“He is not my Mr Bingley”… well apparently he may be 😉
Hello to all! I am very glad to introduce you Linda Beutler’s latest book My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley. For the first time I am not doing a review for a blog tour and I am very excited as I am going to share with you a great excerpt and a lovely and fun interview with one of the most beloved characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, although taken from Linda’s book… none other than Colonel Fitzwilliam.
In the past few weeks my life has done a considerable change (more about it at some point) and I have barely had time to read at all. So instead of worry or fret about it, I decided not to rush and read this book in order to give you a few of my questions to pick your curiosity. I have read the first stops of this tour and I am sure I will really enjoy this book and I highly recommend it. When I read it, be sure that I will review it!! (you are warned!!)
Have a look at the cover and back cover with a nice blurb, but please, keep reading below the excerpt that changes a lot after Colonel Fitzwilliam tells Elizabeth that Darcy is a “great friend” after rescuing Bingley.
Here you have Linda introducing the excerpt, enjoy!!
Hi, Ana! Good morning and thank you, and your readers, for hosting a stop on the My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley blog tour! It is a pleasure to explore facets of the story a bit more in-depth. If you don’t mind, I thought I would interview everyone’s favorite colonel, Alexander Fitzwilliam (I swim against the time calling him anything but Richard, but my BFF nearly swooned in appreciation when I first suggested the name, and that’s endorsement enough for me!).
We’ll start with a snippet from the scene that takes place after he has walked with Elizabeth Bennet and inadvertently revealed Darcy’s hand in separating Bingley and Jane, which Elizabeth already suspected, as in canon. But unlike the original, in this story Elizabeth confronts the colonel on what he’s said.
From Chapter 12, entitled Colonel Fitzwilliam’s Advice
“Darcy…” The colonel rapped on his cousin’s dressing room door and entered before admission was granted. The sight before him would have been amusing under other circumstances. Darcy and his man were regarding two waistcoats hung side by side on two coat racks. The gravity of their study was unbroken by the entrance of Darcy’s cousin, except for the bow of the valet.
“Ah…Alex, which do you think Elizabeth Bennet might prefer? Has she expressed a favourite colour to you?”
The colonel was sorry for the necessity of crushing Darcy’s hopes. “I believe you could wear a Russian bear jacket and a moss merkin, and Miss Elizabeth would take no notice.”
Darcy turned in surprise. His valet quickly withdrew.
“Whatever do you mean?”
“I mean she does not like you.” The colonel decided a mortal blow was required. “No, I am not putting a sufficiently fine point on it. She loathes you and believes you do not care for her.”
Darcy barked a surprised laugh. “However would you know?”
“I have just been walking with her and thought it vital you know the truth before they arrive here or before you say something foolish.”
“You think I would offer for her?”
Darcy paused. “You have the right of it. I should not, but I might.” He smiled.
“Darcy…”—the colonel sighed—“did you not hear? She detests you. You have insulted her without apparent regret or apology.”
Darcy shrugged with a chuckle. “No, no… she and I have laughed about that.”
“Did you laugh, or did she?”
Darcy faltered and frowned slightly. “Splitting hairs.” He did remember her tone might have been called mocking whenever she mentioned being tempting or tolerable. But she had done it more than once, and she came near enough to mentioning his remarks at the assembly in front of Alex.
“And what of her sister? You might have mentioned that the plight from which you rescued Bingley had a name: Miss Jane Bennet.”
Darcy huffed. “For which I have apologised to the lady. I cannot think why she has not told Elizabeth or why her aunt in London has not written of it, but I can hardly boast of it myself!”
“Ha! Well, you bloody well might have told me! I could have boasted on your behalf, rare enough though that opportunity proves to be.” The colonel ran a hand through his hair. “Here I thought I was doing you a service by singing your praises for loyalty. It would help your standing enormously to admit you have tried to make amends. Was the apology not accepted?”
“The Gardiners dined at Darcy House, and Mrs. Gardiner related that Jane had written of her appreciation of my candour and would do all in her power to restore Bingley’s friendship.”
“Gardiner? Her family in town?” The colonel stared. This is a coincidence too great. Could they be my Gardiners? Surely not…Gardiner is a common enough name. The colonel turned away, pacing in the small room. After a moment, he began again. “She believes you disapprove of her family and finds your feelings offensive. She has caught you staring at her—you do, you know—and she assumes it is with the same sentiment that found her displeasing when you met. She believes you stare because you marvel at her faults.”
“By all the gods…” Darcy muttered, at last absorbing what his cousin was attempting to convey. He looked at him with a share of diffidence. “I…I want nothing more than to…” He did not speak aloud what he wished to do when Elizabeth Bennet was Mrs. Darcy. He said instead, “She makes me happy.”
“And I am telling you, you do not make her happy.”
What do you think? I have so many different feelings: “ohhh poor Darcy!”; “-you might? -who do you think you are?”; “she makes you happy *swoon*”; “jealous again of your cousin?, c’mon”, etc… Yes, my mind was a bit crazy but I really enjoyed this excerpt.
Let me introduce you to the author: Linda Beutler.
Linda Beutler’s professional life is spent in a garden, an organic garden housing America’s foremost public collection of clematis vines and a host of fabulous companion plants. Her home life reveals a more personal garden, still full of clematis, but also antique roses and vintage perennials planted around and over a 1907 cottage. But one can never have enough of gardening, so in 2011 she began cultivating a weedy patch of Jane Austen Fan Fiction ideas. The first of these to ripen was The Red Chrysanthemum (Meryton Press, 2013), which won a silver IPPY for romance writing in 2014. You might put this down as beginner’s luck—Linda certainly does. The next harvest brought Longbourn to London (Meryton Press, 2014), known widely as “the [too] sexy one”. In 2015 Meryton Press published the bestseller A Will of Iron, a macabre rom-com based on the surprising journals of Anne de Bourgh.
Now, after a year-long break in JAFF writing to produce Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis (Timber Press, 2016)—the third in a bouquet of books on gardening—we have My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley bursting into bloom.
Follow her on:
After knowing a bit more about her, I will leave you with her interview with her Colonel Fitzwilliam from My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley.
I went for a walk with Colonel Alexander Lancelot Fitzwilliam at dusk, along the Willamette River. He was most favorably impressed with motorcars, and I had to pull him away from a large parking lot for a dog exercise area. Men!
LB: So tell me, Colonel, it must have been quite a shock for Elizabeth Bennet to jump down your throat and dance on your liver when you mentioned Darcy’s role in Bingley’s affairs!
CALF: Interestingly put, madam.
LB: Please! No need to be so formal, do call me Dear Author…
CALF (coughs into his hand): Ahem…yes. Well. To your home question, yes, I was taken aback to be outflanked by the typical Darcy reticence. He might have told me for once. But I confess the scene is rarely written with my being confronted. It was indeed a surprise.
LB: There is a great deal of conjecture in the JAFF world about your intentions toward Elizabeth Bennet.
CALF: Is there. (Quite clearly spoken as a statement, not a question.)
LB: This is your chance to confess, or set the record straight.
CALF: I leave it for your imagination. I could not possibly comment.
LB (a trifle huffy at the House of Cards reference): Yes, Andrew Davies wrote that line, too. I don’t recall writing you as such a prig!
CALF (looks crestfallen): My apologies. You see, it is simply that I feel I have no serious influence over Darcy. He can be so stubbornly blind.
LB: Perhaps he’s grown too used to being chased; he always assumes he’s wanted, and doesn’t see outside the bubble he has created for himself.
CALF (warming to the topic): Bubbles burst. Why do I protect him?
LB (laughing): Hey! Let me ask the questions!
CALF: You wrote the story, woman! It is a legitimate question.
LB (I take his arm, patting it, or perhaps petting it…) There, there. I could give you any number of motivations: he’s like the little brother you never had, you feel sorry for his family losses, you think Elizabeth suitable for him and don’t want to see him hurt.
CALF: Just say it. I’m a lousy wing adjutant.
LB (I stare): Nonsense. Well, maybe. But what about you—does Darcy ever act as “wing adjutant” for you?
CALF: I do not have the pleasure of understanding you. Do you mean does he run interference between me and romantic disaster? I give him no cause.
LB (shrugging): True enough; you are usually not given much of a love life, poor dear.
CALF (crossing himself): Blessings on Miss Austen for not including me in her epilogue. You modern authors so often foist me off on my cousin Anne, or worse, Georgiana! (He shivers.)
LB (patting his arm reassuringly): No worries with me, sir. In My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley there is a surprise in store for you, and I do not mean a relative!
We stop and he stares at me for a long moment. A faint smile begins with his eyes, the crow’s feet deepening.
CALF: You don’t mean…
LB (smiling): I shall leave you to your imagination, Colonel. I could not possibly comment!
And so we wander along the paths to Oaks Park and Oaks Bottom, him guessing and me never saying! He’ll find out his happy ending when your readers do! Thank you, Ana Darcy, for suggesting I spend some time with a man who definitely grows more handsome upon acquaintance!
Linda, yes, he is handsome and charming but my soft spot is still for Darcy 😉 I cannot wait to read about his happy ending and I can promise my readers that I will tease them unmercifully once I am reviewing the book. Thank you very much, Linda, for sharing so much with us. It has been a pleasure to discover and present a book to my readers before reading the book, it is a new way for me to learn about a book: following the stops on the blog and reading about it from someone else’s eyes is certainly very enjoyable.
TIME TO GIVE AWAY
Linda is giving away 8 ebooks during the blog tour. To participate you need to go to the link below. Check the terms and conditions below the link as well. Good luck!
Terms and Conditions: Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. (1 comment/blog post) Entrants should provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). You may enter once by following the author on twitter and once by following the author on Facebook.
Remember, tweet daily and comment once per post with a giveaway to earn extra entries.
Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter.
**NOTE: Ebook copies are available for 8 winners and the giveaway is international! 8 eBooks will be given away to 8 different winners.**
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
Check the previous stops and keep following the tour.
5 April My Jane Austen Book Club; Vignette, Giveaway
6 April So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
7 April Half Agony, Half Hope; Vignette
8 April Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review, Giveaway
9 April My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway
10 April Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway
11 April Tomorrow is Another Day; Review, Giveaway
13 April Just Jane 1813; Review, Giveaway
14 April A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life; Guest Post
15 April Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway
17 April From Pemberley to Milton; Review, Giveaway
18 April Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway
19 April Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway
20 April Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway