As I begin the delightful but arduous process of writing guest blogs and answering interview questions for my virtual tour to launch My Dearest Mr. Darcy, my mind naturally turns to the previous guest blogs I have written. The truth is that I have loads of fun delving into the text as I come up with intriguing and entertaining topics to chat about. Obviously I strive to capture the audience so that they will dash out and buy my novels! LOL! Yet whether they do or not, I simply adore talking about my Saga and the characters who inhabit the pages. As we lead up to January when My Dearest Mr. Darcy is released and my new blogs post all over the web – see Launch Events to the right – I am going to sporadically share the blogs I wrote for Loving Mr. Darcy. This first was written for A Review From Here Scribe Vibe. Enjoy!
Lizzy dreamily mused at how tremendously she had changed in the nearly five and a half months since she ascended the steps to Pemberley as a nervous bride. Outwardly, her entire appearance was drastically altered; gowns, jewels, and furs beyond her vaguest imaginings six months ago were now typical. Her hair, even in its traveling coif, was superior to anything she had ever fashioned previously. She was largely unaware of it, but there was a serenity and grace to her bearing that had not been present before. She would forever laugh spontaneously and carry a ready quip on her lips, but her character was notably more refined and softened. The minute gestures and vocal intonations associated with the social etiquette of the upper classes had permeated her being unconsciously.
Inwardly, she recognized a happiness and contentment that anchored her soul. Although there remained an enormous amount of Pemberley’s management and the Darcy business affairs that she did not understand, her role as Mistress of Pemberley was a comfortable and accepted one. Her place in the household and the community was firm, and her confidence was secure. This massive house, which had frankly frightened her to death initially, was now home. She no longer walked through the endless halls with feelings of paralyzing awe and unworthiness. In five short months, she had grown to love the manor and its surrounds with a devotion transcending anything she had ever felt for Longbourn. Already she missed the library and bedchamber and sitting room and, well, all of it! The approximately six to seven weeks of their planned absence stretched before her as an empty sadness despite her excitement to see her family, and it was necessary to exert every ounce of self will to not rush inside for one last glance.
I opened the manuscript for my second novel – “Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley” – to give myself ideas for the guest blogs I need to write, and this portion popped out at me right off. I paused, wondering why. I read it several times over, a bit perplexed, until finally it hit me why this excerpt of chapter one/page one touched a chord within.
My name is Sharon Lathan and as I am sure Tracee will explain, “Loving Mr. Darcy” is not only my second published novel but is the second in my Darcy Saga series. I am writing what is so far a 5-book sequel to the classic Jane Austen novel, “Pride and Prejudice.” My reasons and inspirations for tackling a project like this are myriad, and can be read about in depth at my website. But one of my numerous goals and beliefs is encapsulated in the excerpt quoted above.
I love Elizabeth Bennet! Every fan of P&P loves Lizzy. We females may swoon over Mr. Darcy and harbor our fantasies, but our hearts really belong to Lizzy. We wish we were like her. We admire her spunk and wit. We applaud when she refuses the arrogant Darcy. We recognize hints of ourselves in her faults and prideful mistakes. And we cheer when she discovers true love. Then we close the book and know that she lived happily-ever-after.
We never doubt it, do we? We are certain that her life will be rich, in every way, and that she will overcome any trials. She is Lizzy Bennet after all! At least I didn’t doubt it. That idea was one of the major draws in taking up my pen, so to speak, and telling her tale. I am a romantic at heart and do believe in marital accord, so that was never a question for me. Yet aside from detailing the blossoming of Lizzy as a woman and the maturing bond between she and her husband, I wanted to explore her growth as a person. Specifically her progressive refinement as a mistress to a prestigious manor house and the wife to a wealthy, upper class, gentleman landowner of the Regency period of England. I never doubted that she would get there, but how?
In the first volume of my series – “Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One” – the reader spends over five months walking through the life of Elizabeth Darcy. I take her from new-bride nervousness to confident woman. I allow her to prove that a country girl with limited formal education and exposure to the world, a girl who was once deemed unsuitable by the very man she fell in love with, is indeed intelligent and capable of becoming Mrs. Darcy and the Mistress of Pemberley.
Now, in “Loving Mr. Darcy,” the reader is taken along for the ride as she proudly enters Society. Elizabeth Darcy holds her head high as she is squired by her supportive, beaming husband. She dazzles the ton. She bravely encounters difficulties and efficiently handles them. She manages the Darcy townhouse as marvelously as she has Pemberley. She loves and respects her husband, taking her rightful place at his side. She confronts her inner doubts and weaknesses. She matures into what I wholly believe is the type of woman every reader of P&P would imagine Lizzy to be.