Archive for the ‘Mr. Darcy’s Secret Blog Tour’ Category

As my blog tour for Mr. Darcy’s Secret comes to a close, I’d just like to thank everyone who has been so kind in welcoming me onto their blogs, and for the many wonderful reviews I’ve received. 
Last on the tour, but by no means least, is a review from the lovely Laurel Ann at Austenprose Look out too for a guest post on the blog here with a fantastic giveaway. Here’s the review.
Everyone has a secret or two in their past that they would rather forget. In Regency times, where a breach in propriety could ruin a reputation with a withering look, people had many secrets to hide. Are we surprised to learn that the residents of Pemberley, the palatial estate of the Darcy family in Jane Austen’sPride and Prejudice, have a few of their own tucked away in the library or residing at a local cottage? Author Jane Odiwe wants us to explore that possibility in her new novel Mr. Darcy’s Secret. Will the happily ever after really happen for the newly married Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, or will a family secret ruin the fairy tale?
At the conclusion of the original novel Austen left riffs running and a few positive connections for the couple. As Elizabeth arrives in Derbyshire and settles into to her new duties as mistress of the great estate of Pemberley, she attempts to reconcile her husband with his aunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh and build up fragile Georgiana Darcy after the emotional upheaval of the failed elopement with Mr. Wickham. Elizabeth resists the innuendo of local gossip Mrs. Eaton to a Darcy connection of a secret affair and illegitimate children until she discovers a cache of love letters hidden in the library. Her doubts about the man she married deepens further when Darcy insists that Georgiana marry quickly, and for title and fortune, and not for love.
Elizabeth stared at Mr. Darcy in disbelief. Not for the first time in the last few days did she stare at the man she had married to consider how little she really knew him. She had been so sure of his character in Hertfordshire and now, for the moment, she could not reconcile any of her former beliefs. Looking at him, his countenance flushed from his passionate speech, his face solemn and sober, she realized it was useless to debate the matter. Without further ado, she excused herself…page 114
No, life at Pemberley is not all sunshine and syllabub. Georgiana is torn between her family duty to marry the man of her brother’s choice or the man she truly loves, Thomas Butler, a young and aspiring landscape gardener designing a new garden on the estate. They have everything in common that true lovers should possess, which Elizabeth recognizes, and her husband does not. How could he be so calculating with his sisters happiness and not with his own? These inconsistencies in his character, the love letters and the familiar resemblance of a young boy in the village threaten Elizabeth’s trust in her new husband and Georgiana’s happiness.
With two plots churning, Jane Odiwe has crafted an intriguing and unique continuation of Austen’s classic that will charm and delight Janeites and historical romance readers. As we travel from Hertfordshire to Derbyshire to the Lake District of Cumberland, we enjoy the awe inspiring picturesque scenery and equally jaw dropping characterizations. Be prepared to see romantic icon Mr. Darcy knocked off his pedestal and conceitedly independent Elizabeth Bennet passively submit to her doubts. Is that a bad thing? Only, if you are determined that these characters should not change, grow and evolve beyond the last page of Pride and Prejudice.

I laughed at the creativity of giving Caroline Bingley a crush on a bohemian artist who she so wishes to impress that she embraces the peasant lifestyle and rents a rustic cottage near him while he is on holiday in the Lake District. He happens to be a wealthy and titled bohemian artist so we know she has not strayed too far from her aspirations of social grandeur. Georgiana plays out to be a bit of the rebel that we always knew she was by falling in love with one man while engaged to another, and thoughtless Lydia Wickham makes a cameo appearance to discover a secret that could ruin a Darcy’s happiness. Oh yes. Mr. Darcy is not the only one harboring secrets in this tale. Hiding or disclosing them is the mettle of true character. Who fesses up? Only one with the true Darcy spirit will tell.

 Last week also concluded with a gorgeous interview with Jessica Hastings at Suite 101, a guest appearance on  Sia McKye’s thoughts over coffee, and A Moment with Mystee Interview
Thank you lovely ladies; I thoroughly enjoyed myself!


Read Full Post »

Hi everyone! I’ve been very busy with my book tour this last week or so. Everyone has been so welcoming on their blogs, and I’ve really enjoyed all the questions and the chance to tell the world about Mr. Darcy’s Secret.
This week, I started off with a lovely interview with the Book Reading Gals. Here’s a snippet.

TBRG: Before we get to the burning questions that everyone wants to know, can you tell us a little bit about your book?
JO: I am very excited to be here – I think this is my favourite book yet, thank you so much for giving me the chance to talk about Mr. Darcy’s Secret.
At the end of Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennet is set on course for true happiness with Mr. Darcy, the most eligible man in England. The new Mrs. Darcy is ecstatically happy as mistress of a grand house and wife to the dashing, yet proud Darcy who is proving to be everything she has dreamed of in a loving husband. His former arrogance is rapidly diminishing under her sunny influence; he is even becoming indulgent and sensitive towards her visiting family. But, the discovery of a secret correspondence and rumours involving Mr Darcy’s past threaten the very downfall of Pemberley plunging new bride Elizabeth headlong into a chain of dramatic events to challenge everything she believes in, ultimately testing the Darcy’s love and their future life together.
Mr. Darcy’s Secret is a story about love and misunderstandings; of overcoming doubt and trusting to the real feelings of the heart as our sparkling and witty heroine Elizabeth, and the powerful, compelling figure of Mr Darcy take centre stage in this romantic tale set in Regency Derbyshire and the Lakes alongside the beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice.
TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
JO: Jane Austen has been the biggest influence on my writing, as well as some later authors like Frances Hodgson Burnett, Edith Wharton and Elizabeth Gaskell.
TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?
JO: I went to Amy Winehouse’s backstage party in Brixton, London, on her last major tour.
TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?
JO: New York – how is it possible that I have never been? I don’t know, but I am determined to get there some time soon!!!

 You can read the rest of the interview here with The Book Reading Gals.

I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to read my book and then writes about it. Here’s a particularly gorgeous review from Staci at  Life in the Thumb Blogspot
Mr. Darcy has a secret and Elizabeth is torn about wanting to know the truth and pretending that nothing is amiss. This story line captured me from the very first page and kept me turning the pages excited to find out what Darcy was hiding from Lizzy. I felt as if the author had the spirit of Jane Austen residing within her because the language, tempo, flavor, and the actions of the characters so closely resembled Austen’s. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of Georgiana’s own love story and how it made Darcy really stop and wonder if his pride was something of the past or not. This book felt very cohesive and put me right into the spirit of Pemberley and what “may” have happened after Darcy and Elizabeth married. This book will make any Austen fan happy and I feel that it takes the variations of P&P to a new level. 

I have another competition to win a signed copy of Mr. Darcy’s Secret. I loved all the answers for the last one where we decided on Elizabeth’s Secretthank you for entering into the spirit so well!
This time I want to know about your favourite Austen hero. Who is he, and why do you like him? Please leave a comment below with your contact email, or if you are shy you can contact me here
Competition closes March 6th. Winner announced on the 7th. Good Luck!

Read Full Post »

Happy Valentine’s Day! Over at Austen Authors we’ve been celebrating the whole weekend with lots of fun stuff – on Saturday I compiled excerpts from everyone’s books – lovely romantic passages, of course – do have a look. 

I am thrilled to bits with this review from Suite 101 I don’t think if I’d written it myself I could have done it better-thank you so much, Jessica Hastings!

I’ve been over at Love, Romance, Passion talking about writing styles. Here’s the interview I had with Keira.

And here’s a guest blog from Read All Over Reviews – suitably romantic for today!

Thank you, Teresa, for inviting me to your blog to talk about my book, Mr. Darcy’s Secret, and as we are so close to Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be lovely to tell you about how some of my research was connected with the sending of flowers and love letters.
In Georgian times it was customary to send love letters and tokens, cards cut and pricked with a design to look like lace or flowers for Valentine’s Day. This was the age of the Romantic poet, and so poems were popular, they might be in the form of a riddle, such as the letter that Emma receives when Mr. Elton wishes to court her or an acrostic where the first letter of every line gives the lover’s name. Again, in Emma, Jane Austen has Frank Churchill send Jane Fairfax a very expensive valentine in the form of a pianoforte. Of course, she leaves us guessing from whom this gift has come, and I suppose that’s what makes valentines then and now, so much fun. Part of their charm is that we do not know always know the identity of the sender.
When I was writing Mr. Darcy’s Secret, I wished for Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s sister, to receive such a gift. There are two gentlemen pursuing her, and though I wanted to give the scene an air of mystery, I also wanted her to guess which particular gentleman had sent the tussie mussie, (a country word for a bouquet). Flowers were often sent as love tokens in this time period and every flower had a special meaning, so that if you were a shy suitor you would let your lady know how you felt by sending a particular flower. I chose violets, partly because they are associated with faithfulness and modesty, but also because they are February’s flower. Georgiana’s suitor wants her to know that he is steadfast and will never forget her, and is also illustrating what he feels she represents as a lovely, modest young woman. Here’s a sneak peek from the scene. Georgiana’s maid has entered her room on a spring-like February day.
“Oh, Miss Darcy, look what we have here,” Mary said, as she returned to the bedside fussing about her charge, pummelling pillows and straightening the bedclothes. Georgiana sat up rubbing her eyes but smiling at the sight of Mary who looked most excited. “There’s no note with them, Miss,” she began, “but I expect these beauties are from Mr Calladine.”
A bunch of blue violets, their delicate heads nodding against the glossy green leaves that bound them were wrapped in waxed paper and tied with a purple ribbon. “That’s so romantic, Miss,” Mary continued. “My dear old mum says there’s hardly such a romantic flower for lovers. Faithfulness, I’ll always be true is what a violet says, and a bunch as big as this—he must have been up for hours picking them. Ooh, Miss Darcy, smell them! Just a moment, I’ll fetch a vase of water.”
Georgiana held the posy to her nose and breathed in the sweetest perfume redolent of the scents of woodland in early spring. Hugh Calladine could not be responsible for such a delightful gift, she thought. The only flowers she had received from him were a bunch of hothouse blooms forced from one of his greenhouses on the day after the announcement of their engagement. The only person who really understood flowers and would be aware of their symbolism and meaning was the only man who truly empathised with Georgiana, she knew, and, as she buried her nose deep into the tussie mussie, her happiness at the idea knew no bounds. To think of Tom wandering through the woods collecting the tiny flowers, to know that she must have been in his thoughts at such an early hour was to render her almost delirious with elation. But whilst the sense of euphoria was almost intoxicating, the antithesis of feelings in desolation and despondency soon took hold. Knowing that their love, however sweet, was forbidden and could never be gave rise to feelings of despair.
Have a fantastic Valentine’s Day with those you love!

Just a reminder that the competitions for a signed copy of Mr. Darcy’s Secret close today. Winners announced tomorrow!

Read Full Post »