One of the options for entering The Passions of Dr. Darcy ARC giveaway is to answer the following question: What George Darcy past event are you most curious to read about? I wish the form allowed the answers to be seen publicly, but I have been looking at what all of you are curious about. :Happy-Grin: I can’t answer everything in depth (or then you wouldn’t need to read the novel!), but I can share a few hints to ease your minds and further pique your interest.
The biggest interest was about his past loves, especially Jharna Ullas. What I will reveal is that during George’s nearly 30 years in India he will love three women who are significant. There are other affairs briefly mentioned – George is not a monk! – but these three women will greatly influence his life and touch his heart the deepest. If you have read of George in my previous novels then you know Jharna is the true love of his life (at least while in India). This relationship will be explored in detail, both their longtime friendship while she is the wife of his mentor and dearest friend Dr. Kshitij Ullas, and then the gradual evolution into love. Jharna and the Ullas family are major players throughout the novel, so you will get to know them all very well.
Along this same line, it was asked what her sons thought of the relationship between George and Jharna. Great question! George’s importance to Nimesh and Sasi Ullas cannot be understated, and vice versa. One of my tremendous joys was to breathe life into these two characters, both of whom were little more than names to me before. I am confident you will love them as much as I, and George, do. How George fits into the extended family of Hindus surrounding Jharna is a huge theme within the story.
Why did he address his journal to her? This question will be answered as well. All I can say now is that George always addresses his journal to a person significant to his life. The whys of how the habit was established, and who gets chosen during the course of his life, is a clue into his soul.
What made George go to India? At one point Dr. Ullas talks about fate and destiny, telling George that the reasons why he came to India may not entirely be what he thinks they are. Kshitij is very Hindu that way! Yet, he ends up being correct in his insight. George does have a reason for leaving England, and I do explore that. But as Dr. Ullas suspects, those reasons are not what keep him there.
His travels and all that he has seen are another frequent anticipation. I wish I could say I covered ALL Dr. Darcy’s travels and recounted ALL he has seen/done, but that would have taken several more thick books! This is a man who spent thirty years journeying from Bombay in the west to Calcutta in the east, Katmandu in the north to Ceylon in the south, and just about every point in between! I hit the highlights as best I could, but alas there are some adventures that must remain a mystery. Or for another book.
Why does he wear Indian garments? Believe it or not, social practicality was originally the reason. I do explain why, and it wasn’t for the comfort or flashy colors. Of course, those reasons became important, especially to the forever flamboyant George Darcy!
His childhood and teen years, and what his life was like before leaving home. Hmmm…. Hate to disappoint. I begin the novel with George as a 22 year old man, already a physician who is set to embark on his maiden voyage halfway around the world. Delving extensively into his life prior to that was never a major goal for me. However, that does not mean there aren’t glimpses of his youth, especially in regards to his relationship with his siblings and twin brother Alex.
His medical practices. Titling the novel the “passions” of Dr. Darcy was primarily to reference his passion for medicine. George is passionate about a number of things – women, food, clothing, family, friends, adventure – but none of those passions trump his obsession with medicine. This is truly the driving force of his life, so indeed the novel does cover his experiences in learning and applying his medical expertise.
How often was there contact with his family in England? George travels home to England three times during his years in India, not counting the fourth “visit” that ends up not being a visit after all. One of the facts I discovered upon deeper research is that a one-way sea voyage from England to Bombay, India took 5-6 months. That means a whole year just on the trip itself! I realized that George would need a very good reason to leave his life in India, and for a man who hates sea travel and loves India, even the draw of missing family wasn’t strong enough to undertake the journey too often. When he did, it was significant and I do cover those trips. Mail would also take 5-6 months to get from one place to another, delivery even longer during those times George was in Calcutta or a remote locale. Nevertheless, while it may be old news by the time a letter from England reached George, and vice versa, regular correspondence was maintained. Letters from James Darcy, the elder Mr. Darcy, Fitzwilliam, and other siblings and friends are referenced frequently.
How did he cope with his parents’ deaths? George’s mother, Emily Darcy, dies before this story begins, as does his twin Alex. Mr. James Darcy, George’s father, dies later, prompting George’s first trip home. How George deals with death and loss during the stages of his life is a major theme of the novel. Be prepared to suffer along with him because over the years he will be parted from a number of significant loved ones.
Why did he return to Pemberley? Ah! The million dollar question! And I can’t answer this without giving too much away! How about a small snippet to partially answer the question? Here is it—
McIntyre chuckled at George’s confused expression, so rarely seen on the confident man’s face. He took over, giving the brief rundown while pouring Raul a glass of wine. George said nothing, his eyes staring at his hands and the letter from William until McIntyre finished.
“I see,” were the first and only words out of Raul’s mouth.
George looked up, one brow arched. “‘I see’? What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means I see. I understand. That is all. It really has nothing to do with me, now does it?” He took a sip of wine, black eyes peering calm and steady at the wide-eyed George over the rim of the wine glass. “Unless, of course, I was to remind you that you do owe me a trip to England.”
“I owe you,” George sputtered, ignoring McIntyre’s snicker. “Who’s fault was it that you stumbled over your own clown feet and broke an arm? Owe you, my ass!”
Raul shrugged, it a regal lift of one shoulder and followed by another sip of wine. “You did promise you would take me on your next trip though.”
“Maybe, although I don’t recall the word ‘promise’ in there anywhere. And nothing about when that would be. Hell, I might have meant twenty years from now.”
“True. But here is an opportunity for you to fulfill your promise and not be beholden to me for twenty years.”
George cast a glower at each of them. “Is this some sort of conspiracy?” Neither deigned to reply. “You know Governor Nepean will have a seizure if we all leave at once?”
“He has a strong heart. I know because I assessed his physical health last month. He already has my replacement picked out—Dr. Ertham—so it would just be ye two, and it isn’t like the EIC isn’t used to ye rewriting contracts, George. I wonder why they bother wasting the paper after all this time.”
George couldn’t deny that truth, having often wondered the same, but like all bureaucracies, they weren’t capable of surviving without stacks of documents to prove their worth. Desperate, he tried a different angle. “Anoop will be devastated if I leave him. I can’t do that to him again.”
“Take him along. An adventure will benefit him as well. He has become as stodgy an old man as ye.”
“Nimesh and Sasi are planning a major celebration for my fiftieth birthday. At Pandey’s haveli in Kalyan. Impossible for me to cancel that.”
“Are ye deaf or so old ye canna remember the months? I said I was leaving next month, which is February, and ye birthday is in two weeks. I know ’cause we are invited to the party. Are you done making excuses?”
George gaped at Searc, who was grinning, and then turned to Raul, who continued to sip his wine as if bored by the whole conversation. The gleam in his eye proved otherwise. At a loss for words, George stared from one man to the other. Then, as the panic rose to the point of choking his air supply, George glanced down at the letter still clutched between his fingers.
I now have hope where none existed before that Pemberley shall once again be the joyous home of my youth, and as Father recounted from his childhood. The ancestral Darcy abode filled with laughter, children, and the touch of a devoted mistress who loves the manor as she deserves to be loved. I pray this image warms your heart as it does mine.
It did warm his heart and brought back fond memories. Mostly, however, he wondered who this Elizabeth Bennet, now presumably Elizabeth Darcy, was that she possessed the magical powers not only to transform a house too long mired in grief, but also a man’s entire being. His curiosity was sparked, and if there was one unstoppable force in the world, it was George Darcy when he was curious!
Okay, that gave more than a little bit away. LOL! I hope you enjoyed the snippet, and the answers to your questions. Keep trying to snag an ARC so you can neener-neener everyone else who must wait. 😛 The Rafflecopter form is on the post below. But if not so lucky, The Passions of Dr. Darcy will be released on April 2 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon and B&N. Less than 3 months away!