Saturday, February 21, 2015

One Sexy Night ~ Excerpt from PULSE AND PREJUDICE: The confession of Mr Darcy, Vampire

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday!
The theme this week: One Sexy Night
"Have you ever heard of a moment in time, day or night, that changes everything? That one sexy night can right all life’s wrongs, make the old new again and help our characters find the love of their lives. For this week’s theme, we are making that special moment happen during the night time. One sexy night that will have our characters wanting a lifetime of special moments with that extraordinary someone. It is during that time when sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, we realize the life we knew before that moment no longer exists. We can no longer look at things the same way as before."
I know lately I have been posting a lot of excerpt from my modern tale of Pride & Prejudice - The Proud and the Prejudiced - but the theme this week begged for a creature of the night! (Why Mr. Darcy is the Perfect Vampire.)

Hence, today I am sharing one of my favourite scenes from Pulse and Prejudice, the paranormal adaptation of the Austen classic which tells Mr. Darcy's story as a vampire. (Next week's theme is "My Sexy Addiction," so I'll have to come back with another excerpt from Pulse and Prejudice since Mr. Darcy struggles with his attraction to Miss Elizabeth Bennet as being love or blood lust!)

As this is an adaptation, my novel follows the plot of Jane Austen's classic romance but primarily from Darcy's point of view as if Miss Austen had always conceived his character as a vampire.

I do, however, have to add a few scenes from Elizabeth's point of view because for some reason Miss Austen never had Elizabeth learn his dark secret, and this is one of those scenes!

In this excerpt, Elizabeth has become lost in the hedge maze on the grounds of Pemberley, and she begins to wonder if it was such a good idea to visit the home of a vampire...

Cursing her own temerity, Elizabeth walked faster, to meet or to evade her destiny all the sooner, each corner taking her either to her escape or deeper into the cage. Heady and anxious, the hedges seemed to grow over her, consuming her. The moon momentarily obscured by clouds, darkness descended upon her. Her pulse throbbed wildly in her neck. She walked into a hedge then turned around violently and fell against Mr. Darcy with a sudden, sharp intake of breath, her clenched fists against his chest. He rested his hands on her shoulders, and the clouds drifted away, allowing the moon to illuminate him before her. She stared into his face, his eyes as black as midnight on a moonless night, and held her breath.
“Elizabeth,” she heard him say, but he could not have because his lips did not move. He leaned in towards her face, his mouth hovering over her own, and she thought he intended to kiss her. They stood thusly through several rapid beats of her heart.
Pulling her ever so closer, he lowered his head, his lips grazing the soft skin by her ear as he whispered, “Are you afraid of me now?”
Releasing a serrated breath, she said, “Should I be?”
Mr. Darcy took a step back, sliding his hands down her arms until he

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Is Mr. Darcy the Ultimate Book Boyfriend?

Happy St. Valentine's Day, dear readers!
Before I address the title of this post, there is a question that continues to pop up: What explains the lasting longevity and popularity of Pride and Prejudice, over 200 years after its release?

Is it the Cinderella-like idea of a (relatively) impoverished girl being rescued by a wealthy and handsome suitor?
Is it because its plot became the boilerplate for almost every romance novel or film that followed? (Boy meets girl. Boy and girl dislike each other. Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy back. Conflict separates them. Boy and girl are reunited. Happily ever after.)
Or is it the endearing and unforgettable performance by Colin Firth in the 1995 BBC miniseries?

So tell me: Do you think Mr. Darcy is the ultimate book boyfriend? 

My answer? An unequivocal NO. (Now despise me if you dare.) Not a popular answer, I know; but that's just me!

For one thing, he is barely even in the novel; and when he is, he has little to recommend him. Would you want a boyfriend that looks on you "only to criticize"? From their first meeting, Darcy insults Elizabeth by calling her merely "tolerable" and "scarcely allowed her to be pretty." He even gossips with "his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her face." Who can forget his words, which that shrew Miss Bingley threw back in his face: "She a beauty! --I should as soon call her mother a wit." (I'm surprised Caroline didn't wait until Elizabeth was within hearing range before repeating that vicious insult.)

I know I would not want a boyfriend who found me so unattractive when we first met. Sure, eventually she improves in his eyes, which he finds "mortifying"!

Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form (How could he tell in those Regency dresses with the Empire waist line? Or did he think one boob was bigger than the other?), he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world (arrogant ass), he was caught by their easy playfulness.
Of course, even when he admits Elizabeth "attracted him more than he liked," with his vanity, he assumes she must want him, too, and worries that his behavior "could elevate her with the hope of influencing his felicity."
Steady to his purpose, he scarcely spoke ten words to her through the whole of Saturday, and though they were at one time left by themselves for half-an-hour, he adhered most conscientiously to his book, and would not even look at her.
Rude, much? When Elizabeth rightly refuses his proposal even though his wealth could save her entire family from poverty (there goes the Cinderella theory), she accurately cites his arrogance, conceit, and his selfish disdain of the feelings of others. I found him to be so cold that I thought he made the perfect vampire (and here are 13 reasons why) and wrote Pulse and Prejudice as Darcy's story but as if Jane Austen herself had always conceived his character as a vampire and just failed to mention it.  This at least gave him a reason for being so dark and brooding (plus who wouldn't want Mr. Darcy to bite her?).

I am sure you are all familiar with the infamous parsonage proposal, when Mr. Darcy declares, "In vain I have struggled" to repress his feelings for her - feelings of degradation and of her inferiority. And he is vain! He once again assumes she is expecting his addresses and is quite certain that she will accept.

Personally, I never understood why Elizabeth's opinion of him changes so easily (which, alas, feeds the fairy tale idea that a woman can change a man). She jokes to Jane that it happened after seeing Pemberley, but I think there's more truth there than readers are willing to allow. The first time they meet after she refuses him, they go for one awkward walk, and then he brings his sister to meet her, but Elizabeth and Darcy scarcely speak to one another. Yet that's enough for her to form a new impression. She hasn't been struck by cupid's arrow. She feels "gratitude; gratitude, not merely for having once loved

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Sexy Date ~ Excerpt from THE PROUD AND THE PREJUDICED for My Sexy Saturday
Welcome to My Sexy Saturday!

This week’s theme is My Sexy Date.

"Not every couple falls in love at first sight. Sure, many do know the moment they see someone but what about those who don’t. They go on dates. Sometimes lots of dates. Sometimes not enough dates. Hopefully there is at least one they can consider a sexy date. The type where fireworks goes off from the moment they are picked up."

I hope you will enjoy this little snippet from The Proud and the Prejudiced. In this modern twist on Pride and Prejudice, it took Alice and Peter a long time to get to this point, but they finally make it to going on a casual "double date" dinner with their friends Eileen and Jack - or at least it starts that way...

“I hope you aren’t still holding a grudge,” Alice said.
Peter peered into her eyes until she thought her heart had stopped beating. “No. You were right. I don’t hold any grudges...about anything.”
Alice couldn’t be sure what happened in the moments she and Peter sat staring at each other, but she imagined some sort of sign language passed between Eileen and Jack since they were simultaneously overcome by exhaustion. “I am really wiped out after the flight up here,” Jack said with a dramatic yawn. An hour flight?
“Yeah,” said Eileen, going to all these wineries has worn me out. I think I’m going to have to call it a night.”
Clearly alarmed, Peter looked back and forth from Eileen to Alice. “But you can’t go yet. We just opened this bottle of wine!” Alice sat frozen with her mouth slightly open, not comprehending the conversation around her.
“No, I’m sorry, Peter, I’m just beat,” Jack said standing up from the table, “but I don’t want to spoil the evening for everyone. You stay and enjoy the wine.”
Then Eileen pushed her chair back. “Jack, I can give you a ride. Peter, you don’t mind bringing Alice back to her cottage. Do you?” Peter had barely shaken his head before the pair disappeared into the night, leaving Alice still unsure of what had just happened.
“For being so exhausted,” she said, “they sure ran out of here.”
“Do…do you want me to take you to your room? If you’re uncomfortable...”
“Are you kidding? We have a bottle of Bordeaux to drink.” She smiled, but he did not smile back. “Unless you feel uncomfortable.”
“Alice, I can honestly say there is no place in the world I would rather be right at this moment.” She wasn’t sure if she was about to implode or melt or both. His words gripped her chest so tightly she lost her breath.

The Proud and the Prejudiced: A Modern Twist on Pride & Prejudice

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