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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Post and Give-Away: Maria Grace—An Darcy Obsession that Gave Birth to her just released novel—Darcy’s Decision

Guest Post and Give-Away  

I am honored to share with you a Guest Post by Maria Grace.  Maria has been gracious to provide a copy of her book, Darcy’s Decision, for a give-away. (If it is a U.S. winner the prize is a softcover, if the winner is International the prize is an eBook).  Separate entries into the giveaway will be given for comments on Ms. Grace’s post, as well as additional entries for the following: 1. Become a member of Darcyholic Diversions, 2. Following this blog by email 3. Click ‘like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole's Author Page on Facebook 4. Click ‘like’ on Maria Grace’s Author page on Facebook.  5. By following BarbTCole on Twitter. (Twitter and Facebook links can be found under the tab ‘Author Facebook, Twitter, Blog and Book Links’).

Maria Grace—A Darcy Obsession That Gave Birth to a Novel
Darcy’s Decision

I was introduced to Mr. Darcy far too late in life. Unlike my dear children, who read Pride and Prejudice in high school, my English teachers, for some unfathomable, reason struck Austen from the reading list and replaced her with something dark and depressing. 

Emma Thompson’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ film introduced me to the works and the world of Jane Austen.

Then, I found ‘Mansfield Park’ at Blockbuster. Fanny Price fascinated me.
I’m not sure whether Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion was next, but after that, I couldn’t get all Jane Austen’s books fast enough.

The thing I appreciate most about Jane Austen is her astute sense of character. This shines so clearly in her picture of Mr. Darcy. Though rich and handsome, he is not a typical romantic hero. He is reserved, shy, and socially awkward. He hardly opens his mouth without inserting his foot. He seems unaware of the feelings of those around him—remember the famous insult ‘not handsome enough to tempt me?’ Even when he tries to confess his feelings— for example the Hunsford proposal—he manages to get it wrong and says the opposite of what he means! None of this adds up to his character becoming a heartthrob, certainly not for Elizabeth Bennet.

Yet, something sets him apart from the rest. For me, it’s his standards. He is a man of principles, and though, at least at first, he does a pretty poor job of living up to them. Once he realizes bumble broth he has created, he does a complete one-eighty and pours everything into repairing the mess. We see it in the way he pursues Wickham and Lydia and goes all out to correct their situation, not in order to win Elizabeth—remember he swears Lydia to secrecy—but because it is the right thing to do. I suppose I am a bit odd, but to me that is swoon-worthy. What is not to love about a man who is willing to face his mistakes and correct them?

This quality in Darcy moved me to write Given Good Principles. I personally encountered a very painful situation in which people who should have known better did not follow the principles they claimed to believe. One thing led to another, and I started to think about how Darcy’s experiences with Elizabeth might have been different if he had followed the good principles given him as a child. Thus, Darcy’s Decision and the rest of the Given Good Principles series were born.

Throughout the process of watching Darcy wrestle with the challenges provided by his mentor, I saw the essential character of Darcy remain unchanged. He still stuck his foot in his mouth, stomped off in a huff when confronted with his own conceit, and squirmed uncomfortably in the presence of strangers. In the midst of it, he grew and managed to affect those who depended on him by living out the principles given to him by his father. Bringing his pride under better regulation softens him, but in essentials he remained the same Darcy that drew me the first time I encountered him.

So, give me the tongue-tied, shy and reserved but principled man any day. He will always be my romantic hero.

Book Blurb:

Six months after his father's passing, Fitzwilliam Darcy still finds solace in his morning reflections at his parents' graves. Only in the quiet solitude of the churchyard does he indulge his grief. None but his unlikely mentor recognize the heartache and insecurity plaguing him as he shoulders the enormous burden of being Master of Pemberley.

Not all are pleased with his choice of advisor. Lady Catherine complains Darcy allows him too much influence. Lord Matlock argues, "Who is he to question the God-appointed social order?" But the compassionate wisdom Darcy finds in his counselor keeps him returning for guidance even though it causes him to doubt everything he has been taught.

In the midst of his struggles to reinvent himself, his school chum, Charles Bingley, arrives. Darcy hopes the visit will offer some respite from the uproar in his life. Instead of relief, Darcy discovers his father's darkest secret  staring him in the face. Pushed to his limits, Darcy must overcome the issues that ruined his father and, with his friends and mentor at his side, restore his tarnished birthright.

You will find Darcy’s Decision available at Amazon in Kindle and soft cover, and at Barnes and Noble for Nook. 


  1. I agree, Grace, that one of Darcy's most noble moments occurs when he declines to take credit for helping Lydia. He does not want Elizabeth to accept him out of gratitude, but only because she loves him for himself. Don't we all feel that way? My daughter is not impressed by young men who tell her that she's beautiful. She wants them to see past her face and admire her for the way she is, not how she looks. A well-known football player I know doesn't tell people his name immediately. He does not want to be liked because he has a degree of celebrity. He wants to be liked for himself.

    You have touched the heart of the matter.

  2. Thanks Robin, it's good to know someone else sees it that way too!

  3. Great post, Grace! You've put into words all the reasons I love Darcy.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Yes, you have nailed Darcy exactly! I have been looking at your book recently and
    I have a question, is Elizabeth in this first book? Or does this book just consist of Darcy's self discoveries or issues?

    Sorry, my computer wasn't cooperating the first time I posted.

  6. The book sounds wonderful. I just down loaded it to my kindle. The only thing that might disappoint is that it is a short book and I will have to wait for the 2nd book.

  7. Candy,,

    the first book is solely about Darcy. the second is Elizabeth's story and their first meeting. The third and longest is about them together.

    I chose to do them separately primarily because of length. The three parts together would have topped 1000 pages and I could not publish something that long. So instead, I broke up the story at the natural break points.


  8. Charlene,
    I am working on getting the next two parts as soon as I can. The second should be out late this spring.


  9. Maria Grace,
    I started reading your story and it seems to me that the first book of the trilogy gives us a very important stone that I always felt was missing from the original P&P. Not that Miss Jane Austen committed any mistakes -- she just left that to our imagination.
    I am grateful that you took that oportunity to teach as a few good lesson and show us the most vulnerable part of Darcy before meeting Elizabeth.
    Thank YOU!

  10. Thanks, China. That is exactly what I wanted to do. I always wondered WHY Darcy was the way that he was. I could not resist the opportunity to explore that issue while writing. I am glad you found it as intriguing as I did.

  11. Maria:

    Thank you for your guest post! I hope you liked the pictures that I added for you :D! I agree that Darcy, despite his arrogance, was a principled man. I enjoyed your perspective! And I also enjoyed your book! Adding a mentor to Darcy's life was an inspired variation!

    Barbara Tiller Cole

  12. I completely agree with your assessment of Darcy, especially with the Lydia situation. We all want to be loved for ourselves and Darcy probably had not gotten that from many people in his life.

  13. I did like the pictures, thank you Barb! I am so glad you enjoyed my variation.

  14. Monica,
    I think you are right. A man in Darcy's position is much more likely to have been seen through his estate and fortune than for himself. His response to Elizabeth when she confesses her discover of his actions is priceless and speaks to just that, I think.

  15. I just love this story -- thank you so much for sharing your writing! :)


  16. The book/books sound very interesting. I will be putting them on my TBR list. I enjoyed reading your assessment of Mr. Darcy. As you so aptly stated, what's not to like. He is such a wonderful character, and like many people, he is also my favorite. Thanks for the book blurb and the elaborations of Darcy's character.

  17. I enjoyed reading the post. It was very interesting.

    I follow via email.

    The books sound very good.


  18. Grace,

    I love reading your stories!...There are powerful messages in each of them that hits home...Darcy and Elizabeth are portrayed as introspective people who eventually change their outcomes as they sift through the pride and prejudice that permeates the society they were born into.


  19. Thanks JT. I'm glad you enjoyed my take on Mr. Darcy.

  20. Thank you Maria for writing a book that delves into the enigma of Fitzwilliam Darcy. I say enigma because if one has the privilege of making his acquaintance, understanding his persona is not the work of a moment. He shares himself slowly and purposefully and one must be patient in coming to a better understanding of this marvelously male character. I can't wait to read your book.


  21. When initially reading P&P questions regarding Darcy's demeanour did arise. I, eventually, did realize he was socially awkward. Most of it I attributed to his being so focused on his many responsibilities. But I now thank you for appointing me to the grief he sheltered, and the insecurities he faced, after losing his mentor and much loved father. I hope we may anticipate a book on Bingley? What was the root of his, very obvious, insecurities? What prompted him to move to Netherfield instead of closer to Darcy? What fueled the kinship of these polar opposites, or were they really so unlike the other? I look forward to reading your books, you have a new fan.
    NancyQ, Tampa FL