Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monica's Darcy


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by Monica Fairview
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Had Fitzwilliam Darcy known that departure from convention would entail such a level of anxiety, he would have been perfectly satisfied to follow convention and do as his ancestors had done for the last three hundred years. When he had issued his invitations, however, he had allowed impulse to rule as he and Elizabeth had laid plans for this most unusual of Winter Balls.

The invitations had gone out, advising guests to come prepared for a very different kind of evening. Young ladies’ hearts fluttered at the excitement of something new, mothers’ hearts envisioned complex possibilities, and young men’s hearts’ thumped at the prospect of young ladies tumbling into their arms. Older landowners, who had nothing to gain and everything to lose by being deprived of their customary card games, wrote to express their outrage at such a travesty, invoking tried and true Darcy tradition, but to no avail.

Darcy and Elizabeth soon discovered the fatal flaw in their plan. Everything hinged on the weather. For days now they had held their breath, peering anxiously out of windows, and hoping that no unseasonable conditions would spell doom on the evening’s amusements.

A dusting of snow had covered the hills around Pemberley that very morning, making them glisten and glitter with white, provoking laughter in Elizabeth and puzzlement in the sheep who did not know what had happened to their verdant pastures. Tonight the pretty lanterns that lined the pathways to the large tent cast coloured lights on the snow, and the illumination around the lake glimmered in the ice. It was like stepping into a whimsical fairyland.

Finally, the moment they had been waiting for – Robert Darcy’s familiar figure at the entrance to the garden. He was the reason for all this, for it was intended as a surprise for Darcy’s American cousin. It had all been concocted when the other Mr Darcy – after a few glasses of claret – had confessed how much he missed his native Boston.

They had intended him to be the last to arrive, and here he was. As he stepped onto the lighted path with Caroline next to him, her arms enveloped in a thick muff, Elizabeth poked Darcy in the side with her elbow.

Darcy swallowed down the yelp that rose to his lips and bowed perfectly correctly to his cousin.


The other Mr Darcy bowed back, then grinned widely. “Fitz, you devil. What possessed you to hold a party outdoors in the middle of winter? Have you taken leave of your mind? Elizabeth, this must be something you cooked up. My cousin does not have the imagination to contrive such a thing.”

Elizabeth tried her best to look innocent but could not prevent her eyes from twinkling in acknowledgement.

“We wanted you to feel at home, Cousin,” she replied.

“Do not tell me you arranged for the snow as well. Surely even the Master of Pemberley cannot control the elements,” said Robert Darcy. His eyes were drawn to the frozen lake and the lights slanting onto the ice. “If only I had some skates,” he added wistfully.

“Perhaps we can arrange for that,” said Elizabeth, holding up a pair of wood- mounted blades.

Robert gasped and threw his arms around Elizabeth. “Now I believe my cousin when he calls you an angel.”

“Don’t forget, Cousin Robert,” growled Darcy, “that she happens to be my angel. And your behaviour is entirely unseemly.”

Robert released Elizabeth and bowed to her. “My humble apologies, ma’am.”

Darcy in turn executed a stiff bow to Caroline. “You timed your entrance very well, Mrs Darcy. It appears you are the last of the guests.”

Caroline – formerly Miss Bingley – inclined her head imperiously. “Did I not promise I would play the part?”

“You did,” said Eliza, taking her by the arm and leading her to the seats that had been arranged under the canopy by the lakeside.

Hundreds of candles glittered everywhere one looked, and steam rose up from bowls, filling the air with the spicy scent of hot spiced ale, cider and mulled wine.

Fitzwilliam turned to his cousin. “Come, Robert. I will guide you to your seat.”

As he arrived to where everyone was assembled, a gong sounded. He waited for the excited chattering to die down to make his announcement.

“Ladies and gentleman,” he said. “I have arranged for instructors to teach us the fundamentals by and by. Meanwhile, I would like to present the first entertainment of the evening.” He gave a signal. “Let the party begin!”

At once a hired troop of skaters in exotic costumes appeared on the lake and began to slide elegantly across the ice to the music played by the orchestra. There were gasps and aahs from the audience.

Nothing like this had been seen in Derbyshire before.

~end

Darcy post created for Pemberley Ball by Monica Fairview
© 2010. All rights reserved.

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by Monica Fairview
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Read more about Robert Darcy...

~~*!~~ Book Giveaway courtesy of author ~~!*~~


The Other Mr. Darcy
by Monica Fairview

Open US and Canada only.

Offer ends: November 28, 2010

TO DO:

1. Sign the Pemberley Ball Guestbook (if you haven't already)

2. Visit Monica's site and tell me something about her in comments.

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Contest has ended - winner is here

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* leave a comment and earn an extra point towards the Darcy Surprise Pack giveaway

* image source created at savivi dress up doll - go make your own

~~- Pemberley Ball schedule -~~


19 comments:

  1. This is the one book I actually own. Though Robert is a cheeky monkey isn't he?!

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  2. Wow, I'd love to read Monica's "The Other Mr. Darcy." Though, the only Mr. Darcy for me is Fitzwilliam Darcy, but since Elizabeth Bennet is the lady love of his life, I don't mind the other Mr. Darcy, hehe. :D

    Monica's bio is very interesting. How awesome that she lives in England where Jane Austen was from and to be able to go to those Jane Austen/P&P film locations. I was at least able to visit to a couple of them the filming locations for the 2005 P&P film. Got to see Mr. Darcy's Bust at Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall in Derbyshire where the inn at Lambton was filmed. The countryside in England is so beautiful. I loved and enjoyed my recent visit there. :-)

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  3. Fredamans -- yes, Robert is certainly a cheeky monkey! Please to meet you here.

    Jeane -- You're a step ahead of me. I confess it, I haven't been to Chatsworth nor Haddon Hall. Lucky you!

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  4. What a delightful party! I would love to attend such an event! It is so nice to see the Robert Darcys with the Fitzwilliam Darcys!

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  5. I loves this line :)“You timed your entrance very well, Mrs Darcy. It appears you are the last of the guests.”

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  6. Lovely excerpt! I'm thrilled that Ms Fairview is a member of the Austen Authors blog -- it's a wonderful place to loiter and get one's Austen kick on. ;)

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  7. Love that Monica writes Regency novels!

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  8. awesome post! though i never liked caroline in the book and film!

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  9. Monica, I certainly wish that I could have been a member of this party. How delightful that would have been!!!

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  10. Meredith -- thank you, I know you have a certain interest in the Other Mr Darcy...

    PinkStuff28 -- Now that I think about it, I agree it's a good line. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Audra -- so glad you made it here as well. I'll see you at Austen Authors, too. I agree that it's just a tad addictive.

    Midnight Cowgirl -- Regency all the way!

    Kulsuma -- I think you'll find Caroline in the Other Mr Darcy a surprising creature. Thank you for the compliment.

    Regina -- hello fellow Austen Author! Thank you for making it here. This is one Ball I would have loved to attend.

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  11. I've been wanting to read this one for awhile! You can never get enough Darcy, right? How did you enjoy being a literary professor? That is a wonderful intro. Maybe Caroline has simmered down now that she is happily and richily wed!

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  12. She is currently based in London.

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  13. Love your writing, and I love your Mr. Darcy.

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  14. I haven't read this one yet, but I read and loved the Darcy Cousins! *_*

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  15. Thank you for the lovely snip. So glad to read about you at Austen Authors as well! =D

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  16. brrr, luckily when I saw the tent I rushed back to the cloakroom first to get my dark blue velvet and very warm cloak.
    ;o)

    (just leaving a comment for fun etc., not living in the US or Canada)

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  17. Viooltje -- the guests were forewarned... Yes, dark blue velvet sounds like it's a good option. Glad to read your comment.

    Hello LisaS, thanks for visiting. See you at Austen Authors.

    Giada M, Happy Birthday! Glad you enjoyed The Darcy Cousins, thank you so much for saying so.

    Karen, you're very sweet to say so. Thank you. See you over at Austen Authors.

    hmsgofita, yes, she doesn't have to try so hard any more. I enjoyed being a prof, but I enjoy writing more ;)

    Moridin -- correct!

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  18. can't enter this one since I am from overseas, just enjoying the stories .D

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  19. Don't enter me as I live outside the US, thanks for drawing my attention to some great modern Austen authors :-)

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