Why do authors write Pride and Prejudice variations?

Have you “met” Gianna Thomas yet? If not, please allow me the honor of introducing her. Best known for her Pride and Prejudice variations, she is an up and coming traditional Regency author, definitely someone to watch.

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GiannaWhy do authors write Pride and Prejudice variations?

It’s an interesting question. We have the original Pride and Prejudice with all of Jane Austen’s quirky humor and misunderstandings between Darcy and Elizabeth to enjoy, but why do we need more?

For me, the original is not enough. Jane wrote a lot about the angst Darcy and Elizabeth suffered through most of the book but very little about the recognition of their love, their marriage and afterwards. Perhaps, it is a universal truth that those who love Darcy and Elizabeth just want more.

Pride and Prejudice variations, fan fiction, what ifs, vagaries, or whatevers may help satisfy that need to know more about our famous lovers. Sequels to the original give us a look at what might have been. Variations paint a little different picture of the characters we know so well, or do we? Twists on the original plot give us a taste of a new path taken and may even open up a completely different future than we ever imagined for our lovebirds.

For myself, I put 13 twists on Jane Austen’s original plot when I wrote Darcy Chooses Part 1. Part 2 is almost 100% my plot, and I have three possible P&P series and three plots for standalone books plus a plot from my publisher as well. These are in addition to nine regency romance plots, one of which is a four part series. The P&P variations are enough to keep me busy for a long while as the ideas just keep coming.

One would think that at some point we would experience a saturation of Pride and Prejudice and Elizabeth and Darcy’s adventures. Not so! One story or book leads to another and another, and we keep wanting more. TDarcy Chooses-Part 1 600newhe truth is we could read about Jane’s hero and heroine for years and not get tired of the variety of scenarios the many different authors dream up. And if they are well written, we love them almost as much as the original.

Again, for myself, I have read 300+ P&P’s and have enjoyed nearly all of them. I don’t get tired of them and have reread several of them more than once, others more than twice. Only a small number were either written so badly or contained graphic sex to the point I will not reread them or I didn’t finish them and returned them to the publisher. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the completely new plots that many authors have written and look forward to future books and stories.

Just think, a simple preacher’s daughter, a spinster who never married (and that’s another story) but wrote a tale—about two individuals who fall in love—that has come down 200+ years to become one of the most popular love stories ever written. Jane Austen was quite a lady who’s flame died much too quickly, but who’s legacy is passed on through all the P&P authors who keep Darcy and Elizabeth alive for thousands of fans worldwide. Very few will ever be able to match that appeal.

Gianna Thomas

Find Gianna on Amazon!

Jannette Spann has a new book!

RightTimeForLove_500x750(1)Right Time for Love

Brandy Wyne’s future includes an old house with plumbing problems, a new job, and caring for her mother who has suffered a stroke.

Gavin Wilkins has increased his Grandpa’s plumbing business to twice its original worth, but the old man’s got a hot lady friend with greedy hands. How can he convince his grandpa of what she’s after without hurting him? Added to his problems is the responsibility of caring for his seven-year-old niece for the summer.

Brandy can’t afford the plumbing repairs she needs, and Gavin can’t find a sitter for his niece. Ever heard of the barter system?

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Short Excerpt:

Indecision marked Gavin’s brow as they stared into each other’s eyes. If he walked off, the friendship would be over… shattered like a cheap piece of glass. They would still see each other at times, but the closeness wouldn’t exist anymore, and that’s what Brandy treasured the most.

He lifted a hand to her face, a sad smile tilting the corner of his lips. “I’m twenty-nine-years-old, and so help me, I’ve never met anyone like you.”

She blinked. “So… Is that good or bad?”

His forehead dropped to hers. A slight chuckle eased the tension. “I’m still trying to decide.”

Taking his reply to mean maybe, she slid an arm around his waist and guided him inside. “Come on, I’ll see if I can’t sway your opinion.”

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Find Right Time for Love (and Jannette’s other books) on:

Amazon
Barnes & Novel
and other e-book retailers!

Only one word of advice I can offer! Enjoy, my sweet romantic darlings!

Kay

Tuesday Tales Picture Prompt 2/10/15

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, where a picture is not just a picture and a word is not just a word.

10392549_10204816797998580_6731879103320152270_nThe Message

Four squat black candles burned in the center of the table. Two perfect place settings, not a fork or a spoon askew, fine white china ready for three individual courses, red napkin folded in the center. The wine, deep red and full bodied, had been poured into the stemware to breathe.

Waiting.

Suppressing a sigh, Haley glanced at the diamond watch gracing her wrist. Eight-twenty. Paul was officially an hour and twenty minutes late. And no phone call.

How much longer could she give him before the restaurant kicked her to the curb?

A waiter seemed to materialize at her elbow. “Excuse me. Would you be Ms. Haley Bancroft?”

She lifted her gaze and took in the short black vest and snowy white shirt. “Why, yes, that’s me.”

“I have a message from Mr. Paul Whitfield.” The waiter slid a tray in front of her then discreetly stepped away.

While you were out… floated into focus on the single square of pink note paper.

“I’m not the one who’s out, Paul,” she whispered. Only he’d been there. He had to have been there to leave the note, because it was his precise handwriting that marched across the lined page.

Sorry. I can’t see you again. Happy Valentine’s Day. Love always, Paul.

Blood thundered in Haley’s ears.

Stood up! Not just stood up. Broken up! And on Valentine’s Day!

That lousy son of a bitch. He didn’t have the guts to sit down with her and break up to her face.

“Excuse me,” murmured a deep voice to her right.

Haley turned to face the speaker, followed the exquisite lines of the charcoal Armani suit up, and up, and up, past the powerful chest, to the wide shoulders, then the angular jaw, the high cheekbones, and a pair of deep blue eyes. Walnut hair, cropped close around his ears but left longer on top begged her fingers to roam through it.

“May I help you?” She resisted — barely — the urge to fan herself and swoon at the stranger’s feet.

“I hope so. My name is Malachi Vincent.” He inclined his head. “If that pink note you just got was from your boyfriend and he’s breaking up with you, I think we have something in common.” He held up a square sheet of pink paper, his lips twisted into a wry smile.

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To read more fun and fab samples, please return to Tuesday Tales by clicking here.

Tuesday Tales Snowy Surprise Picture Prompt

I am so delighted to return to the world of sample writing with Tuesday Tales. Here is the picture prompt and my contribution of 300 words!

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10730975_10204202717246945_6505919334161514190_nGusts of wind sent snow dancing across the ground on miniature snow tornadoes. Six inches had fallen overnight — on top of the eight that had fallen the day before. Weather forecasters referred to it as “Snowpocalypse 2014.” Kari didn’t know about that. Every year some storm was dubbed “something-pocalypse.” But the extra layer only ensured that her mark wouldn’t be able to run.

As she skirted the rail fence enclosing the paddock, she slipped on the uneven ground and grabbed for one of the posts to steady herself and take her bearings. Another blast of frigid air stirred up a cloud of white powder as she stared in the direction of the red barn. When it cleared, she spotted her target.

Ian McAllister.

Kari narrowed her eyes and watched as he exited the barn and secured the door. The unsuspecting lout didn’t seem to know she was there. Her breath made little foggy puffs in the cold air as she trudged in the knee-deep snow, following the fence, grabbing it occasionally to keep from falling.

She was within twenty feet when he looked up and his slate gray eyes captured her in his gaze. “What?” He recoiled visibly, jaw slackened. “Kari Beck?”

Good. She’d surprised him.

“I have something for you,” she said between gasps, plunging toward him without slowing her steps. She ripped off her mitten with her teeth and dropped it in the snow as she reached into her pocket and closed her fingers around the hard object inside.

With a burst of energy, she launched herself at him, pressing him against the side of the barn. Casting an evil grin, she whipped her hand from her pocket and held the sprig of mistletoe overhead.

“Gotcha!” she murmured, as she pressed a hard kiss to his icy lips.

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That’s my 300! Return to Tuesday Tales by clicking on the picture below for more wonderful samples.

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Romancing the Rogue Scavenger Hunt

Who doesn’t enjoy a good scavenger hunt? And this one will be easy. Many of you may be familiar with the Regency series I’ve been writing with Kim Bowman, the Like a Lady  SLAL newallal coverseries, featuring A Lot Like a Lady and Something Like a Lady, and coming soon Nothing Like a Lady. The upcoming holidays promise to be a busy time. Lots of you probably have plans for fun and family. But sometimes you just need to unwind. And what better way to do that than to put yourself in the company of a rogue? Well, esKape ePress has gathered no less than TEN rogues for your de-stressing pleasure, including Something Like a Lady.

romancingtherogue3d-1To celebrate this limited edition boxed set, the authors participating are hosting a scavenger hunt with some really fantastic prizes. To see all giveaways and instructions, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/eskapeepress?ref=br_tf

Here’s my excerpt. There’s a quiz, so be watching the above link for my question for a chance to win an e-copy of your choice of one of the my Regency romances,  A Lot Like a Lady, my best selling Christmas Regency, The Toymaker, or my other best selling Christmas Regency, Teach Me Under the Mistletoe, AND a complete e-copy set of Vivian Roycroft’s amazing The Scoundrel of Mayfair series.

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Annabella laid her fingers against his palm, and he lightly grasped her hand. His heart leapt in his chest like a deer crashing through a bramble patch.

“Shall we go, then?” he asked, tucking her hand into the crook of his elbow.

With Annabella gliding gracefully at his side, Jon hardly felt the floor beneath his feet. Their steps matched perfectly as they descended the main staircase from the galley to the salon. Midway down, he paused, unaccountably overcome with emotion at the familiar tableau before him.

Annabella angled her head and smiled up at him. “I trust we won’t have to observe the evening’s festivities from the stairs.”

Jon pulled in a deep breath and released it slowly. By evening’s end, she might well wish they’d remained on the grand staircase. He smiled, and they continued to the bottom.

The butler appeared at Jon’s elbow.

“Good evening, Samuel,” greeted Jon with a smile. “I see her grace has not yet come down. How many for dinner this evening?”

The butler’s face took on a pinched expression. “Other than yourselves and her grace, the number is five, my lord.”

Jon nodded as a caustic sensation invaded his belly. Five…

Annabella tittered behind her fan. So she could behave like an insipid young lady after all. “To look at your face, one would think you are about to head for the gallows instead of a dinner party. Do you not like your grandmother’s guests?”

It wasn’t his like or dislike Jon was concerned over. “Annie, there’s something I should—”

“Gladys Cecily Siler Durham, the Dowager Duchess of Blackmoor,” announced Samuel from the bottom of the stairway.

Too late.

Her face devoid of expression, Gran held her head with regal grace. Dressed in rich crimson velvet edged in gold, with a gossamer veil that cascaded from a jeweled head ornament and fell over her right shoulder, she looked more like a queen than a dowager duchess, and the glide in her step belied her true age. She halted at the base of the steps and waited.

Jon’s breath backed up in his lungs. She hardly seemed to have aged in the time he’d been away. Her dark hair had been shot with streaks of gray for as long as he could recall. In contrast to Annabella’s elaborate style, Gran’s tresses were pulled into a chignon at the nape of her neck from which not a single strand dared escape. Her gaze touched on him briefly before moving on to Annabella, and then to the butler, to whom she gave a barely perceptible nod.

Samuel’s voice rang across the salon. “Announcing Queen Dorothea.”

Annabella turned her head toward the doorway then looked up at Jon, confusion pinching her forehead the tiniest bit.

Resigned, he inclined his head toward his grandmother. Though the dowager made no movement, her gown fluttered near her feet. A sleek gray-and-brown striped figure emerged from behind her, nose in the air. Her slanted green eyes seemed to survey the room as she struck an aristocratic pose and remained perfectly still except for the tip of her tail, which waved back and forth like a miniature flag.

Annabella tensed and curled her fingers, digging painfully into the tender part of Jon’s inner elbow. “That’s a cat!” she accused, her whisper sounding amazingly like a hissing feline.

“Correction, Lady Seabrook.” Jon patted her hand with his until she loosened her grip. “That… is my grandmother’s favorite cat. So smile and—”

“If you finish that statement with the word ‘curtsey,’ I shall kick you,” Annabella said through gritted teeth. She lifted her lips into a stiff, forced smile and added a little too sweetly, “My lord.”

“Lord Felix and Princess Tabitha,” intoned Samuel.

Two footmen appeared at the top of the staircase. Each cradled a fat black feline against his chest. The animals seemed content to be carried down the steps.

Annabella dug her fingers into his arm once more, and Jon winced. “Those are cats,” she whispered again.

“I had no idea what an astute judge of the obvious you can be,” murmured Jon through a smile that had become excruciating to maintain. He wasn’t certain who he wanted to choke more — his verbose wife or his unconventional grandmother.

“Sir Julius and Miss Celia,” announced Samuel.

Two more footmen appeared. The marmalade tabby on the left had bright orange eyes that darted about the room, clearly marking his means of escape. Poor sot. He hadn’t a chance of leaving before the end of the evening. The cat on the right lounged uncaring as the footman trotted down the steps. Long blue-gray fur stuck out at angles, lending the illusion of a badly-combed, misplaced wig.

“I am not socializing with a pack of cats,” said Annabella quietly, her voice dripping with derision.

“Don’t fret, my darling. They don’t wish to take their meal with you, either.” Seabrook gave her hand another pat. “They have their own table.”

The Braided Cord: Authors Helping Authors

A braided cord is stronger than a single stranded one. Authors are a funny lot. Really we are. We run the gamut on social skills from being 100% hide-in-a-cabin-in-the-woods reclusive to 100% life-of-the-party outgoing – and everything in between. But when one falls on hard times, we are always there for that person.

I first met Monique O’Connor James on Facebook in a writer’s group. She had several monique1pieces up on Smashwords and I became fascinated by her stories. We became friends, and though we wrote different genres, our love of the craft drew us together. We brainstormed stories, helped each other through rough patches when stories wouldn’t quite come together. Joked. I used to love reading her social media postings. She had an incredible sense of humor and a heart as big as the sun, and her words of wisdom were brilliant. Sometimes I used to think she was an angel in disguise.

When she found out our friend, another fellow author, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, she was right there offering support to Kristine Cheney. And that couldn’t have been easy to do since Monique lost her own mother to cancer.

But then something went terribly wrong in Monique’s own life, and her time on earth was cut short by her sudden death. Her death is a huge loss to her family and friends, the world of writing. Really, to the whole world period.

Monique O’Connor James on Amazon.

Kristine Cheney and I met through both of us publishing at Astraea Press, and I’ve also done some freelance editing for her. This is another loving, wonderful, caring person. Wife, 10257674_10151972390156741_5348641005561524424_nmom, grandmother. And very talented storyteller. I’ve never met someone with quite so much energy and personal style. The world is indeed blessed with Kristine in it.

Kristine Cheney on Amazon

Last year, this family was battling cancer in her granddaughter. This year, it has struck Kristine. And cancer – even with insurance and special programs – is devastatingly expensive. I think if Monique were here, she would be right there helping every inch of the way.

But, sadly, she’s not here. No matter how many mornings I wake up and wish her death did not happen, it did and she is no longer here with us. However, I am. So I dedicated my latest release in part to Monique: friend, sister author, wonderful soul. And as a tribute to her, the first two months’ royalties I receive on The 13 of Hearts (October and November 2014) will be sent to Kristine’s cancer fund in Monique’s name. Because I believe that is exactly how Monique would have wanted it.

……………………………………………………………..

The 13 of Hearts by Kay Springsteen

13ofHearts_453x680Peter “Rabbit” Kincaid wasn’t always superstitious but after several deployments with the US Marines, he’s picked up a few quirks. His last tour of duty didn’t go so well, and now he’s back home recovering from injuries and awaiting clearance to get back in the fight. The fight is about to come to him in a different way.

Melinda “Lin” Doyle is a two-time US Marine widow on the run from the fallout of an incident that threatens to separate her from her two children. Making their home in a motel where she works for board and half pay, with her oldest child attending school under an assumed name isn’t her idea of being Mother of the Year. Then again, neither is being at the center of a murder investigation.

Rabbit believes everything happens for a reason so when he and the young family cross paths multiple times over the course of a couple of days, he pays attention. Lin would rather the handsome Marine officer take his attention elsewhere before he ruins everything. How can they ever get along when everything they do appears to be at cross purposes?

Find it on:
Amazon/Kindle          Barnes & Noble/Nook

Thank you, and God bless you all.
~Kay

Highlighting E.A. West – Different

Anything can happeDifferent453x680n when the rules change.

Jezebel Smith is different. She can’t talk, she doesn’t look like anyone in her family, and no matter what she does it’s always the wrong thing. God accepts her for who she is, but He’s the only one who does. Then she finds an unconscious man in her favorite cave, and her life is turned upside down. New people and new rules collide with the old, leaving Jezebel unsure of which set of rules apply to her life. When the strangers in town attempt to help her out of the nightmare she’s grown up in, it promises to change her life forever.

 

Please enjoy a taste of Different:
The distant drip of water echoed off the rocky walls as Jezebel Smith wandered through her cave. Pungent fumes from her kerosene lantern stung her nose, and she wished for a flashlight. But her family would miss a flashlight. They never noticed when she took the old lantern from the barn.

Turning her face away from the lantern, she caught a whiff of the familiar scent of the rocks around her. She loved the fresh, earthy smell of her cave. Through countless hours of careful practice, her hiking boots barely produced a whisper on the bumpy path leading to her special cavern. If she swung the lantern on its creaky handle, however, she could fill the cave with a creepy echo that reminded her of Halloween.

She passed through an opening in the wall and entered a large cavern with several ledges in one end. As she approached the lowest ledge, the glow from her lantern touched an unfamiliar lump on the floor below the rocky shelf and she froze. She knew every inch of this cavern — every rock, ledge, and bump in the floor. No one ever came here. Nothing ever changed unless she changed it. The cave was the only thing she could count on to always stay the same.

This time, however, there was something new. The cave had broken its own rules, adding a boulder where one didn’t belong. She crept toward it, fighting tears of hurt that the cave would trick her like everyone else, and the golden light of her lantern revealed it wasn’t a boulder after all — it was the still form of a man. Her pulse pounded in her ears, so loud it threatened to drown out her own thoughts. Where had he come from? Why wasn’t he moving? Her heart skipped a beat. Was he dead?

Want to read more? Find your copy of Different today!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Different-E-West-ebook/dp/B00M0E4ZU0

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1119984134?ean=2940149685615

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/460703

About Author E.A. West:
E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and EAWest_300hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Where to Find Me:

Website: http://eawest.mcphitty.com

Blog: http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/EA-West/34280264617

Twitter: http://twitter.com/eawest

Google+: http://plus.google.com/107709864908331978411/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/authoreawest

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/eawest