Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
March 20--Jan Hahn (release of The Journey)
March 23--Jeane Alvarez (P&P2005 blog)
March 27--Lucy S.
March 30--Elizabeth Kantor
April 3--Bonnie Carlson
April 6--China Fuentes-Montero
April 10--Matt Duffy
April 13--Regina Jeffers
April 17--Elizabeth Ashton
April 20--Susan Mason-Milks
April 24--Linda Wells
April 27--Veronica (Dark Jane Austen Book Club)
May 1--Jane Vivash and Matthew MacFadyen
May 4--Susan Adriani
May 8--Annette W.
May 11--Beth Massey
May 15--Erlynn K.
May 18--Rebecca T.
June 1--Kara Louise
June 5--Sharon Lathan
And Many more to come!
Comments on Jan’s post will be entered into a contest to win a copy of the book. Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post,
Bad boys, bad boys,
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
(with apologies to Inner Circle and Cops)
Thank you, Barbara, for allowing me to introduce my second novel, The Journey, which has recently been released by Meryton Press. It’s another Pride and Prejudice alternate path that begins shortly after the Netherfield ball.
To escape her mother’s anguish over Elizabeth’s refusal of Mr. Collins’s proposal, Elizabeth sets out for London to visit the Gardiners. Mr. Bingley has offered her a ride in his carriage, but she must travel with Caroline Bingley, Louisa Hurst, and Mr. Darcy. Obviously, in such company the journey is uncomfortable for Elizabeth, but it grows much worse when shots ring out and the carriage is held up by highwaymen. When the leader of the gang elects to take Elizabeth for his own pleasure, Darcy offers himself as a hostage. That fails to deter the highwayman’s plan, so Darcy takes it a step further and announces that Elizabeth is his wife!
The couple is abducted and taken to a remote cabin in the woods where they are forced to play the roles of husband and wife. The handsome highwayman, Nate Morgan, continues to fancy Elizabeth, and she finds herself in a precarious position. She and Darcy must learn to rely upon each other if they are to have any hope of escaping their captors.
Jane Austen includes a rogue of some sort in each of her main novels. From Willoughby to Churchill, we are introduced to various attractive men of less than attractive character. Today, my novel’s bad boy, Nate Morgan, has asked to visit me. As you can imagine, I’m somewhat antsy to be in the presence of such a devious charmer, but he has promised to behave. Do pray for me, as I have neither weapon nor wit to defend myself.
JAN HAHN: I understand you have some questions for me, Mr. Morgan. Although you’re looking at me in a rather sinister manner, don’t think I’m afraid of you. In the words of Elizabeth Bennet, “my courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.”
NATE MORGAN: (looks askance at me while pacing the room) Believe me, Missus, you’re no Elizabeth Bennet, so don’t try to talk like her. (smiles wickedly) I do make you nervous, though, don’t I?
JAN HAHN: (high-pitched giggle) Me, nervous in the company of a highwayman? Why should I be uneasy when I created you?
NATE MORGAN: And just why did you do that, Missus? Wasn’t Miss Austen’s original fellow enough of a scoundrel to vex Darcy and Elizabeth? What was his name—Wickham?
JAN HAHN: Well, yes, Wickham was a jerk—
NATE MORGAN: What’s a jerk?
JAN HAHN: A man much like you, but never mind about that. I created you for a definite purpose. My original idea was to place Darcy and Elizabeth on a sort of road story, much like the plot of my grandmother’s favorite movie, It Happened One Night with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. You were—
NATE MORGAN: What’s a movie?
JAN HAHN: It’s a story shot on film.
NATE MORGAN: (his eyes brighten and he stops pacing) Shot? Someone gets shot?
JAN HAHN: In some movies people are shot, but never mind about that.
NATE MORGAN: Why do you keep saying never mind?
JAN HAHN: Because we’re getting off the subject. I was telling you why I made you into a highwayman. I needed some way to get Darcy and Elizabeth out of the drawing room and into the wild. You were a necessary evil.
NATE MORGAN: (smiles) That’s me—evil Nate Morgan, infamous highwayman! But, in truth, I think your book needs a rewrite. When I hold up the carriage, I should leave Darcy with that screecher, Caroline Bingley, or better yet, I should just shoot him.
JAN HAHN: (gasps) I’d never allow Caroline to get Darcy in her clutches, and you can forget about shooting him!
NATE MORGAN: (sits in chair and leans forward) If you allow me to kidnap Elizabeth without Darcy, I can think of a tasty little plot involving her and me, and I’m no writer.
JAN HAHN: I can well imagine, and that’s exactly why I sent Darcy along—to protect Elizabeth’s virtue. Besides, what makes you think a woman with Elizabeth’s integrity would ever fall for a rascal like you?
NATE MORGAN: I’ll have you know, Missus, I’m not lacking in dash-fire! There’s many a lass who’s hoped to be Nate Morgan’s lady. After all, I’m one fine-looking devil, am I not, with me blonde curls and blue eyes?
JAN HAHN: I have to admit you are.
NATE MORGAN: And I like how you placed a scar on me face. Adds a bit of mystery, don’t it? Elizabeth noticed it right away, remember?
JAN HAHN: She did, and that allowed me to reveal a bit of your back story.
NATE MORGAN: Yeah, I don’t care for that part. You should have me poker up about my past. The less people know the better. Why didn’t you make me the strong, silent type?
JAN HAHN: Mr. Darcy owns that part.
NATE MORGAN: Darcy, Darcy, Darcy! (spits) Is that dandy all you think about?
JAN HAHN: I can assure you Mr. Darcy is no dandy! He’s the most romantic figure in literature!
NATE MORGAN: I see nothing romantic about him—more like a peacock parading around like he owns the world. If I read books—and we both know I don’t—I’d prefer yarns about fellows like me and my boys and the scrapes we’ve found ourselves in. There was one time ol’ Sneyd and me were gulling a broadsman and three others at the card tables when one of them pulled a knife! We fought our way out with nary a scratch. Now, that would entertain your readers!
JAN HAHN: (yawns) Mr. Morgan, I write books about love, not fisticuffs, and the most romantic couple I know is Darcy and Elizabeth. I wish to read and write about them.
NATE MORGAN: Well, if you insist on romance, what more could you ask than me and Elizabeth? Didn’t you have us dancing together one night, and did you not hear us singing? And didn’t I rush in and rescue her at one point? Why, I swept her up in my arms like she was no bigger than a kitten! And then there was the scene in the cave—let’s not forget that chapter.
JAN HAHN: I could never forget what took place in the cave, especially between Darcy and Elizabeth.
NATE MORGAN: (slaps his knee) There you go again! Darcy! Are you daft, woman? You’ve got nothing but Darcy on your brain!
JAN HAHN: I confess I do. Any story I write about Elizabeth will have Darcy in it. You, sir, were just lucky to come along for the ride. And now, Mr. Morgan, what is that sound I hear outside? Is someone approaching?
(Cue the music) “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”
NATE MORGAN: (jumps up) The plague seize it! How do I get out of this place?
JAN HAHN: (points toward rear) The back door’s in that direction. Farewell, Nate Morgan, and good luck. You are one character I thoroughly enjoyed!
Jan’s first novel, An Arranged Marriage, recently won the award for Best Indie book of 2011 from Austen Prose. Her second book, The Journey, has just been released. Both books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online.