Today, I have a guest visitor on Brant Flakes, a writer of Austeneque fiction -- Enid Wilson! Enid lives in sunny Sydney, Australia (and, boy, am I ever envying her city's weather right about now :). Her latest novel is called Fire and Cross. Take a peek at the blurb:
The combination of a lethal blaze and a garnet cross have ensured that ever since he was a boy, Fitzwilliam Darcy's future is promised to an unknown lady.
With danger looming from a suspected spy, and with murder close at hand, will Mr. Darcy cross paths with Elizabeth Bennet and win her affections? Mr. Darcy's journey to overcome his pride and find eternal love in Pride and Prejudice takes on a mysterious twist.
This sexy what-if story, told from Darcy's viewpoint, explores the demands of family members and other involved parties. Fire and Cross takes this perennial favorite in another direction, bursting with overpowering emotion and surprising plot twists.
Sounds intriguing! Enid warns us that the novel contains “explicit adult content” -- but I always love a story with a little heat. Welcome!
Thank you, Marilyn, for hosting me today. I first knew about Marilyn when she was launching her book According to Jane. What a wonderful idea and book, to have Ellie following Austen’s wise and witty advice when she’s dating! (Aww, thanks, Enid!)
Jane Austen is my favourite author. I think she was such a marvelous student of people’s characters that her books are full of excellent advice, about all kinds of relationships, even for today’s men and women.
I had dabbled into Jane Austen’s fan fiction three years ago and have published four Pride and Prejudice-inspired stories since. In my latest novel Fire and Cross, Pride and Prejudice with a mysterious twist, I’ve created a somewhat “father and son” relationship between Mr. Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Below is an adapted excerpt where Mr. Bennet was giving the younger gentleman help on how to court Miss Elizabeth:
“I am worried that Miss Elizabeth entered into the engagement without due consideration.” Mr. Darcy frowned.
“You need not be worried about that,” Mr. Bennet said. “Lizzy is not the kind of girl who rushes into things, even under provocation.”
Darcy thought for a moment and had to agree with Mr. Bennet’s assessment. Could he hope that she had begun to have feelings for him? “She wanted a long engagement, saying that she wishes to make sure she is in love with me before we marry.”
Mr. Bennet raised his eyebrow and asked, “And you do not?”
Darcy felt flustered by such a direct question. He replied honestly, “Sir, your daughter has enchanted me. I do not want to part with her from now onwards.”
“Ah, the romance of youthful devotion. Perhaps it is good that Lizzy asks for a long engagement. It can test your fortitude and constancy. Now, should we have your wedding in three years’ time?” the older gentleman jested.
Darcy swallowed and then shook his head in disagreement. “I hope to persuade her to marry me before Christmas. I am not a young man of one and twenty, Sir. And I have resisted the temptation of sirens and maidens for many years. I know my heart.”
“But Lizzy is not yet one and twenty. Perhaps when you present her to your society, she will run off with a more charming man,” Mr. Bennet said with a sly smile.
Darcy stood up and paced around the room. He had not thought about this before. His Elizabeth had not seen much of the world. She might not put another suitor’s wealth before his character, but could she resist the charms of a gentleman who was ten times more amiable than he?
“Now stop worrying, young man! You simply need to learn how to charm her. For someone as unsuccessful as I in marital bliss, I do have advice for you.” Mr. Bennet raised his cup for a toast. “Learn and observe from other happily married couples. I dearly wish Lizzy and you will be forever happy!”
Darcy stopped pacing and raised his cup. Yes, his late parents would be a good example. He needed to treat Elizabeth with respect and tender loving care as his father had done with his mother. He was looking forward to charming Elizabeth, commencing as soon as possible the next morning.
What do you think of Mr. Bennet’s advice to Mr. Darcy? Who do you turn to when you need guidance about relationships? Please leave your comments here.
I’m delighted to offer a pdf version of Fire and Cross and a lovely Australian souvenir to one lucky reader. Head over to my website and register for news to have a chance to win. Entry is open to Marilyn’s worldwide readers and closes on 31 December.
Many thanks again, Marilyn, for having me here today.
So glad you could join us, Enid!