. Mrs.Lathan,
    WOW!!!!! Thank you for introducing me to the Blog world!! Everything you ladies have discussed is exactly what I was thinking!!! In fact, I was starting to think that I was obsessed!!! However, now I realize I am in good company!! Both books are great and as I wrote I can’t seem to walk away without needing to go back a peruse a chapter or two. I may not have read far enough down the blog list but just curious to know if anyone commented on Caroline Bingley? I know she has her faults but, I feel you are trying to help her see the errors of her ways. Do you think she will soften some more..Do you think she will ever be able to repair the realtionship with the Darcy’s?
    Also, I have to say that I felt sick for Lizzy when she meet Amy!!! I was so proud for both of them the way they handled it but, was bothered for a couple of days. I actually felt the jealousy!!!
    Well, thank you all for your time, it is truly a blessing to have some adult time in my world!!!
    Have a great day Ladies and go out there and make Lizzy PROUD!!!
    Jenny
    P.S. Being a mom of two sets of twins..do you think there will ever be twins for the Darcy’s?

  7. Here I did as Seli suggested and then haven’t been able to respond to the last couple of entries! Geez!! It is a great idea, Seli, and I will try to answer in a more timely manner.

    Susanne, The photos you speak of (which are in the Portrait Gallery for those who are curious) are from a reported wedding sequence that never made it into the movie. The various still shots are floating around out there and have been since the movie came out 4 years ago, but the scenes themselves have never been seen to my knowledge. Let’s hope for a director’s cut someday!

    HI SARAH!! Great to have you on board. Thanks for your enthusiasm. I am thrilled you discovered P&P and my books. How cool that you wrote a report on my book! Wow! I do hope you got an A+ for it! 🙂 Did you read both of my novels or just LMD? Thanks for sharing your delight with your friends. I really do appreciate that. Be sure to come back now and again.

  8. HI SHARON!

    I am a huge fan of Loving Mr. Darcy. Just like you, one of my favorite books is Pride and Prejudice and once i saw the movie i was hocked!! I watch it all the time, and can resite it word for word. AHHH! Anyways, i am a sen10r in highschool, and for a college class we had to write a book report, and i didnt have a book chosen yet. So my mom and i went to target to get a few things, and i always go to the book section just to look. I saw your book, i was soooooo happy. I read it in about 2 days….and happily finished my book report. hahah
    I just wanted to say that i love how you wrote this book, and i am very excited for the NEXT!! One more thing…I got all my friends hooked onto your books aswell. haha!
    Sarah

  9. Hi Sharon,
    something a little bit different. There are these wonderful black and white pictures of Lizzy and William. What do you think do they show? Some pictures show Lizzy wearing Williams coat, do you think that happened during her early morning meeting? And on another Lizzy is coming down the stairs. Where?
    I know that it isn´t very important, but still nice to think about it.

    I really enjoyed to read all the many entries, I agreed with most of them.
    Thanks a lot for giving us this opportunity!

    Susanne

  10. LOL Thanks Sharon – kids are always better at figuring out those puzzles!! It was fun reading everyones comments on your Loving Mr. Darcy and all the wonderful information you provided. I think you should place this discussion as a shorcut on your website so when your future readers open your page they can click on it and get more information on your new book! I think they would like that. Just a thought…… Here I am telling you what to do…. LOL. It was just somethig I thought off.

    Take care

  11. Thank you everyone who participated in the discussion. Technically it is over, but of course I am always around and more than happy to talk about my novels and/or answer questions. So feel free to chime in whenever.

    This has been a very difficult time for me with the recent passing of my mom, so having my website and all of my online friends around me has SO helped. Thanks for that as well.

    Now, for the last few bits that were brought up:

    No, Mrs. Smyth is not nice! More on her in future books. Susanne, your wonderful enthusiam always puts a smile upon my face!

    I loved touring Derbyshire right along with William and Lizzy. There is so much incredible history in the area that I really had to hold myself back. It may seem unlikely given all I covered in those chapters, but there was lots more I could have remarked upon.

    You are right about the shops, Susanne. Of course, they were more specialized and you had no such thing as a shopping mall, per se, or "department" type stores. Few things were mass produced, although the Industrial Revolution was changing that rapidly. But places like the country farmers markets, shopping districts in London, and the outdoor shopping places like Covent Gardens were normal.

    Glad you brought up our fav love scenes, Seli! Lizzy does surprise Darcy on her birthday, doesn’t she? A bit of a tigress.

    Before Darcy is distracted by Lizzy in her slinky gown he is playing with one of the interlocking puzzles he purchased for their child. I have a couple images in the Complements Album. Basically these are the same type of puzzles we have today where odd shaped pieces of wood and/or metal are intertwined in bizarre ways and the puzzle is how to get them apart. Personally I can never figure these things out, but my son is very good at it!

  12. Hopeless romantic here!! LOL I know I am late posting but here it goes:
    First, one the love scene that is one of my favorites is when Elizabeth thanks Darcy for such wonderful birthday presents and well we see a side of Elizabeth that we have not seen before and Darcy is speechless – loved that… I also like the time she wears the black satin dress and well Darcy becomes distracted… That was fun.

    Then, I loved the rockets with the different colors, how exciting and I loved the baby items Darcy purchased, like the baby rattles and I do have a question: Before Darcy is distracted by the black satin dress… he is playing with a baby item he bought with some string and metal things… and I cant figure out what it is?? Is there a picture?

    and I love the Indian items from my favorite new character Dr. Darcy!! such great colors and the spices and how you describe the items its wonderful.

    And the fruits! I guess the avocados and peaches that was like alien to them. How interesting…

  13. And here I am again.
    I really enjoyed the tour through Derbyshire. All the small towns, the churches, the history involved, the shopping! Another amazing scene is, when Lizzy fears that William feels uncomfortable in the baby shop. But he is just overwhelmed.
    What impressed me quite a lot is the fact that you could buy most things in shops, not so different from ours.
    Tha´t just came across my mind, more probably later.

    Susanne

  14. Dear Sharon,

    many children, that´s great!
    I love the idea that Lizzy and William will see a lot of England, it is such a beautiful country and for Lizzy it is fantastic to see so much more from their home country.
    Mrs. Smyth istn´t nice, she isn´t Mrs. Reynolds, but Lizzy just did it! She is Mrs. Darcy!
    Mrs. Reynolds is another wonderful character, her devotion for her master is deep and felt from the bottom of her heart.
    I like it how you describe Lizzys clothes, the private rooms in Pemberley and Darcy House.
    It gives a lot of depth to the whole story, a perfect frame.
    The Matlocks are a very nice couple. I think Mrs. Bennet was so impressed when they attended the wedding. Probably Lizzy was a little bit nervous about this meeting.
    Well, I can only say how wonderful your books are.!
    Can´t wait to get more of Lizzy and Darcy!

    Lots of love to you,
    Susanne

  15. I forgot to mention: interlocking puzzles were around for a long while. However, they were primarily for educational purposes and not too common for entertainment until the early 1800s. I was actually stretching it just a tad as they did not become very popular for fun until somewhere in the 1820s. BUT, they were not "jigsaw" puzzles until well into the 20th century because the jigsaw (which made cutting odd shapes so easy) was not invented yet! In my first draft I called them "jigsaw puzzles" without really thinking about it. It was later that I realized my error, luckily before the book was published!

  16. Mrs. Smyth has a part to play, but not until later novels. Small hint there. As I have said before, sometimes it is good to keep potential troublemakers alive and well, waiting in the wings just in case!

    Mary and Mr. Daniels have their story continued and will be present here and there. 🙂

    Thanks for mentioning Pemberley, Keri! I always think of their house as a character. Lizzy has explored and seen all of Pemberley by the time they leave for London. But I don’t take the reader to other wings of the mansion until the fourth book. In the next book, The Darcys at Years End, you will see more of the estate lands via Darcys eyes. Basically their home is revealed gradually as their actions take them to various rooms or places. I finally had to sit down an scour through manor floorplans, including Chatsworth, to get an idea of Pemberley’s layout. I have maps and diagrams I have drawn to keep it straight in my head while writing.

    Thanks for bringing up Lizzy’s intelligence, Diane. The way I see it, Lizzy was definitely smart, but her provincial upbringing, no formal education, and limited funds meant that her knowledge was book learned and probably lacking in many areas. Darcy would have had a vastly superior education and the means to learn firsthand. Does not mean he is smarter than her as far as actual IQ goes, but assuredly more learned. Still, Lizzy is bright and curious and eager to learn. Darcy finds great joy in providing that education.

    "Bathrooms" are an interesting topic! I wrote a number of essays on the subject, the main one is titled: Gardez L’eau and you can find it by doing a website search. In short, chamber pots and washbasins would be in each guest bedroom. Possibly areas to bathe as well, given how wealthy Darcy is.

    How the manor was designed with garderobes or early waterclosets would vary widely, but good hygiene was NOT unheard of. Keeping clean, bathing, perfumes, even oral hygiene was very important. Small closet-type rooms may be on the lower levels as well, or sometimes just chamber pots tucked into cabinets in private areas. Washing basins with soap and towels were nearby.

  17. Hi Lisa.

    I am sorry you felt irritated by Darcy calling on another woman. That was not really my intent.

    Remember that he had left Netherfield determined to forget Lizzy, or at least in serious denial. I think it is evident in the original novel by Austen that he certainly did not intend to pursue her initially. What happened to change his mind between then and when he proposed in Kent is a huge mystery. Many authors, including Amanda Grange, have written "fill in the blank" stories.

    I approached it logically and figured a guy in his position at 28 years of age would definitely have been looking for a wife. He may not have been frantic about it, but it would have been something that was expected. I decided to add Amy Griffith to the mix primarily to toss a bit of jealousy into it for the spice if nothing else – LOL – but also because I wrote him as very desperate in the denial of his feelings for Lizzy. That desperation led him to take the "respectable" wife search a bit more seriously. Amy was a mistake, obviously, but that mistake was the catalyst toward accepting his love for Lizzy.

    As for his annoyance, it was a combination of being annoyed that Lizzy would doubt his consideration for her (and his devotion) and annoyance at himself for not anticipating the problem. My Darcy takes his responsibilities a bit too seriously, but he is also somewhat obtuse when it comes to women and courtship matters. Since his limited interaction with Amy was no big deal in his mind, he did not think it was a big deal to her. His anger was primarily at himself. Hope that explanation helps.

  18. Hi All! Hubby ended up dragging me away from the computer for a lunch date and bookstore run. I get totally lost in bookstores! My favorite place to just walk around and enjoy. I also signed a bunch of copies of my books, so if you are in the Fresno area, pop in to B&N or Borders. 🙂

    OK- Susanne, you are probably correct about the number of children! I have some ideas, but time will reveal where I go with that part of their future. 🙂

    Mr. Bennet is such a great character, I feel. At least how Donald Sutherland played him and as I have taken him. He will be around for a while. I really haven’t given much thought to whether he ever spoke to Darcy about all that he had done. My gut feeling is that he wouldn’t. I think it would be too uncomfortable for either of them. But that is just my off-the-cuff feelings on it.

    In future books I have Darcy and Lizzy visiting other places in England and then touring the Continent. So far I haven’t written their European adventures in detail, only in vague terms. Maybe I will take the story that far, but only time will tell. I totally agree that it would be fun to write.

    In the novel I am working on for Georgiana, she is in Paris. That has been fun to write! And to research as I knew little about post-Napoleanic France.

  19. Inventions / gadgets / oddities that I thought were cool – the jigsaw puzzle, bananas, and the kaleidoscope! It’s funny to think that jigsaw puzzles haven’t always been around! I bet you had a blast doing research Lizzy’s birthday gifts.

    Your description of Darcy taking Lizzy around London was fascinating. I especially liked the museum. Even though she’s a country girl, she’s intelligent and curious. I’m sure those were some of the traits that attracted Darcy in the first place. And I love how Darcy delights in sharing his knowledge of the area with her. This is seen again as they journey around Derbyshire.

    I can’t pick a favorite love scene! I think you have struck a perfect balance in writing about Darcy and Lizzy’s physical relationship. It is smokin’ HOT but not cheap and tawdry. You give enough detail to know what’s going on but it’s not porn. I like that you’ve captured the many ways that loving your partner can happen- from silly, adventurous, and teasing to focused, demanding, and spiritual. And I especially love the deepening of their relationship each time they make love. It’s amazing!

    A question: did houses of that time have the equivalent of a guest bathroom? Where did people go to "go" when visiting?

  20. I loved the scene during the festival when Darcy picks up the little boy. I’m very nice to see him like that. I can already see the love and that he will be a good father. I agree with Susanne the famliy tree was great. Dr. Darcy seemed like such a fun guy ! 🙂 As for the places Lizzy and Darcy visit. I would love for them to explore to see Lizzy get to see more of Pemberly its self. It’s a huge place and she hasn’t gotten to see all of it…yet 😉 I would rather the Darcys stay in Derbshire then travel around. They are much more at ease in their home.

  21. Hi Sharon,

    I have a few more thoughts……When Lizzy and Darcy went to the dinner at the house where he had "called on" one of the daughters a few times after Lizzy rejected him, I have to admit I was really irritated that he was looking for someone else. I felt really bad for Lizzy to have to hang out with all of the women and find out the scoop about Darcy through them. I was also not happy that Darcy acted annoyed that Lizzy was upset. Maybe I’m interpreting him wrong in that scene. I did like that they "made up" right away. 🙂

    I don’t like Mrs. Smyth. She was so disrespectful that I thought she should be fired immediately. Lizzy is a strong woman to put up with her. I hope Mrs. Smyth changes her attitude in books to follow!

    Did you elaborate on Mary and Mr. Daniels in the 3rd book? I hope so!! I think that relationship is completely sweet and I’m happy for Mary!!

    Lisa

  22. One more thing about the Darcy family, excellent! You gave Darcy such a noble family, the family tree is great! Such a powerful and rich family, connected to the land and its people. But nevertheless Darcy wants a girl, not primarily an heir, but a little Lizzy to spoil. Very sweet!

    Have you planned any special places that Lizzy and Darcy will visit? Venice would be great, the loving couple staying in a plazzo, sitting on a balcony, looking over the water of Venice, making love,….

    Susanne

  23. Hi Sharon,
    so many wonderful topics to talk about.
    I love the intimate scenes between Lizzy and Darcy, to my two favourite belong the one before the summer festival and the other when Lizzy wears her scandalous black gown!
    I really hope that such scenes will be a part of the furure books as well.
    I think a lot about how many children they will have. Well, I could imagine quite a lot, at least five!

    Can you tell us, when Mr. Benntet will pass away, will he have a long satisfied live with his grandchildren or has he to go soon? Both possibillities are possible when I look at your hints.

    A very nice scene is, when Mr. Darcy meets Mrs. Bennet again, in the beginning of your second book.

    Do you think that Mr. Bennet ever talked to his son-in-law about Lydia and Wickham; that Darcy saved them all? I don´t think so, but what do you think?

    Well that´s it for now, let´s see wht else will be written here!

    I enjoyed reading all the entries a lot!
    Lots of love to you,
    Susanne

  24. Tuesday morning! This is very fun and it really helps me to dwell on happy thoughts rather than the sadness in my heart right now. So thanks to all of you for that.

    Seli, you are more of a hopeless romantic than me! One of my questions for today was to talk specifically about the romantic/intimate moments. It is HUGELY important to me that no matter what else may be going on we see Lizzy and Darcy growing deeper in love and increasingly more in tuned to each other. the scene you mention, after he has been gone, is classic Sharon Lathan! Total sap, but I really love that they so intensely desire each other, delight in being together, and show that silent communication that lovers possess.

    Hi Lisa! Sorry I did not respond last night. Very long day and I was literally falling asleep at the computer when I read your post. I hope you check back in today. Thanks for the praise. I am thrilled that you enjoyed my novels. 🙂

    Funny you should bring up the future hints I have given. As everyone now knows, I am writing a Christmas themed novella to be released next Nov. In that I will be dealing with Mr. Bennet’s passing and other Christmas related hints I have previously given! How cool is that? The opportunity was too perfect to pass up.

    George is going no where. If I can find a way, I’ll make him immortal so he can forever be a part of my Saga!

    OK, I’m here….. Bring on more discussion!

  25. Hi Sharon!,

    I totally LOVE both books. I agree that the main focus of them should be on Elizabeth and Darcy. I’m really interested in finding out when Elizabeth’s dad passes because you had mentioned all of the sisters were together at that time in the 1st book.

    I’m also curious to know how many children the Darcy’s will have….I especially liked that part in the 1st book when you mentioned that Lizzy’s birth sac burst on Christmas Eve with one of her pregnancies and her eldest daughter was engaged at the Cole’s ball. I can’t wait to read about the delivery of their 1st baby in the next book.

    I have to agree with others that I think one of my favorite parts of the 2nd book was when Darcy first felt the baby. I also like that he did the refinishing on the cradle etc. In that era, I’m sure Darcy doing that kind of work was not common!

    I LOVED the scene with the bandits – very well written! Actually, I think both of your books are well written. Darcy and Lizzy are my favorite characters, especially when they’re together in scenes and I absolutely want to see what happens through the rest of their marriage.

    Lastly, I have to say the George Darcy is totally cool!!! I hope he stays around for a long time!!

    Congratulations on 2 excellent novels! Can’t wait to read the 3rd one in January!

    Lisa 🙂

  26. Its so much fun reading everyones thoughts, questions and favorite parts! I also enjoyed very much when he feels the baby for the first time – brings back lots of memories. Is such a special time of wonder and OOO I forgot to mention the part when Lizzy is at the garden and they have been seperated for some time and he arrives and waits to admire LIzzy picking flowers and she turns….. OHHH I loved that whole scene and then waiting on the side for her sister in law to finishing greeting him, and the looks Darcy shares with Elizabeth those moments!! Oh My ! I had forgotten that part….

  27. Yah, Diane came back for more!

    Darcy is a hands on kind of guy. It just seemed right for him to prepare for the baby as much as possible.

    Men present at births is one of those things that was not common, to be sure, up until some fifty years ago. And it would have been more unusual for a man of his station. but like many of these types of things, it certainly was not scandalous or absolutely taboo. Different cultures looked at it differently also. While researching I read some articles talking about the practice, especially among lower classes. Again, it came down to creative license. 🙂

    I have never pictured a known actor as George. I have my own vision of him. Of course he is very similar to Darcy, so picture a much thinner, older Matthew Macfadyen!

    Thank you, Betty Jo, for your support. Of course I love the everyday aspect to my story. I make no secret of how my saga proceeds, so figure if anyone complains they haven’t done their homework before buying!

    I REALLY loved writing the festival! Basically I began by thinking of what we enjoy in festival/carnivals of our times. Then I looked it up! I was very pleased to learn about trick riders, clowns, and acrobats having a long history. Really it came down to limiting the fun and entertainment to only a few things!

    On a personal level, I grew up in a small town and yearly there was a western themed festival. I remember the home-baked foods, kiddie games, dancing on the grass, bands playing music, and so on. Great memories.

  28. Sharon,

    Ya, Ya, Ya, I loved all that stuff too. Sharon don’t EVER believe your books are boring. I love the everyday things. I can envision the everyday things. Our lives are everyday things. It’s the everyday things that get us through the big, joyous and sometimes sad events. You have an ability to capture the personalities of Darcy and Elizabeth’s everyday things and that makes them so real to me. That’s what makes the story so enjoyable. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

    I love Elizabeth’s birthday gifts. William put so much love into each one. My favorite gifts were the fountain pens. We take for granted such small things today. I want to buy one for myself.

    My absolute favorite part…the festival. I’ve read it so many times. The visuals are stunning. I can see it all in my minds eye- even feel the temperature change as day goes into night. I’ve been to sooo many festivals and fairs in my life. I’ve been an airbrush artist for 28 years as well as a screen printer. I would have loved to have been there painting shirts for all the Pemberley kids. What influenced you for this event? You have done your job well Kiddo. I sat reminiscing for such a long time. Many good memories. Thank you.

    Betty Jo

  29. Okay, if you insist! 🙂

    I think it’s sweet that Darcy refinished the cradle himself. Obviously he has staff that could very easily do that for him. But he chose to do it. And I’m guessing that he will definitely be present at the birth, since it’s not against the law as George said. Was that EVER done at the time? Would it be truly scandalous?

    The billiards tournament was exciting! It was interesting to see how the men socialized since Austen’s P&P only shows the women’s gatherings (since that’s what she knew). It was nice to see Darcy being the social butterfly about Meryton. Yet another positive effect Lizzy has on him.

    There truly wasn’t any chapter that I didn’t like or that I rushed through. If anything, I was rushing to see what happened next, in anticipation! All the while, I was picturing Matthew and Keira and all the other actors from the movie. Who do you envision playing Dr. Darcy?

    Diane

  30. On Darcy: I like that my Darcy is a man of great passion. It is good for him to lose control now and again I think. Lizzy often has to bring him back to focus, proving that she is maturing from the impetuous girl that she was. Yet, at the same time Darcy is definitely the Master of Pemberley. I love writing those moments, like when he deals with Mrs. Smyth. He has numerous times to shine as the saga unfolds.

    I think another reason I had Lady C mellow a bit was because of Lord Matlock. I wanted to show the hierarchy of an aristocratic family. Lady C may be titled and think she is all that, but the Lord of a house is the top dog! We may not like it with our modern sensibilities, but the truth is that a woman, even one with a title and wealth of her own could not compete with a man if he laid down the law.

    And Diane, feel free to go on and on! That is what this discussion is all about! I love hearing the opinions and answering questions.

  31. Forgive me, ladies. I was in the middle of household rearranging and could not check in. To answer the various questions….

    Good question, Seli. I am not sure if I have one favorite chapter. I loved the bandit attack from the standpoint of writing a heavy action sequence. It was fun and thrilling to see the drama unfolding on page as it was in my mind.

    I loved Lizzy’s birthday! Partly that was because so much research went into that chapter with all the gifts and places visited. Plus it was very romantic.

    Of course I am very proud of when Darcy feels the baby. That sequence is probably one of my all time favorites. I get teary eyed still!

  32. Keri, The companion novel that I have nearly done is based on Georgiana. The title is simply "Miss Georgiana Darcy." My editor is very interested, but it is not under contract as yet. Cross your fingers!

    How I went with Lady Catherine was a tough decision. In the end I decided not to have her be the constant threat and cause of trouble for 2 reasons: 1- It is too cliche. Almost every JAFF out there has Lady C as the consummate troublemaker going as far as pure evil in what she does to Lizzy and Darcy. I didn’t want to relay on her as the standard. 2- I felt that in order to give Anne the happiness I wanted for her, it would be tough to do if Lady C was horrid.

    All that being said, Lady C does continue to have her moments! She is not all that is sweetness and light, trust me.

    Hi Seli! Glad to see you here. I ended up filling in the gaps more than I ever anticipated. In some ways it was a surprise to me as well. Being in Hertfordshire meant it was natural to have them remember the past, especially as a comparison to the present.

    I enjoy Darcy writing letters! Not sure why, but it is fun to write in the voice of another character. I begin the next novel with Dr. Darcy’s journal entries, all in his voice. That was great fun! Now you know some of what to look forward to.

  33. Oh! I almost forgot the Caverns! That whole sequence with Darcy and Anne talking while others played and whatnot. And the "initiation" of the Darcy children staying in the cave was so interesting. I like the family bond between Darcy and Anne. They are definitely not suitable for each other romantically, but I hope that as Anne’s health improves, she’ll have a bigger part in the storyline.

    Do you think Caroline is positively influenced by seeing Darcy’s genuine love for Lizzy? She always seemed so jaded and unpleasant. And Charles is so sweet by comparison.

    I felt bad for Lizzy when she was blindsided by the woman who claimed Darcy courted her (sorry, couldn’t find her name just now). Poor Darcy, too, feeling so guilty again to have not protected Lizzy from some unforseeable happening. He really does expect too much of himself sometimes. 🙂

    Okay, I’ll stop now and let someone else have a turn.
    Diane

  34. Sharon,
    You’re reading my mind! The last three things you mentioned were what I planned on writing about… That’s just weird! 🙂

    I think Lizzy’s line when Darcy’s trying to regain his control during the tour of Darcy house sums it all up: "I trust you with my life, my virtue, my body, and my heart." Of course, Lizzy just tackles the situation head on, doesn’t she? I love that about her. She won’t let him dismiss her and insists that they talk it out.

    Mrs. Smyth is a real handful! I thought that Lizzy handled her well and enjoyed reading how Darcy laid down the law in support of her. He is without a doubt the Master, is he not? 🙂

    I’m so glad that Lord Matlock loves Lizzy and addresses Catherine’s unbelievable behavior. She’s so used to getting her own way that I’m sure she was stunned by his statements. And then Darcy’s conversation with her was awesome. I was surprised she gave in and came to the party, but maybe she just needed someone to stand up to her to get her respect? Did that make sense?

    There are so many other scenes that I love. I agree with Seli about the counting steps to her room or just hoping to run into her in the hall. So cute! He was completely in love. I think overall, my favorite scenes are the filling-in-the-blanks. Many have been mentioned already. Whenever I read what someone else wrote, I think "I loved that too!"… haha…

    Well, I could go on and on, but I’m going to stop now. I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first and that’s saying something! I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment. Thank you so much for creating this happy world for William and Lizzy.
    Diane

  35. Oops I forgot the part with Elizabeth and Lady Catherine – I loved that whole scene!!

    Sharon, is there a chapter that is your favorite one from this book? You know one that you have read over and over again.

  36. I finally made it! I enjoyed many of the flashbacks, it closes alot of gaps for me. I specially the part where she is in the chamber where Jane had stayed and he tells her that he counted the steps between his room and hers!! Loved that and I love the letters from Darcy to his wife in the book. I was truly scared during the robbery scene – that whole chapter had me on pins and needles!!!

    Well I liked everything … hard to pick for me LOL

  37. I was suprised about how easily lady catherine calmed down. i actually expected her to put more of a fight against lizzy and not just like her in one night

  38. Yes, Susanne, I loved that moment between Darcy and Lizzy. The gradual awareness of how they both grow in their love and the knowledge of returned feelings. Again, I wrote "Happy Birthday Mr. Darcy" as a short story and it was the third piece I ever wrote. Even then I knew the characteristics I wanted them both to have. the depth of emotion as well as Darcy’s playfulness when he feels happy and relaxed.

    Speaking of flashbacks: How about the ones Lizzy has about Darcy House? The remembrance of their passionate kiss and Darcy’s subsequent nervousness and near loss of control. Any thoughts on that?

    Another topic of discussion – What about Mrs. Smyth? Any ideas of what may be in store? How did you like Lizzy’s dealing with her?

    And Lady Catherine. No one has mentioned her as yet. Ideas? Was she too easily mellowed? Were you disappointed? Any predictions?

  39. Hi again Keri! Yes, Kitty gets her romance, but not until the fourth book. And even then it is only the beginning. I have the desire to write a companion novel about Kitty’s romance (as I have for Georgiana). I love the story I have woven for Kitty and think it could be expanded on nicely. So we shall see where that goes. But she does have the future she deserves, no doubt about it!

  40. I saw that you are going to continue the plots with Mary and Anne. I was wondering is Kitty going to get in on the romance in future books ?

  41. As for Jane and Charles, they will always figure prominently. Moving to Derbyshire will occur. Their close proximity to the Darcys was essential, as far as I was concerned. Of course, that said, it is important to remember that this is primarily Darcy and Lizzy’s story. There are so many characters in Austen’s novel that focusing on all of them to great degrees is nearly impossible.

    Mary and Anne are very dear to my heart. Have no fear, Deanna! Remember that I am the happily-ever-after girl!

  42. Hi Keri! So glad you dropped by!

    I do appreciate what you are saying. I agree that most novels, whether romance or another genre, do have that suspense and conflict that adds to the story. Absolutely nothing wrong with that! I love it as well.

    However, I have taken a different route in how I am writing the Darcys’ life. In general they will be happy. Period. That is what I want for them. Life does contain dramas at times, so throwing in a bandit attack or duel or argument or sorrow now and again is part of it. But, if you really think about it, most of us go through life without wild antics and high suspense. Our lives are generally rather sedate and typical, which is why we like to escape into an action movie or thrilling novel!

    Still, I have decided to give my characters a peaceful existence for the most part and to explore life as it would have realistically occurred. I believe there is lots of fun to be had in learning about the Regency world and experiencing life and love with the Darcys and their friends.

    I am well aware that this translates as "boring" or "plotless" to some readers. And as I said, I do appreciate and comprehend the opinion. I just do not share it.

    Jane Austen’s novels were not about wild high jinxs or heavy drama. No chase scenes or murder mysteries or vampires or ghosts or whatever. Just people going through life and finding love.

    In the end it really comes down to preference. Loads of books, even Austen sequels, have that sort of suspense you may be searching for. By all means, read them and they are very good! Then, when you want to feel those happy bunnies, crack open my novel and relax. 🙂

  43. There is one more part that I love so much: it´s again a flashback, Lizzy and Darcy sit side by side, Darcy can´t concentrate on his book and the conversation they share is so sweet and it makes Darcy so happy when Lizzy reveals her feelings.

    Susanne

  44. OK, I’m back. Hubby took me out for lunch. Isn’t he a great guy?

    Hi Susanne! I knew you would stop by! Darcy’s birthday was one of the first bits I wrote. It was originally a short story that I incorporated later, feeling it fit perfectly with Lizzy’s birthday. I changed very little of it. Darcy has the money to present his wife with a WOW birthday, whereas Lizzy showed her love in a simpler way.

    The wedding would have taken place in the morning. Partly this is because that was the normal time to do it. Weddings were not allowed after noon unless one acquired a "special license" from the Archbishop of Canterbury. That really is all that was "special" about one of these licenses. Darcy certainly had the money and power to attain one, but it would not have been necessary. The other reason I place their wedding in the morning is because they were traveling after the wedding breakfast.

    Believe it or not, I haven’t written the Darcys personally visiting with the Collinses. I intend to address that in the fifth book still under construction. Still not sure how it will transpire. The Collinses are mentioned a number of times, however.

  45. Hello.
    I read Keris comment and I want to add, that I don´t want too much conflict.
    It is very sweet when Lizzy and Darcy discuss something aliitle bit fierce, but then it is time for an embrace and a kiss.
    And I think as they are very open to one another they can avoid these big conflicts.
    They arent part´of their world.

    Susanne

  46. Reading other peoples comments helped me remember a couple more things I wanted to say. I loved that Lizzy gave Jane advice on her marriage relationship and that it paid off for Jane and Mr. Bingley. The scene at the breakfast table the next morning was adorable! I could just picture the grins and blushes on their faces. I would like to hear more about them in the future and hope to see Jane with a little bundle of her own too. I’m also excited about the budding relationship for Mary! I think that would be lots of fun to learn more about and it is great to see her character maturing and turning into a more well-rounded woman. The last thing I wanted to say it that it was very creative to see Ann getting help with her illness and I’m crossing fingers that we get to learn more about a romance that seems to be blossoming for her. I just LOVE it all!! …….come on January!!!!

  47. I have yet to finsih the book so I won’t ask about some stuff. first in the book lizzy gives jane some adivice about relationships but I wanted to know how will jane and charles’s relationship be in the next book? secondly will there be more conflicts ? in the first book it was the dual i haven;t gotten to the conflict in the second book but i enjoy reading the book when there is more supense ! not when it’s all happy bunnies all the time, in the next book will there be more supense ?

  48. Dear Sharon,
    I really don´t know where to start. I try to start at one point and then follow with the next.
    I think that the official Darcy and the private Darcy are written very well. I think it is an important aspect of him to show his private personality only to people he loves, trusts and feels comfortable with.

    I love all the flashbacks! I hope that you will give us some more. I love Willow Bench and Darcys birthday, when he is truly overwhelmed. He realizes again how special Elizabeth is and what it means for his future.

    When do you think was the wedding ceremony? In the afternoon or in the morning?

    It is so hard to say which parts of your book I prefer. One part that I have read many times, is when Darcy comes back to London after inspecting the horses with the Duke.

    The bandit attack was written very well. Darcys protection regarding Lizzy, when he kneels in the carriage and comforts her is felt so strongly.

    There are many lines that show the special bond between Lizzy and Darcy; I like that you include Mary and Kitty and that Darcy accepts them as his sisters.

    I think it could be funny when Lizzy and Darcy meet Mr. Collins again, maybe soon,…

    Everything about the baby is wonderful! There is nothing more to say about this!

    Sharon, you are truly special! God bless you!
    Susanne

  49. Hi Deanna!

    I am thrilled you enjoyed my novel so much. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I totally agree that the "business" persona of Mr. Darcy is so important. I may soften him up quite a bit, but I never will lose sight of who he is in relation to his status and position in the Regency world. The landed gentry were SO important to that time. Their responsibility was immense. Darcy is in every way a man who personifies control and command.

    I love the Willow Bench flashback as well. I had lots of fun with that. It was also a chance to tell where his horse’s name came from! And to show how intelligent Lizzy was to know it. I also liked that it brought Darcy into Lizzy’s world after spending the entire first book with Lizzy brought into his world.

    Ah, when Darcy feels the baby for the first time. I will confess that that is one of my all time favorite parts. It was a scene that danced in my head for a long while before I got to write it. I wanted to rush ahead and commit my thoughts into words, but needed to wait until the timing was perfect. So much leads up to it, same as with the birth.

    The bandit attack was "fun" to write in that I loved the challenge of presenting a dramatic adventure. But it was tough to put my beloved characters through it. Obviously I don’t like to make my characters suffer much! That translates to some as my story being "boring" or lacking a plot, but I prefer the sedate happenings of life. Still, it was a nice change from the quiet traveling prior. But you notice that I did not drag it out?

    Thanks for bringing up Dr. Darcy! Oh how I love that man!! He totally captured my heart, even though I meant him to breeze in and breeze out. Don’t worry, he will be around for a long time. I love him too much to let him go. A good portion of why the third book takes time to get to the birth is due to George’s evolution and revealing back story. He needed to be an integral part of the intimate family unit before baby Darcy makes an appearance.

  50. Hello Sharon! Let me first start by saying "You are wonderful!" I love both books so immensely.
    To answer a few of your proposed topics…..I think Mr. Darcy is definitely evolving so much in his private life and I think as far as how he acts around his immediate friends and his servants he has changed a lot and has become a softer and more expressive man who definitely laughs more and shows his feelings more. When he is handling business matters or problems, he has remained true to the stern and commanding presence of the serious Mr. Darcy. I think that is important though…because of the time period and his staus. He needs to keep that aspect of himself too. I loved how he and Elizabeth handled the festival and how they participated, but then gave the servants and their families privacy so they could feel relaxed. I love the man Darcy has become. I enjoy his tenderness towards his wife, sister, sister-in-laws, friends, etc. Okay, my favorite flashback was in book 1, the flashback of thier first kiss after receiving their blessing to be married. That was just so HOT and SWEET!! But my favorite flashback in book 2 was when Elizabeth walked to her favorite spot to rest and read and flashes back to when Darcy rode his horse there and spoke to her very nervously not long after they had met. Then I loved it when he actually showed up there in the present and she was able to ask him why he has said those things to her on their first meeting there. A beautiful tender moment then followed!! Very sweet! My favorite part of book 2 had to be when Darcy first felt the baby move. I loved his emotions and how precious the baby is to him already. It brought back several memories to be from my own experiences and I think that is what a great book will do for you! Darcy’s anticipation of the baby and his exuberance in wanting to buy presents and help Lizzy pick out outfits is charming.
    The bandit attack….Wow…that was very intense and yes, I was very worried for poor Phillips. I’m so glad he survived the ordeal. I was also a bit worried for Lizzy, but tended to feel that she was going to be okay and not lose the baby. I didn’t like that that scum bag touched her, but I think it was important to express the seriousness of the event. Those men were outlaws and I’m sure things like that would really have happended and been much worse so I can understand that being added…however, it made me sad that she had to experience that, especially after the tragedy she faced in book 1. I loved how Darcy helped her bathe and the tenderness they shared in forgetting the whole tragic incident of the bandits. Okay, my favorite NEW character was George Darcy….LOVED him!! I do hope we get to enjoy much more of him in the future and learn more about him. He seems like an amazing character and I love his personality and zeal!
    Great Job Sharon!!!!!! I loved the story so much and cannot wait til January to experience the next chapters in the lifes of the Darcys!!

  51. Hi Cindy!

    Yes, I did tease a bit there, didn’t I? Believe me, it was tough writing it slowly too. I knew there was so much time and fun to cover before the birth, but the delivery chapter was one I SO looked forward to. It was hard to keep it tucked into my mind while they gallivanted all over England! But in the end I am very proud of how their firstborn’s entry into the world is written.

    The birth takes place roughly two-thirds of the way into The Darcys at Year’s End. Much has to happen before, and I hope everyone will appreciate how necessary the drama is. It isn’t pointless.

    I vacillated on the sex of their firstborn almost to the end. Lizzy feels sure it is a boy, and I liked writing that in. But the truth is I wasn’t so sure which way I was going to go. All I shall say is that they have one baby (although I toyed with making it twins). In the end I wanted them to be able to focus attention on one individual.

    Darcy does not faint (far too manly and strong for that!), but he does struggle quite a bit. Leading up to how he handles the delivery is another reason why I take my time getting there.

    So now you are warned as to what to look forward to. 🙂

  52. Hey Sharon,

    You teased us the whole book long with Lizzy’s pregnancy!
    Will the next book open with the birth of the next generation of Darcy or do we have to wait awhile?

    To be so tiny, Elizabeth’s a tough bird when it comes to being pregnant! Do we have more than one little Darcy awaiting us?

    Will Darcy faint during the birth? *lol* As a few new fathers seem to do…

    How close is Lizzy to being right about the baby being a boy?

    You know I’ve gotta ask…..I’m SOOOO curious! =^..^=

I love to hear from you!