Authors LOVE receiving fan mail!
(I thought I’d toss that out there, with a “hint, hint” attached, in case any of our readers were unaware of this truism. LOL!)
The other day I received the most delightful email, the entirety of which is pasted below. It gave me a lovely chuckle, primarily because the first thought that went through my mind upon seeing the sender’s name in my inbox was, “Where have I heard that name before? Do I know this person? Have I met her someplace?” Not until reading the whole message did the name click!
Hello Sharon! I was searching my name online and came across the fact that you have a character with the same name – which I found really amusing. Can’t see her on the family tree of characters, so am guessing she is not a big player in your books. Pity! Please advise which books she appears in, I would love to read a book whereby my name is there in print. I look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Vivienne Butler (Lady)….not really…but it seems I should put that there to match your character 🙂
Here is a secret from us authors to our readers: We often do, over time, forget some of what we wrote! Yes, even an entire character! In my defense, Lady Vivienne Butler is a relatively minor character, although not unimportant to the plot of my novel Miss Darcy Falls in Love. As I told the “real” Vivienne Butler, without Lady Vivienne, Georgiana Darcy may never have encountered her soulmate. However, to be sure my memory was correct before sending a reply, I cracked open the novel, read a few passages containing interactions with Lady Vivienne, and, well, one passage led to a whole chapter, and then to another…. End result was a deep sensation of renewed pride and satisfaction over a novel I especially loved writing. Another author secret: Sometimes we need to be reminded of the joys within writing, particularly when in the midst of a “slump” as I have been for a while now. With that in mind, today’s blog will revisit my seventh novel, published in 2011, Miss Darcy Falls in Love.
As everyone who has read my Darcy Saga novels knows, my continuation of Pride and Prejudice focuses on Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy. This is to be expected. It is also expected that the secondary players from Austen’s original would show up from time to time, and perhaps upon occasion take center stage. Another way to state it is, as much as I love Lizzy and Darcy, the plethora of fascinating extras were speaking to me as well. Just about everyone was demanding their moment in the sun, and because I am a nice person, I complied! Anne de Bourgh was given better health and a man of her own. Ditto Mary Bennet. Colonel Fitzwilliam was very stubborn about it, but eventually a lady appeared who changed his mind about matrimony. Lady Catherine kept showing up at inopportune times, rarely in a positive manner. Kitty Bennet became a bit more grounded – thanks to help from others – and met her true love. Even Lydia and Mr. Wickham popped in to wreck all sorts of havoc!
There was one character, however, who remained quiet and undemanding. I could almost have forgotten she was there except for her importance to Mr. Darcy and Lizzy. Gradually Georgiana Darcy grew up (as young people are determined to do), and to my surprise she was wiser, wittier, and stronger than her silent introduction by Miss Austen led us to believe. Georgiana was a joy to have around, often adding a gentle presence to the scenes I wrote. I knew Georgiana deserved a special future, if only I could figure out what it was!
Then, one day, this man shows up. Totally unexpected. He simply appeared in a scene I was writing, spoke very few lines, and never interacted with Georgiana. Nonetheless, as I wrote this minor, scene-filler character, I suddenly knew this was the man for Georgiana! At the time I had no choice but to complete the novel-in-progress (In the Arms of Mr. Darcy), and then the next in the series (The Trouble With Mr. Darcy), shoving this man into the corners of my mind and begging him to be patient. Of course, as all good characters do, he was steadily poking my brain, as anxious as me to discover the story of his happily-ever-after. Georgiana did her fair share of nagging too, no longer so quiet or undemanding!
The basic premise of their love story is a classic triangle, with complications, naturally! The scenario: Georgiana is young, attractive, rich, and on her grand tour through Europe, culminating with a lengthy visit in romantic, bustling Paris. Beauty and amusements surround, yet of all that Paris has to offer, the lure of music and composing melodies enraptures her mind and soul more than anything else. While there, two men enter her life, each one touching the secret desires of her heart.
The first is Sebastian Butler, an English viscount and heir to an earldom. He has a fabulous sense of humor, can play almost every instrument (although he excels on the pianoforte), and is a brilliant composer. Instantly, the two form a friendship, the bond serving as a muse in musical collaboration. As a bonus, he is close to Georgiana’s age, has tousled curly blonde hair, charm and wit, amused grey eyes, and a mischievous grin. Imagine a cross between a young Simon Baker and Rupert Penry-Jones. Nice!
The second man is a wealthy English baron, living in Paris where he serves as a master of the violin at the prestigious Conservatoire de Musica. Georgiana’s first impression speaks eloquently:
Standing before her was the most physically exquisite man she had ever beheld. He was only of medium height, but brawny and possessing a face to rival the gods as personified on canvas or in marble. Nothing she had viewed in Italy eclipsed the figure standing before her. He was flesh and blood. His perfectly chiseled attractiveness was magnified by lushly curled coal-black hair, dynamic ebony eyes, bronzed skin, and a full mouth lifted in a vibrant smile.
As handsome as his person, equally impactful was his vitality. He possessed an energy within that was rawly male and charismatic, piercing her as a lightning bolt even from several feet away. She was enervated and terrified, her core shaken by an instantaneous, visceral reaction to another human being unlike anything she had ever experienced.
WOW! Are you feeling warm? Perhaps this image of my visual muse for Baron Caxton will help–
How much can one girl take! Both of these men pursue Georgiana. Both are intriguing and stir her heart. Both are worthy gentlemen with exemplary qualifications. What a dilemma! In Miss Darcy Falls in Love, Georgiana faces the reality of feeling affection for two decent, albeit very different men. Yet, who does she truly love? And does he love her in return?
I LOVED writing Georgiana’s love story. It was my first stand-alone novel, and the first to follow a typical “girl-meets-boy with drama and conflict ensuing until overcome for a happily-ever-after finale” format. So much fun! Obviously, I was pleased with the final result, and between stellar reviews, a 4+ rating on Amazon, and the honor of being selected for World Book Night USA in 2014, I can safely say many readers agreed with me.
Here is another short excerpt, after which are links to my website page for Miss Darcy Falls in Love and to purchasing outlets. Enjoy!
“This scale here,” Georgiana said, her fingers spread elegantly and the descant played as she watched his face.
He nodded, scribbling the notes hastily. “Yes, yes. That is good, very good. Perhaps then a… here, let me try.”
He sat onto the bench, Georgiana scooting over to make room. Unerringly his hands repeated her previous chords, his longer and broader fingers every bit as delicate. The tones emitted were beautiful, lilting, and emotive, his ideas blending with her inspirations flawlessly. He closed his eyes, allowing the music to flow through him, adding fresh inspirations in the same cadence for several measures until suddenly, accidentally, slipping with a jarring dissonance.
They both winced and shuddered.
“That was truly awful,” Georgiana declared with a grimace.
Sebastian chuckled. “Indeed. I would have to agree.”
“And you were doing so well. What a pity. Look, goose pimples.” She held up her smooth arm with a grin for his inspection.
He grunted, faking a severe frown. “Teasing, unforgiving woman! Give me another chance.”
“Please do. And try to do better this time so the chills will disappear from my spine.”
He nudged her with his shoulder, Georgiana giggling and nudging him back. Their eyes met briefly before he again attacked the keys, replaying from the beginning. He subtly altered the pitch and modulation, expertly capturing the andante tempo and soft terraced dynamics of the co-written piece, the melody gentle and light.
She placed her hands upon the keys, matching his dolce playing for a while, and then adding a lyric refrain, a glissando, several staccato notes, and other improvised embellishments in harmony with his notes but in an accelerating beat.
He laughed, his own fingers following her pattern at the same increasing speed, melding perfectly. They shared a smiling look, hands continuing to move as their eyes held the other, until in synchrony they ended with a vibrant culmination.
“Ha! You turned our divertimento into a capriccio!”
She shrugged, laughter bubbling in her voice when she spoke. “It seemed fitting after your disaster.”
“Miss Darcy saves the composition. Very well then, prove your superiority over the bungling man by writing down your brilliance, I dare you.”
“Challenge accepted!” She rose amid the laughter, commencing furious writing as he grinningly replayed the finale.
“There,” Georgiana proclaimed proudly, lifting the paper and blowing to dry the ink. “All done!”
“Let me see.” He rose, standing beside her at the piano’s edge, fingertip gliding over the surface as he read the freshly inscribed score. His lips silently mouthed the notes and head nodded slightly with the tune playing in his mind.
Georgiana watched his face, captivated by the intent expression and animated gestures playing over his handsome features as he read the music. For not the first time, she became aware of a fluttering in her heart, a quickening of her breathing, and mild flush to her cheeks as she stared at his profile and felt his arm brushing against hers. Innocent she may be, but she was not a fool. That she was becoming increasingly attracted to him in a way never experienced with another was no longer a question.
It was Sebastian who invaded her slumber and brought joy to her day. Urgency to see him was her waking thought, even while a blush spread over her cheeks as the nature of her dreams was recalled. Each night she fell asleep with a smile, as memories of their hours together replayed through her mind, even as a frown creased her brow by the dilemma of her sentiments.
She felt hypnotized by his presence in a way she knew was inappropriate under their unique circumstances. He was her friend, someone she admired and respected. Her affection for him was real and growing, but so was her awareness of his purpose. The last thing he wanted, or needed, was a romantic entanglement. She knew he did not see her as anything but a friend and fellow artist, and she would never allow her fancies to interfere with his goals.
Her heart constricted. The ache of longing weakened her knees and was visible upon her face. If he had chosen that second to turn her way, all would have been revealed, and she knew it.
She swallowed, smothered the silly impulses, and harshly shoved the feelings aside. With practiced Darcy steel, she smoothed her features and started to turn her eyes away from the rapt contemplation of his face.
But he chose that moment to lift his eyes and meet her stare. For a long second that stretched for illusory hours, their gazes locked.
Noble young ladies were expected to play an instrument, but societal restrictions would have chafed for Georgiana Darcy, an accomplished musician.
Her tour of Europe draws the reader into the musical life of the day, and a riveting love story of a young woman learning to direct her destiny and understand her own heart.
Set in post-Napoleonic Empire France, Miss Darcy Falls in Love is a riveting love story that enters a world of passion where gentlemen know exactly how to please and a young woman learns to direct her destiny and understand her heart.
Purchase on Amazon in print and Kindle: LINK or for easy purchase in print: or Kindle:
For more information about me, and the Darcy Saga, visit my website and blog. Lots of goodies there! www.SharonLathan.net