For my review of The Darcy Monologues, I do not intend to give a recap of each short story. Instead I will stick to an overall assessment of the book, as a whole.
For anyone interested in having an anthology with plenty of lovely short stories to read, then I highly recommend The Darcy Monologues. Not only will you be able to get a little reading time worked into a busy schedule but the choice of authors is outstanding. There are times when it is difficult to have much reading time and a short story satisfies the need to read and gives that ‘feel good’ feeling I so love from a well-written book. In this anthology, a reader will find plenty to love.
If you are bent toward reading Regency, there are some wonderful stories to gratify. For those that prefer modern retellings or variations, the selection for those is awesome too. I generally prefer stories to be set in Regency times, but I must say that the modern retellings in this anthology are excellent.
The stories were well-written but I expected nothing less from this A-list of authors. I found them to carry the plot of each story and come to a good resolution. I would think that might be more difficult with less pages to tell a story but each author carried it off remarkably well. Each felt complete and left me feeling content.
The variety of storylines is varied and there should be something extra special for every reader. That it is all from Darcy's point of view is the icing on the cake! This is a book that I will pick up again and again. Well done to all of you!
The “Hahn Hiatus” is over! by J. Marie Croft
Few writers in our genre are such true proficients as award-winning JAFF storyteller
Hahn’s widely popular The Journey (the pièce de résistance of her oeuvre, in my opinion) is almost impossible to put down. All her novels beg to be devoured in one delicious sitting.
The lady knows how to take readers on a journey – a wild, breathtaking roller coaster ride filled with emotional ups and downs. And, oh, the places she’ll take you on those journeys! Her plots are imaginative (daring, even), yet characters remain faithful to those created by Austen. Best of all, Hahn’s riveting, angsty, heart-wrenching stories have believable and oh-so-tender happily-ever-afters.
But her last novel was published ages and ages ago … in 2014!
For three years I have waited!
Jan Hahn, why must you insist on torturing me?
Ah, but the Hahn hiatus will soon be over, for within the pages of The Darcy Monologues is her latest offering – a Regency short story titled Without Affection. Yeah, right. I bet there’s affection aplenty therein, and I can’t wait to read it!
I’d love to write romantic JAFF adventure like Jan Hahn does; but, alas, I have not her storytelling knack. What I do have is admiration of her skill and a healthy dose of envy.
To top it off, she seems like a very genteel kind of lady with a keen sense of humour … someone I’d like to meet.
What a lovely introduction, J. Marie Croft, for a truly lovely lady. You are correct in your assessment. Jan Hahn is a very genteel lady and she does have a keen sense of humour. She is also a kind and generous person. As many of you know, Jan and I are personal friends and have been for many years. She has stood with me through many ups and downs and never passed judgement. That is a true friend indeed. When Claudine sent me the extras for my post and I saw who and what I had the pleasure of including with my review, I was excited. (and J. Marie, I happen to have heard that Jan H. loves your writing style and your wit! 'smiling') Like you, I'm thrilled that the 'Hahn Hiatus' is over too. I look forward to more!
Okay, okay. I'll quit rambling and get on with the interview. I'm quite sure you would rather be reading it. Enjoy!
How did you come to be inspired by Miss Austen as both a woman and then, as a writer?
Jane Austen did not take the easy way out. She had opportunities to marry, but she refused to do so simply for security. She endured poverty rather than marry without affection. I found her example both modern and inspiring.
Austen’s writing is the ideal. From Elizabeth Bennet to Emma Woodhouse, her characters sparkle with their own particular attributes and flaws. She makes me laugh out loud in one chapter and bite my fingernails with apprehension in the next. Her prose has a beauty of its own. Her snarky wit is delightful. The only problem? I always want more of Darcy and Elizabeth’s story. That’s why I borrow her timeless characters and repeatedly write my own variations of their love story.
Can you offer readers a brief description of your story and tell us why you chose to set your story in the Regency era?
My story takes place in the twilight years of Darcy and Elizabeth’s long life together. Their love for each other remains paramount even at their mature ages. Darcy muses over their journey together and recalls a time when their marriage became troubled over an issue he had never imagined would happen to them.
I set all my stories in the Regency era because I have a difficult time thinking of Austen’s characters in any other period. I love the civility, balls, dress, and graceful way of living found in Austen’s Regency world. I acknowledge that war, poverty, and misery existed, but Austen doesn’t dwell on it. Her stories take place in cottages, mansions, and verdant woods. Wordsworth said it best: I find the world is too much with us, and I long to escape to Pemberley’s drawing room. That’s not to say I do not have great admiration for those clever authors who transport my favorite couple to another time and place.
This year we're coming up on the 200th anniversary of the publications of “Persuasion,” and “Northanger Abbey.” What were you trying to capture of Jane Austen in your story, Without Affection in The Darcy Monologues?
I attempted to capture Jane Austen’s affinity for a marriage based on love, and in particular, Darcy’s enduring love for Elizabeth. His is the deepest kind of love, and he not only is willing to support her, but to sacrifice for her. Darcy’s tendency to rush in and fix things creates conflict in the marriage, but it stems from his all-encompassing love for his wife. Of all Austen’s heroes, I consider Darcy and Wentworth her best. Their love for Elizabeth and Anne survives even when they’ve been rejected. I can’t help but wish Jane Austen had found such a love of her own.
The reactions to this upcoming release have been overwhelmingly positive from readers and I think that’s also in response to Mr. Darcy’s tremendous popularity throughout the past two centuries. Why do you believe that modern-day woman still find him so appealing?
In essentials, Mr. Darcy is a good man, and, in the words of Flannery O’Connor, we all know a good man is hard to find. We may date bad boys, but heaven help us if we marry them. Darcy being rich and handsome certainly makes him attractive, but I love Elizabeth for wanting more. His character makes all the difference to her. And since he bumbles about in the beginning, insulting people and hiding his good points, a great story is born.
Did writing this story make you appreciate something about Jane Austen all over again?
It reawakened my love for writing. I confess I’ve taken far too long a leave of absence since my last book was published. Having a deadline made me devote my time to my craft, and I fell in love with Austen and Darcy all over again.
Jan, I just love ending this interview by sharing your six-word memoir…
I married my own Mr. Darcy.
Now that the “Hahn Hiatus” is over, what can readers look forward to reading from you in the future and how can readers stay in touch with you?
Writing from Darcy’s viewpoint is a challenge, but several years ago, I wrote a book in his words, and I’m in the process of re-writing parts of it. I’m also suffering over my sequel to The Journey that has tormented me far too long. I’m determined to finish it.
Buy Link: Amazon US
The book description reads as follows:
“You must allow me to tell you...”
For over two hundred years, Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy has captivated readers’ imaginations as the ultimate catch. Rich. Powerful. Noble. Handsome. And yet, as Miss Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is established through Elizabeth Bennet’s fine eyes, how are we to know what his tortured soul is indeed thinking? How does Darcy progress from “She is tolerable: but not handsome enough to tempt me” to “I thought only of you”?
In this romance anthology, fifteen Austen-inspired authors assemble to sketch Darcy’s character through a series of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times—from faithful narratives to the fanciful. Herein “The Darcy Monologues”, the man himself reveals his intimate thoughts, his passionate dreams, and his journey to love—all told with a previously concealed wit and enduring charm.
Stories by: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin Williams
Blog Tour Giveaways
There are two special giveaways.
One winner will win the grand prize of 24 paperback books, each one autographed by the author, and mailed to the winner’s home. Please see the enclosed graphic for the list of books included in this giveaway.
The second winner will win their choice of either a Pride and Prejudice pocketbook or a Pride and Prejudice Kindle Fire Case with stand - Pride and Prejudice Book Cover Case for Amazon Kindle Fire 7" and 6" - Kindle Fire / Fire HD / Fire HDX tablet. Please see that attached graphic for these choices. All giveaways are international.
Formally trained as a fine artist and illustrator, Susan Adriani discovered her passion for storytelling over a decade after she graduated from a local art college near her childhood home in New England. Susan is the author of The Truth about Mr. Darcy and Darkness Falls upon Pemberley.
Sara Angelini is a lawyer living in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband, three kids, two dogs, a frog, some fish, and a few hundred stick bugs. She never went to veterinary school but if she had, she would have been a true proficient. She enjoys writing from Darcy’s point of view in a way that shows his humor and vulnerability. Her first book, The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy, was published in 2008. She is the co-founder of www.austenunderground.com, where her other Pride and Prejudice-inspired works can be read.
Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of four novels accented with romance and history: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, At the Edge of the Sea, and Undeceived. She also wrote “Northanger Revisited 2015”, which appeared in the anthology Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer. Originally from Everett, Washington, Karen now lives in Central Kentucky with her husband, works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter. Like Austen’s Emma, Karen has many hobbies and projects she doesn’t quite finish, but like Elizabeth Bennet, she aspires to be a great reader and an excellent walker.
J. Marie Croft is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.’ Bearing witness to her fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter are Joanne’s light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight, a Babblings of a Bookworm Favourite Read of 2014, her humorous short story, “Spyglasses and Sunburns,” in the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology, and a playful novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities, Just Jane 1813’s Favorite JAFF Novella of 2016.
Award-winning writer Jan Hahn is the author of four Austen-inspired novels. She studied music at the University of Texas but discovered her true love was a combination of journalism and literature. Her first book, An Arranged Marriage, was published in 2011, followed by The Journey, The Secret Betrothal, and A Peculiar Connection. She agrees with Mr. Darcy’s words in Pride and Prejudice: “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” She is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, lives in Texas, has five children and a gaggle of gorgeous grandchildren.
Jenetta James is a mother, lawyer, writer, and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practices full time as a barrister. Over the years, she has lived in France, Hungary and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing and playing with Lego. She is the author of Suddenly Mrs. Darcy and The Elizabeth Papers.
Lory Lilian fell in love with Pride and Prejudice thirty-three years ago and discovered the charm of Jane Austen fanfiction exactly twenty years later. She lives in Bucharest, Romania, is a proud mother of an amazing daughter, and addicted to anything Austen. After a career in business, she dedicates her time to reading and writing. Lory is the author of six bestselling books: Rainy Days, Remembrances of the Past, His Uncle’s Favorite, The Perfect Match, Sketching Mr. Darcy, The Rainbow Promise, and A Man with Faults. JAFF readers call her the “Queen of Hot Mush” and she loves it.
KaraLynne Mackrory is no newbie to the writing world. She made her debut as an author at the tender age of 13 when she wrote her first set of bad poetry. As a young adult, she steered clear of bad prose and achieved a degree in social work. Years later, she has published four Austen inspired novels so full of romantic sensibilities as to give you a swoon and hopefully a few laughs. Her books turned out better than her poetry and are: Falling for Mr. Darcy, Bluebells in the Mourning, the IPPY award-winning Haunting Mr. Darcy, and Yours Forevermore, Darcy.
Beau North is the author of Longbourn’s Songbird, The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy, and a contributor to the anthology Then Comes Winter. Beau is a native southerner who now calls Portland, Oregon home with her husband and two cats. She attended the University of South Carolina where she began a lifelong obsession with literature. In her spare time, Beau is the co-host of the podcast Excessively Diverted: Modern Austen Onscreen.
Mild-mannered business woman by day, hopeless romantic by night, Ruth Phillips Oakland was always a fan of the fictional gentleman from Derbyshire, but it was her discovery of Jane Austen fanfiction in 2006 that inspired Ruth to become a writer. Ruth has written dozens of short stories posted online and the published novel entitled, My BFF. Ruth lives in New England with her favorite husband of over thirty years and is thrilled to be included in this anthology with so many of her favorite authors and friends.
Natalie Richards is a writer, blogger, and singer. She started her book review blog, Songs & Stories, in late 2010 after falling in love with Jane Austen fanfiction. Her writing can also be found on Figment, the Darcy & Lizzy Forum, TeenInk Magazine, and in the Austenesque anthologies Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer and Then Comes Winter. She resides with her family in the Oregon countryside and currently works as a waitress and babysitter.
Sophia Rose is a native Californian currently residing in Michigan. A long-time Jane Austen fan, she is a contributing author to Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer and Then Comes Winter anthologies. Sophia’s love for writing began as a teen writing humorous stories submitted for creative writing class and high school writing club. Writing was set aside while Sophia pursued degrees and certificates in education, special education, family history, and social work leading to a rewarding career. Health issues led her to a greater opportunity to read, beta, and review books, and return to writing stories that lean toward the humorous side and always end with a happily ever after.
Melanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives in Canada with her husband and four kids. She is the author of SWAY, a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and the short story “Becoming Fanny” featured in the anthology Then Comes Winter. Her second novel, Collide, inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, is coming soon. You can find her at melaniestanfordbooks.com, on Twitter @MelMStanford, and on Facebook @MelanieStanfordauthor.
Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. Over the years, she has swapped several hats—physician, lecturer, clinical data analyst—but feels most comfortable in a bonnet. She has been living in Georgian England for decades in her imagination and plans to continue in that vein till she lays hands on a time machine. She is the author of seven Austen-inspired novels: From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley, The Subsequent Proposal, The Second Chance, The Falmouth Connection, The Unthinkable Triangle, Miss Darcy’s Companion, and Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. You can connect with Joana through her website http://www.joanastarnes.co.uk/ and on Facebook via All Roads Lead to Pemberley.
Caitlin Williams is an award-winning author of two novels, Ardently and the best-selling The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet, both of which spin the plot of Pride and Prejudice around but keep the characters just the same. Originally from South London, Caitlin spent thirteen years as a detective in the Metropolitan Police but is currently on a break from Scotland Yard so she can spend more time at home with her two children and write. She now lives in Kent, where she spends a lot of time daydreaming about Mr. Darcy, playing with dinosaurs, and trying not to look at the laundry pile.
Christina Boyd wears many hats as she is an editor under her own banner The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a ceramicist and proprietor of Stir Crazy Mama’s Artworks. A life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen's England was made possible by her book boyfriend and star crush Henry Cavill when she won a trip to meet him on the London Eye in the spring of 2017. True story.
Each author has contributed a song based on her story for this Spotify playlist. Click on the link below to listen to these songs.
PinterestBoard - check this out for lots of fun pictures
To follow The Darcy Monologues on Twitter, use the hashtag, #TheDarcyMonologues.
Blog Tour Schedule
April 3 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Launch Post & Giveaway
April 10 / Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
April 17 / The Reading Frenzy / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 20 / My Love for Jane Austen / Guest Post & Giveaway
May 1 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway
May 8 / Just Jane 1813 / Excerpt Post & Giveaway
May 15 / Austenesque Reviews / Book Review & Giveaway
May 22 / Austenesque Reviews / Guest Post & Giveaway
May 25 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review & Giveaway
May 29 / More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway
June 5 / So Little Time / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 12 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Review & Giveaway
June 19 / Book Lover in Florida / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 26 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway
July 3 / Savvy Verse & Wit / Book Review & Giveaway
There is much to see and read during the blog tour and many of you have been following its progress. I hope you are enjoying all the posts and will get a chance to read the book soon, if you have not already. Thank you, Claudine and Christina, for a such a well organized blog tour! Best Wishes, Christina, with the book.