Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Happy Birthday, Jane!!

We have a great deal to celebrate because, even though Jane's life was cut short very early, she still managed to achieve something wonderful. Her books have delighted millions over two centuries, and they have the ability to bring together so many people from different backgrounds from around the world. Her wit, her memorable characters, her ability to see through the hypocrites and sycophants of the time, her clever obsevations and of course, her innovative (at the time) depiction of romance -- these are just a few things that we have come to love and cherish. To me, what is most memorable about her is her sharp which has the capacity to startle you out of your complacency.

Here are some examples of phrases by her that I'm particularly fond of:

Next week I shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend. ~Letters

It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of a man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire. ~Northanger Abbey

...it was not in her nature to question the veracity of a young man of such amiable appearance as Wickham. ~Pride and Prejudice

A lady, without a family, was the very best preserver of furniture in the world. ~Persuasion

I have more than once observed to Lady Catherine that her charming daughter seemed born to be a duchess, and that the most elevated rank, instead of giving her consequence, would be adorned by her. — These are the kind of little things which please her ladyship, and it is a sort of attention which I conceive myself peculiarly bound to pay. ~Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Collins)

Those who do not complain are never pitied. ~ Pride and Prejudice (Mrs. Bennet)

How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! ~ Pride and Prejudice (Caroline Bingley)

I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child), I was spoilt by my parents, who, though good themselves (my father, particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable), allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased. ~Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Darcy, of course)

And here it is -- in Jane's own mischievous words -- the reason we should celebrate Jane's birthday

I am very much obliged to my dear little George for his messages, for his Love at least--his Duty I suppose was only in consequence of some hint of my favourable intentions towards him from his father or mother. I am sincerely rejoiced however that I ever was born, since it has been the means of procuring him a dish of Tea. ~Letters
Thank you, Jane Austen!!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Mr. Darcy's Challenge by Monica Fairview

Mr. Darcy's Challenge

by Monica Fairview

Giveaway ends November 29, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends across the pond!!!!!

Have you spotted Mr. Darcy yet?? :)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Release day! Mr. Darcy's Challenge

It's finally here! We're celebrating the release of Mr. Darcy's Challenge today at Austen Variations with a chance to win copies of the novel as well as a reading of Chapter Two. Come and join us in the celebration!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Mr. Darcy's Challenge available for pre-order on Nook, Kobo and iTunes

I'm very pleased to announce that you can now pre-order in several different formats. You can order in all these formats on Smashwords, which sells the novel in various formats (you pick which format you'd like when you check out). Or of course you can do it directly. Here are the various links.



Unfortunately, the paperback is not yet available for pre-order.

First Review of Mr. Darcy's Challenge on The Ardent Reader

It's exciting and nerveracking  to read about people's initial impressions when a novel you've written has first been published and I'm very happy with my first review on The Ardent Reader.

Here are some choice quotes from the review

Being a continuation of the first book, I was anxious to get started! We left Darcy in a precarious place and I just had to know what happened next! Well, I was floored! This book is an emotional roller coaster that you will want to ride again and again!
Monica Fairview has a way with our favorite characters! She brings out the best and worst in them and makes me love them all over again! 

I highly recommend this set of books to any Jane Austen lover! I know I will read them again and again!

Sounds enthusiastic, wouldn't you agree? Now you know why I'm happy!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Gearing up to go for release day Mr. Darcy's Challenge

Release day is November 25, 2014, which is approaching fast. I really can't wait for everyone to start reading the novel!

Meanwhile, here's the banner for Mr. Darcy's Challenge. It's available for pre-order on Amazon, Nook and Kobo. It will be available soon in paperback. Keep checking back to find out when.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Mr. Darcy's Challenge (Mr. Darcy's Pledge Part 2) Cover Reveal

I am absolutely thrilled to be able to finally reveal my new cover for Mr. Darcy's Challenge. I loved the cover for the first in the series, and I think this one is just as pretty. Let me know what you think!

To give you a taste of the new novel, Here is the Prologue which I posted originally on Austen Variations. If you would like to read more, I have Chapter One up on Austen Variations as well, so if you'd like to head on there, take a look at it and make a comment I would really like that.


A man in possession of a fortune may be in need of a wife, but there were many ways to choose one. Writing a list of required qualities was perhaps not the best approach. That, at least, was Darcy’s conclusion as he rode away from Longbourn, his thoughts on how best to convince Elizabeth Bennet that marriage to him was not as disagreeable a prospect as she seemed to think.

He tore up the list he had made into many pieces and threw it behind him. The list of requirements for a wife was gone. Darcy was no longer bound by it, nor was he bound by society’s restrictions. He was free once again to follow the dictate of his emotions. A huge burden shifted from his shoulders. Now all he had to do was find Wickham and rescue Lydia from his clutches, then return to fulfil his pledge to woo Elizabeth until she gave him her hand in marriage.

The torn bits of paper were taken up by a light breeze. They floated back towards him like blossoms tossed over a bride and groom, as they would be tossed one day over him and Elizabeth. He imagined the two of them emerging from the small chapel at Lambton, surrounded by well-wishers, with Elizabeth by his side, smiling and radiant.

Darcy was not normally given to flights of fantasy but, fired up by the conviction that he would find a way to make things right for Elizabeth and her family, he indulged himself in an altogether pleasant daydream. He was a knight on horseback, like the Darcys of old, and an evil knight threatened his fair lady. He was riding off to challenge the evil knight to a duel, and, to prove himself the hero once and for all. He would return, having vanquished his adversary, and would find his fair lady awaiting him, her fine dark eyes full of admiration – and love. She would run out of her home and cast her arms around him. The daydream culminated with him leaning over to receive the kiss he had craved for so long.

A branch brushed against Darcy’s face and awakened him from this happy trance. He was half-asleep on his horse and likely to fall if he did not pay attention. His childish fantasy embarrassed him. How Wickham would have mocked him for his ridiculous notions! Darcy had always loved tales of valor and bravery when they were children, while Wickham had always scoffed at them. Once, Darcy had tried to creep inside the old suit of armor in the Picture Gallery at Pemberley and had been stuck inside, unable to get out. Wickham had laughed at his discomfort and refused to assist him, saying he should shout for a knight on a white horse to come and rescue him. In the end, Darcy had to bribe Wickham by promising him two of his toy soldiers in return for going for one of the servants. Wickham had agreed to the bargain, but instead of bringing someone to help Darcy, he had fetched Darcy’s father. Darcy had been whipped for desecrating one of his family’s oldest possessions and lectured for days afterwards about not taking enough pride in his ancestors. 

In any case, this was not the time for dreaming. It was the time for action. He needed to sort out this business with Wickham and return, as he had pledged, to woo Elizabeth until she agreed to become his wife, even if it meant taking up residence in Meryton for the next five years.  

He spurred his horse onwards. His aspirations, however, came to a sudden and complete standstill when his horse slowed down to a trot then halted, refusing to go any farther. She had found a particularly juicy clump of grass and she intended to enjoy it.

Darcy sighed, recognizing in the horse his own bone-deep weariness. Driven by Lady Catherine’s letter informing him of Lydia’s elopement and the Bennet family’s disgrace, he had ridden as fast as he could to Longbourn, intent on showing Elizabeth and her family his support. He was thirsty, hungry and sore. The mare he had hired from the last posting-inn felt much the same, he imagined. Unlike him, she did not have the impetus of being heroic. She needed a good rub-down and some rest.
Now that they had stopped, Darcy realized where he was. The uprooted oak tree lying on its side by the road signaled that he was drawing closer to Netherfield. There was the path that forked left and led across the fields toward Bingley’s estate. This was undoubtedly the way Elizabeth had taken when she walked from Longbourn to attend to her sick sister. He had not even known he had been looking for it until he found it.

At least six inches deep in mud. Caroline had pointed out the mud, but he had not noticed it. His gaze had been drawn to the brief glimpse of a fine-turned ankle that had been revealed as she had shifted her skirts self-consciously under the onslaught of probing eyes.

Hardly conscious of what he was doing, Darcy descended, tethered the horse to the oak tree and took the path left. He followed the path until he reached an old cross-step turnstile. He climbed it awkwardly and jumped down the other side. Unsurprisingly, his boots sank with a squelch into the mud. He grinned with delight at the thought that he was experiencing what Elizabeth had experienced, stepping into the very same mud that she did. Then he felt embarrassed and hastily rearranged his features into a more serious expression. Fortunately, no one but a group of brown cows clustered together had witnessed his exhibition. 

Passing through hazel copse, he continued, drawn as if spellbound towards his friend’s house. Then suddenly the view opened up and a lavender field spread before him, row upon neat row of purple sprigs waving gently in the breeze. The aroma drifted up towards him, an irresistible blend of sweetness mingling with the scent of the earth. In the distance, the grey stone edifice of Netherfield sat on the slope of a knoll, looking out to the apple orchards beyond it. He stared at it, his heart filled with a myriad emotions. His gaze sought out a particular window. She had slept there, in the bedchamber closest to her sister Jane. She had been under that same roof. If he had only known it then, he would have made every effort to make a good impression on her. He had departed from Longbourn just two days later, believing he was putting an end to the whole story.

It was just the beginning.

He stood gazing at the house for a moment longer, contemplating his blind, naïve confidence that day, then turned away. He was wasting time. He had a mission to accomplish, and he would not do so stopping in the middle of a field and reminiscing about the past. He strode back to where the horse had been contentedly feasting and mounted, turning towards the direction of London.

A light breeze came up and a piece of paper drifted lazily across the green expanse to settle near the horse’s hoof. He thought of the pieces of paper he had tossed behind him and a sudden panic gripped him.

He had stupidly left his list behind on the grounds of Longbourn for everyone to see. What if Elizabeth were to chance upon them? Would she connect the pieces of paper to him? He had torn them up but the segments were still large enough to be legible. He tried to dismiss his sudden fear, to rationalize that she could not guess that it was his list, but he knew the evidence would incriminate him. Paper was not commonly found strewn around the countryside, with most of the population illiterate and without access to the expensive material. Besides, Elizabeth had seen him write on that memorable day in Netherfield. Caroline had drawn Elizabeth’s attention to his handwriting. She would very likely recognize it.

He could not afford to have her find the list. If she did, she would have nothing but contempt for his cold-blooded manner of acquiring a wife. He had to go back and retrieve the pieces at once.
He turned back towards Longbourn. The mare shook her head as if to question his sanity in deciding to retrace the same path they had taken so recently, then responded to his urgency by breaking into a reluctant trot.

As he approached the spot where he had thrown the paper, he distinguished a feminine figure approaching from a distance, walking with confident strides and swinging her bonnet in her hand.

He was too late.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Huge Austen Variations Sale

Over at Austen Variations, and in collaboration with The Book Rat's Austen in August, we are having a huge sale of Austen-related novels from August 27th to September 5th. You will find the links on our Austen Variations Blog, but here a the list of discounted novels. More may be added, so keep checking that page.

Monica Fairview
  • Steampunk Darcy - $0.99
  • Mr. Darcy’s Pledge - $1.99
Maria Grace
  • Darcy’s Decision - $0.99
  • The Future Mrs. Darcy - $0.99
  • All the Appearance of Goodness - $1.99
 Abigail Reynolds
  • Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections - $0.99
  • The Darcys of Derbyshire - $0.99
  • A Pemberley Medley - $0.99
  • Morning Light - $0.99
  • By Force of Instinct - $0.99
Mary Lydon Simonsen
  • When They Fell in Love - $0.99
  • Becoming Elizabeth Darcy - $0.99
  • Darcy on the Hudson - $0.99
  • The Second Date - $0.99
  • Three’s a Crowd - $0.99
  • Another Place in Time - $1.99 
Shannon Winslow
  • For Myself Alone - $0.99

Jack Caldwell
  • Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner - $0.99

Kara Louise
  • Pirates and Prejudice - $1.99
  • Pemberley Celebrations - $1.99
  • Master Under Good Regulation -  $1.99

Susan Mason Milks
  • Mr. Darcy’s Proposal - $1.99

Jane Odiwe
  • Project Darcy - $1.99
  • Searching for Captain Wentworth - $1.99

Marilyn Brant
  • Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match - $2.99

Cassandra Grafton
  • A Fair Prospect (3 Volume Set) - $2.99

Links for each book to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. at www.austenvariations.com/austen-in-august-book-sale-aug-18-31/

Monday, 16 June 2014

Coming Soon ... The Darcy Brothers

Imagine that Mr. Darcy has a handsome younger brother, Mr. Theophilus Darcy. Then imagine that Theo Darcy happens to be the opposite of Darcy. Where Darcy likes to keep things under control, Theo is easy-going. Where Darcy is awkward among strangers, Theo is a charmer. Where Darcy took his studies seriously, Theo was sent down from Oxford for his pranks. Where Darcy has shunned Wickham as a villain for years, Theo was once under Wickham’s influence.

What if Theo were to meet Elizabeth Bennet? Would he charm the young lady’s stockings off or would he help his brother win her hand?

Find out as the two brothers lock horns in this unique group-written Pride and Prejudice “what-if” variation.

Many of you may already have followed our group project The Darcy Brothers on Austen Variations, but if you haven't, you have a treat in store for you. We are now working on editing the final version and hope to get the novel out very soon indeed.

I'm particularly proud to have been part of the team writing The Darcy Brothers because it was an exciting challenge. Since we were posting live on Austen Variations every Wednesday, we had to do a tremendous amount of coordination behind the scenes to produce that chapter. The writing had to blend seamlessly. We had to discuss plot lines and character development and all members of the team had to agree on the direction we were going. But more challenging even was that The Darcy Brothers was a reader driven novel. Yes, you read it right. Each week, the readers were given three possible plot ideas and asked to vote on them. Which meant that we could not actually start writing until the readers had made their choice!

It was a tremendous amount of fun having the readers discuss in their comments which direction the story should take. Some of the comments were hilarious, providing wild alternative plot suggestions (Dave, are you there?). Others provided the stimulus for rethinking the direction we were taking in the novel.

As well as having very articulate readers to please ;) there were other complexities we needed to work out. Since the project consisted of twenty-four chapters spread over as many weeks, communicating with authors living in three different countries and different time zones had its challenges. Being consistent, especially when it involved a scene someone else wrote earlier, required constant double-checking.

Tailoring your writing to such a number of expectations was not an easy process. You could not go on a tangent and do your own thing, which was quite taxing for a group of creative writers used to following their individual creative muses!!

Overall, however, it was a wonderful experience of coordinated writing. Most importantly, I think the final product is pretty amazing. It's the result of many minds and many imaginations brought together to produce a wonderful story.

Here is an excerpt to give you a taste of the novel if you haven't yet sampled it. If you have sampled it, here is a freshly edited selection.


The butler met them at the door with a look of profound relief. “Her ladyship has been asking for Mr. Theophilus this last half hour.”

Theo laughed as he handed off his hat and gloves. “And no doubt blaming you and everyone else for your inability to produce me instantly for her convenience. Never fear; I will go to her immediately before she abuses anyone else for my absence.” He winked at Darcy before striding off toward Lady Catherine’s throne room. Even the prospect of a tongue-lashing from his aunt for some imagined sin could not suppress his high spirits. He had not realized how much he had longed for his brother to see him in a light which did not involve disapproval.

Astonishingly, Lady Catherine did not seem to be angered with him either, but instead had remembered several crucial pieces of advice she had not given him that morning. Or perhaps it was several hundred pieces. It certainly took her long enough to tell him her thoughts, but he stopped listening after the first few minutes. As long as he nodded, looked thoughtful, and occasionally agreed she had a point, his aunt was perfectly content to dispense her wisdom. Instead, Theo contemplated all he had learned at the parsonage. Miss Bennet might indeed be just what his brother needed.

Finally Lady Catherine wound down, and Theo thanked her for her fine advice and condescension. Even Mr. Collins could not have done better.

He had not yet exited the room when she said, “And one more thing, Theophilus. Tell your brother I want to see him. The settlement has waited quite long enough.”

Theo decided he might just wait a little before giving Darcy that message. It would put him in a foul mood, and he wanted to enjoy a little more pleasant time with his brother first. The settlement had waited for years already; it could wait a little longer.

He found Darcy staring into the fire in the sitting room, a glass of brandy in his hand and a dark look on his face. He narrowed his eyes at the sight of Theo.

Theo’s gut clenched. What could William possibly be angry about now? He could not have done anything wrong in the brief time they had been apart. Even if his brother had seen his behavior with their aunt, there would have been nothing he could object to. But Theo knew that look. He had seen it far too often.

Since there seemed no hope of companionable time together after all, Theo said, “Our aunt wishes to see you now.”

Darcy ignored him. “There is a letter for you.” His voice dripped scorn as he gestured to the small table by his side.

So that was it. William disapproved of many of his associates, usually for the wrong reasons, but this seemed excessive. How much damage could a letter do? He stepped forward to take the letter.

He shook his head when he recognized the handwriting. This particular letter could do a great deal of damage. Why did George Wickham have to decide to write to him at this particular moment? Especially since Theo had made it quite clear to him their friendship had ended that day in Ramsgate. Not that Darcy would believe it, especially with this evidence in hand. Clearly he had recognized Wickham’s hand as well, since the seal was still intact.

“You said you were no longer in contact with Wickham.” It was an accusation.

There was no point in prevaricating. He would rather get this over with quickly. “I have not been in contact with him, but he persists in sending requests for money. I ignore them.”

“I do not believe you.”

It was too much, after his earlier hopes that someday he and William might settle their differences. “Believe what you like. You always do, in any case.”

William held out his hand. “Give me that letter.”

Theo bit down on a scathing retort, then forced himself to speak calmly. “You may be the head of the family, but that does not entitle you to read my personal correspondence.”

“So you do have something to hide. Give it to me.”

Theo fingered the letter. There would be nothing of importance in it. He always threw Wickham’s letters away without a response. Well, this time he would throw it away without a reading. “I have nothing to hide, and no need or desire to know what Wickham has to say.” He drew out the letter slowly, but William’s satisfied look was more than he could tolerate. With a quick turn, he tossed the unopened letter into the fire.
“Damn you!” Darcy dove for the hearth and snatched the letter out, but it was already alight, a merry flame dancing from the end of it. Darcy, forced to drop it, stamped on it as he blew on his burned fingers. Smoke curled around his boot.

Theo crossed his arms. “There is an ember on your waistcoat. Playing with fire is dangerous, you know.”

Darcy glared at him as he brushed away the offending ember, leaving a black spot behind on the fine green silk. “You would know. You spend your entire life playing with fire.” He picked up the charred letter and unfolded it, causing nearly half of it to drop away in ashes. His eyes moved across the remaining portion, then he grew pale.

Despite his resolve to keep his distance, Theo could not help himself. “Is something the matter?”

His brother folded the charred letter with what seemed like unnecessary precision. “Nothing you would care about. It seems I will be leaving for London shortly, and I expect you to remain here and out of mischief.”
What had been in the letter? But he could hardly ask after having thrown it into the fire. “As you wish.” He opened the door and strode out, forcing himself not to look back at William.


Hope you enjoyed this excerpt! The Darcy Brothers will be coming out in February.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Laughing With Lizzie: Mr Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview - with giveaw...

Laughing With Lizzie: Mr Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview - with giveaw...: I was very pleased when I was asked if I would review Mr Darcy's Pledge (Volume I) for the lovely Monica Fairview. (I was provided wi...

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

More Agreeably Engaged: My Share in the Conversation Review and GIVEAWAY

More Agreeably Engaged: My Share in the Conversation...: I will no longer be posting stars for my reviews on this blog. I will do so where I must, as on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads. My...

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

More Agreeably Engaged: Getting to Know Mr. Darcy with Monica Fairview

More Agreeably Engaged: Getting to Know Mr. Darcy with Monica Fairview: Hello Dear Readers! You are in for a treat today. If the title didn't grab your interest then my guest will. Monica Fairview is here to...

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mr. Darcy's Pledge now available on Nook

For those of you who are loyal to Barnes and Noble, I wanted to let you know that Mr. Darcy's Pledge is now available on Nook. Hurray!

Saturday, 10 May 2014


MY JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB: SPOTLIGHT ON ... MONICA FAIRVIEW'S MR DARCY'S PLED...: Mr Darcy's Pledge Torn between his heart and his mind… Mr. Darcy must make a choice. Fitzwilliam Darcy has always been able t...

Friday, 9 May 2014

Leatherbound Reviews: Excerpt: Mr. Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview & G...

For another chance to win a copy of Mr. Darcy's Pledge:

Leatherbound Reviews: Excerpt: Mr. Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview & G...: I am so pleased to have the lovely Monica Fairview as a guest today! Her latest novel, Mr. Darcy's Pledge , is the first volume in the ...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Leatherbound Reviews: Review: Mr. Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview

Leatherbound Reviews: Review: Mr. Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview: I’d only read one book by Monica Fairview before this, Steampunk Darcy , which I really enjoyed, so I was very grateful to Jakki for the ...

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

New Cover For Mr. Darcy's Pledge + Giveaway on Goodreads

The new cover of my new Pride and Prejudice variation has been now been revealed (and it isn't the one in the post below). I'm thrilled at the response I've had so far to the cover. I can't wait for the official launch which is set for May 6th on Austen Variations.
Meanwhile, I would like to let you know that I am giving away a paperback version of Mr. Darcy's Pledge on Goodreads. The giveaway is running today and tomorrow until midnight, so hurry on over to get your name in before it ends. The winners are picked by the Goodreads team.

 Here is the link to the Goodreads giveaway. Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Mr. Darcy's Pledge by Monica Fairview

Mr. Darcy's Pledge

by Monica Fairview

Giveaway ends May 02, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, 13 February 2014

New Austen Variation coming out in May

My latest Austen-inspired novel, MR. DARCY'S PLEDGE, will be coming out in April 2014. I'm very excited about this one as it's the first time I've told the story mainly from Mr. Darcy's perspective.

Keep an eye out for more announcements and information, but for now, here's a look at the cover.