I have posted all the winners for the June giveaways. Don't forget to read all of the July posts! Many opportunities to win this month! Comments are your entries to WIN those giveaways!
There is also an update to the Decatur Book Festival Jane Austen:Then And Now tabs above. I hope you will take an opportunity to visit the overall event information and the FAQ. We are currently at 16 authors planning on attending or participating remotely with us! During the month of August we will be featuring many of the authors that are going to be at the event.
July 17--Lori Smith
July 24--Barbara Tiller Cole: Christmas in July
July 27--Amy Cecil
July 29--William Deresiewicz
July 31--Maria Grace
August 3--Wendi S.
August 5--Laura Dabundo
August 7--Moira B.
August 10--Barbara TC and the DBF
August 12--Cynthia Hensley
August 14--Colette Saucier
August 17--Regina Jeffers
August 19--KaraLynne Mackrory
August 21--Sally Smith O'Rourke
August 24--Amber Godat
November 2--Amy Patterson
November 13--Karen Doornebos
And Many more to come!
Comments on Meredith's post will be entries into the monthly drawings here at Darcyholic Diversions. Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member via Google Friend Connect (GFC) (See the left hand column on the blog to join!), sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.
Mr. Darcy Did NOT Ruin My Life!
Can falling in love with Mr. Darcy give you unrealistic expectations? Skew your perceptions of love? Ruin you for all other men??
I don't know about you, but when I discovered Jane Austen during my awkward stage, my perceptions about love, marriage, and life definitely underwent a change. As a teenager, witnessing all the unhappy and unsuccessful marriages around me, I used to vow that I would never get married. Why bother with marriage when all couples did was bicker and divorce?!?
As you can easily imagine, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, and Captain Wentworth soon helped me change my mind. Having observed the “marriage of true minds” and unions of “perfect happiness” Jane Austen gives her characters, a desire to experience the same grew within my heart. I decided, I would like to marry one day, but only to someone like Mr. Darcy. The question is...would I ever FIND my own Mr. Darcy?
I knew for a fact that there were zero Mr. Darcys in my high school so I decided to not even bother looking for him there. I didn't want to end up finding a bunch of Willoughbys, Wickhams, and Collinses! No thank you! I felt it best to leave the timing up to God, after all, His timing is perfect. Therefore, I prayed about finding my very own Mr. Darcy, and decided to remain single until he came along.
When I was twenty, this persistent, charming, and confident fellow music major started paying me a noticeable amount of attention. And unlike other guys, he wasn't easily deterred! At first I was wary, he seemed like a nice guy and all – definitely not a Crawford or Willoughby – but I wasn't sure he was my Darcy. After all, I was only twenty! And still in college! Was it really time for me to find the man I'm supposed to spend the rest of my life with???
God's answer for me turned out to be “Yes!”
And so, dear readers, “I married him!” (after a couple years of dating, of course) My husband, Pedro, is indeed my Mr. Darcy and he makes me feel cherished and loved every day when I'm in his presence. He loves me and appreciates me like Mr. Darcy loves Lizzy. (Yay! I found it!) What I love most about Mr. Darcy is that he loves Lizzy “just as she is” - with her impudent manner, prejudiced misjudgments, and petticoat six inches deep in mud!
Now, I call him my Mr. Darcy, but in actuality he isn't 100% like Mr. Darcy. My husband isn't really the proud, haughty, silent type. He is tall, handsome, honest, and honorable like Mr. Darcy, but deep down I think my husband is really more like Mr. Bingley! Just look at the pictures, you can tell he is an easy-going, fun-loving, and affable Charles Bingley!
Falling in love with Mr. Darcy when I was sixteen definitely changed my life. It made me realize that marriages can be happy and long-lasting, and that life without marriage was not for me! Mr. Darcy inspired me to wait and find an Austen hero of my own – not in situation or disposition, but in devotion and appreciation. While I don't think falling in love with Mr. Darcy can ruin your life, I do believe it can change your life, for it certainly has changed mine.
Has Mr. Darcy changed your life?
Bio: Meredith Esparza is a music teacher living off the coast of North Carolina with her very own Mr. Darcy. She is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen and an avid reader. Her blog, Austenesque Reviews is devoted to the reading and reviewing of numerous Jane Austen sequels, fan-fiction, and para-literature. Currently she is hard at work planning her annual blog event, Austenseque Extravaganza, a month-long celebration of Austenesque novels and authors, which will be in September of 2012. She hopes to see you there! Visit Meredith at her blog Austenesque Reviews, follow her on Twitter as @austenesque and on Facebook as Austenesque Reviews.
Meredith, That's so awesome. I'm glad you waited for your Mr. Darcy, so many people don't and settle for less. I'm happy for you!ReplyDelete
Barbara, I love hearing these stories of how Mr. Darcy or Jane Austen touched their lives. Thanks!
Thank you, Candy! He was definitely worth the wait! I'm so grateful and honored that Barbara asked me to write a post for her. Her blog is lovely!Delete
Meredith - Your husband sounds like a great guy! Even if he's not exactly like Elizabeth's Darcy, he's still your Darcy because he's perfect for you!ReplyDelete
He definitely is a great guy! God's was definitely right on the money with this match! :)
What can I say except ahhhhhhhhh! What a wonderful love story. You look perfect together. I know how you feel b/c I, too, have found my Mr. Darcy. There's not an ounce of Willoughby in him.ReplyDelete
Awww, thank you, Mary! I'm so glad you have such a great guy too! I still can't believe how lucky and blessed I am to have him in my life!Delete
Meredith, your post was marvelous! You were a smart young woman! I am so thrilled that you met and married your Mr. Darcy. (I met too many Willoughby's and Wickham's and even married one! I was not so smart. Too bad my love for dear Jane had not blossomed back then.)ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your story and your lovely pictures! It was fun getting to know you better! Wonder what Jane would have thought knowing her books inspired someone to wait for and to find their Mr. Darcy? I bet she would be pleased.
Oh, thank you, Janet! I feel I owe much of my happiness in life to Jane Austen - she has been my mentor, parent, and friend!Delete
I think she would too! I believe she even helped one of her niece's in this regard, by telling her to wait a little.
Thank you for sharing your sweet love story, Meredith. Your "Mr. Darcy" is very handsome, and I can tell that he's pleasant from his lovely, easy smile. As a bonus, he's a musician!ReplyDelete
It seems to be a match made in heaven. Congratulations!
Thank you, Robin! Yes, sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we went to different colleges or pursued different degrees! We are so fortunate God put us together!Delete
Great story, Meredith! What a beautiful couple you make :)ReplyDelete
Hi Karen! Thank you for reading my post! :)Delete
Oh, Meredith, thanks for the smiles. A beautiful real-life love story trumps fiction every time.ReplyDelete
We need to hear about the real thing. Thanks for sharing. :)
Hello Laura! I'm glad you enjoyed my post! It was my pleasure to share it with you! :)Delete
Meredith, such a wonderful love story ! And what a beautiful couple !ReplyDelete
Hi Lory! Thank you! I truly am blessed!Delete
Congratulations, Meredith! Having that Mr. Darcy certainly does add to a wonderful life! Thank you for posting :DReplyDelete
Thank you, Jamie! I think any Austen hero would make a life wonderful!Delete
That's very encouraging! Glad to hear you waited for just the right Mr Darcy.ReplyDelete
Thank you, June! I hope my story does encourage others, just like Jane Austen encouraged me!Delete
Thanks for sharing! Your story is so cute!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)Delete
Meredith, such a beautiful post! You two look so happy together. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Milka! So happy you enjoyed our story!Delete
What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing that with us!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Maria! Can you tell I'm a romantic? :PDelete
I loved your story! Your wedding pictures are gorgeous and you are both emanating how much you love each other. Love Austenesque Reviews and can't wait for September.ReplyDelete
Oh thank you, Erlynn! I'm so happy to hear your are excited for September, we are too!Delete
I loved reading your story, Meredith! Your pictures are beautiful and Pedro looks like a fun, easygoing man who is your perfect match. Thanks for sharing with us.ReplyDelete
Thank you for kind words, Lori! I am indeed a happy lady! And yes, Pedro's fun and light-hearted side make him very much unlike Darcy and more like Bingley!Delete
I wanted to let you know, again, how grateful I am that you shared your love story with us here at Darcyholic Diversions! I KNOW that I was blessed to do a guest post on YOUR wonderful blog. And am excited to be a part of Austenesque Extravaganza. Your being willing to post here is an honor! Thanks again!
Barabara, it was my pleasure and honor! It was a very special treat for me to share a post about me on your blog (sorry if it was too much of MY Mr. Darcy and not enough of Jane Austen's!)Delete
We are so thrilled to be working with you again during AE! Thank you for everything, Barbara! *hugs*
Congratulations on such a happy marriage!ReplyDelete
oh Meredith! what a delish story & sooo pleased that you have it to tell :)ReplyDelete
You were lucky. I had to wait many more years for my Mr. Darcy and just like you said he has Mr. Darcy's qualities but he is more a Col. Fitzwilliam...hahaha! He was in the Navy & Army and he has a wonderful sense of humor! Loved your story!
Meredith, you are one lucky woman and I love that you share your sweet love story. It proves that Mr Darcy doesn't ruin one's love life. Hope I can find my own Mr Darcy too. :)ReplyDelete
I was around 15 or 16 when I read Jane Austen like you I did not bother looking fora Darcy in high school but with time , I am 22 I felt like I could not find my Darcy if they was one he must be another part of the world. but your post is so encouraging!!ReplyDelete
having too many expectations can ruin somehow your ideas about "real" men.
I found your love story and Mr Bingley so adorable and sweet !! you guys are definitely a great and happy couple!!! I wish you the best.
maybe there is hope for me one day xd