“Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix” by Lari Ann O’Dell, excerpt + giveaway

Dear all,

Apologies for not having published this post on the day of the tour, but I simply lost track of time!

However, that does not make this book less interesting! Maybe even more because you are up for a treat! We have a short but juicy excerp!

A phoenix brings them together. Will a curse keep them apart?

When the hauntingly beautiful song of a phoenix lures Elizabeth Bennet to the Netherfield gardens, she has a vision of an unknown gentleman. He whispers her name with such tenderness that she wonders if this man is her match. Unfortunately, her gift of prophecy has never been exactly reliable.

Mr. Darcy is a celebrated fire mage, the master of Pemberley, and the man from her vision. But he is not tender; he is haughty, proud, and high-handed. His insult of her during the Summer Solstice celebration makes her determined to dislike him in spite of her love for Dante, his phoenix familiar.

After Mr. Darcy is called away by his duties, Elizabeth’s magic runs wild, and it is only their reunion at Rosings that offers her any hope of controlling it. They are drawn together by their love of magical creatures and their affinity for fire. But Elizabeth soon has another vision about Mr. Darcy, one that may portend a grave danger to his life.

Can Darcy and Elizabeth overcome misunderstandings, curses, and even fate itself?

He is in danger? Why? Who? I am not sure I like that part 😉

Lari Ann O’Dell first discovered her love of Pride & Prejudice when she was eighteen. After reading a Pride & Prejudice variation she found in a closing sale at a bookstore, she said, “This is what I want to do.” She published her first novel, Mr. Darcy’s Kiss, two years later.

Born and raised in Colorado, she attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Creative Writing. After graduating college, she wrote and published her second novel, Mr. Darcy’s Ship. Her third novel, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, is her first supernatural variation, and she is working on two more fantasy variations. She is now back at school and pursuing a degree in Nursing. She adores her three beautiful nephews, Hudson, Dean, and Calvin. She enjoys reading, singing, and writes whenever she can. 

Why not following her and check what she is up to?

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I’m very happy to be back at My Vices and Weaknesses to talk about my new fantasy Pride & Prejudice variation, Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix.

While I was writing this book, I decided to try something new. I am one of the moderators for the Fantasy Reads for Austen Fans Facebook group, and as a group, we decided to do a big reader giveaway. I gave away a cameo appearance to a reader. I had already had a minor character planned out in need of a name, so I was all set.

The character was a maid at Hunsford, who had previously worked at Rosings. She was part of a storyline that was ultimately cut from the final draft. The maid, Denisse, knew a terrible secret about Lady Catherine, and was sent away from the house because of her knowledge. Years later, she returned to Kent and sought a position at Hunsford with the goal of exposing Lady Catherine.

Lady Catherine’s secret was supposed to be that she traded her daughter to the fay folk in exchange for a weak changeling. In the early drafts, the real Anne de Bourgh returned and wanted to kill her mother. She was going to work with Denisse the maid to do so. During this mission, she interferes with Darcy and Elizabeth as they are staying at Rosings and Hunsford. And it all came to a head in the climax. But this storyline was ultimately cut.

In the published version, Lady Catherine still has a secret, and her role in the climax stayed the same for the most part. However, with cutting the Anne de Bourgh as a changeling child storyline, I didn’t need Denisse.

Luckily, there was another character; a wood nymph who had a few scenes with Darcy and Elizabeth in Hertfordshire. I changed her name from Ivy to Whitley for my cameo, and altered her scenes slightly. She was a really fun minor character to write and I liked giving a cameo to one of my readers. It is certainly something I will consider doing in future books.

            Now I would like to share one of Whitley’s scenes. It takes place while Elizabeth is tending to Jane at Netherfield. Whitley and Elizabeth have some differing opinions of the gentlemen staying at Netherfield, and as always, the fay folk cannot lie. The gentlemen in question also make an appearance. I hope you all enjoy reading the scene.

The following afternoon, Jane urged Elizabeth to quit the sickroom and enjoy the fine summer day. Elizabeth was happy to allow her sister some time for solitude, and had been itching to stretch her legs.

            Miss Bingley had come to deliver another dose of the healing draught she had brewed. She spent an hour in conversation with Jane, only including Elizabeth when it was unavoidable. Elizabeth could not but find Miss Bingley’s behavior amusing, though what Elizabeth had done to earn that lady’s dislike, she could only guess. But even Miss Bingley’s supercilious attitude could not dampen her eagerness to enjoy an hour or two in Netherfield’s beautiful gardens.

            As she sat and watched the wood nymphs toil in the garden, she spoke to one of them, a delicate creature with pale green skin and golden hair, fluttering inches above the ground with iridescent wings. “Might I have a moment of your time?” Elizabeth asked, bowing her head respectfully. While mortals and fay were experiencing a time of peace, Elizabeth had been born in a year fraught with tension, and thus had been raised to treat the fay folk with due reverence and respect.

            “Aye, miss,” the wood nymph said in a high, tinkling voice, staring at here with wide amber eyes.

“Thank you. What is your name?”

“I am called Whitley. What can I do for you?” Nymphs tended to speak in cultured tones.

            “How do you like the new master of Netherfield, Whitley?”

            “I have lived at Netherfield my whole life, miss, and never have I met with a more pleasant human male. It is good to have a nature mage in residence again.”

            “And he treats the fay of Netherfield well?”

            “Indeed,” Whitley said, but then her eyes narrowed. “I cannot say the same for the ladies who accompanied him. They do not approve of us, though it is they who are the newcomers. We did not invade their home. We have seen many masters come and go.”

            “I am sorry to hear that,” Elizabeth said, but it was not wholly unexpected. “What of the other gentlemen?”

            Whitley tipped her regal head to the side. “The fat one pays us no mind. But the injured one is good company. He plays in the fountains with the young ones, using his power over water to entertain them. And the tall one—well, he is reserved, it is true. But he is master of the phoenix. His magic is old and revered. A phoenix would never bind itself to a man who does not have a deep respect for the fay.”

            It did not fit into the first impression she had taken of the high-handed Mr. Darcy. But the fay folk did not lie. It was not in their nature.

            “You do not believe me, miss,” Whitley observed. “You have resentment in your heart. You would do well to let that go.”

            Elizabeth gaped at the nymph, but Whitley only giggled. “He is very handsome, miss. More so than Mr. Bingley. And your magic echoes his.”

            Elizabeth did not understand how the nymph could possibly know that, but arguing with her was pointless. Not wanting to offend Whitley, she said in soft tones, “I appreciate your insight, but I have taken too much of your time.”

          Whitley smiled, her teeth brilliantly white. “It was no trouble, miss. But look, the tall one and his kin approach.”

            And indeed, the sound of hoofbeats pervaded the silent tranquility of the garden.

            “Miss Elizabeth!” cried Colonel Fitzwilliam as he dismounted. “How wonderful to see you. How does your sister fare this afternoon?”

            “She is recovering admirably. It is my hope that we shall not trespass upon Mr. Bingley’s hospitality for more than another day.”

            Colonel Fitzwilliam grinned. “Though I am not the master of Netherfield, I do not believe anyone could accuse you or Miss Bennet of trespassing. Bingley is thrilled to have you both as his guests.”

            “You are too kind,” Elizabeth said. “But I am sure my company is not tempting enough for everyone.” She glanced sharply over Colonel Fitzwilliam’s shoulder.

            Mr. Darcy caught her eyes, the briefest expression of guilt darkening his features. It was gone as quickly as it had appeared however, and he resumed his stoic mien. “Miss Elizabeth, I hope we find you well.”

            “Quite tolerable, sir,” Elizabeth said pertly.

            Colonel Fitzwilliam appeared embarrassed on his cousin’s behalf, obviously recalling Mr. Darcy’s words.

            “We shall not intrude upon your peace,” Mr. Darcy said.

            “No, no. You may stay in the garden. I should return to my sister, in any case. I shall see you both at dinner. Good day.” Elizabeth hurried off, the tips of her fingers tingling with energy. What was it about being in Mr. Darcy’s presence that aggravated her so? Whitley had called it resentment, but Elizabeth had never considered herself to be of a resentful temperament. She would have to calm herself before dinner. It would not do to lose control in company, and just now, she longed to cast a spell, though what kind and for what purpose, she knew not.

Thank you very much for the explanation about Whitley and I can see how funny she must be to write. I really like how clearly she gives her opinion!

What about buying the book? I want to read how Darcy insuled her, even if I can see it is the same or almost the same as the original. However, having Colonel Fitzwilliam there is a plus for me.

 Amazon US     Amazon CA Amazon ES

 Amazon UK Amazon DE Amazon IT

More of Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix on the other stops of the blog tour. Enjoy them all!

August 18 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

August 19 Austenesque Reviews

August 22 Babblings of a Bookworm

August 23 My Jane Austen Book Club

August 25 From Pemberley to Milton

August 26 My Vices and Weaknesses

August 30 Savvy Verse and Wit

Lari O’Dell is giving away 4 eBook copies of Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix. The giveaway is worldwide and will end at midnight central time, September 1st.

Click on the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix


8 thoughts on ““Mr. Darcy’s Phoenix” by Lari Ann O’Dell, excerpt + giveaway”

  1. Wow, this wood nymph is very perceptive.Enjoyed the excerpt esp Elizabeth’s statments to the Colonel. Thank you for sharing and for the chance to win a copy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elizabeth knows that fay folk can’t lie so why doesn’t she believe Whitley’s opinion of Darcy? Definitely resentful! But why didn’t Darcy apologise for his insult when he knew she heard it? I’m certainly intrigued by this and intend to read it asap.
    Good luck to anyone who attempts the Rafflecopter giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much Ana for hosting me on your blog! And no worries about the late posting. I lost track of time the past few days too!

    Liked by 1 person

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