Monday, February 5, 2024

With Love, Mr. Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Valentine Short Story Collection

 Hello, my friends! A group of lovely authors have put together this wonderful anthology of short stories for Valentine's Day! But not only that, but the proceeds will be going to the Jane Austen's House Museum! Amazing! Thank you, Ladies, for doing for being so generous with your time! 

With Love, Mr Darcy

A Pride and Prejudice Valentine Short Story Collection

Thanks so much for welcoming us here today, as we celebrate the release of our Valentine’s Day short story collection. We’re so excited to share these stories with everyone, and even more excited to be helping the Jane Austen’s House Museum by donating all the proceeds from this volume to the museum. 

What is this collection, you ask?

Our tagline says it all.

Six authors, six stories, seven happily-ever-afters.

Join writers Michelle d'Arcy, Elin Eriksen, Riana Everly, Iris Lim, Laura Moretti, and S. Neha for a special Valentine's Day anthology of Pride and Prejudice variations, each crafted with love from Mr Darcy.

Wait? This is for an Austen-Amazing cause?

Indeed it is!

All proceeds will be donated to the Jane Austen’s House Museum at Chawton, England.
Swoon for a worthy cause!

What do you all have to say for yourselves, anyway? Why a Valentine’s anthology about Darcy?

A word from the authors…

“I loved the idea of putting together a collection of stories about, well, love! Valentine's Day just seemed the perfect opportunity to bring our favourite couple together in our unique ways.”

“The theme is both unifying and inspiring, and seeing how we all had such different ideas was wonderful. This is, for me, one of the great joys of JAFF. We have some fixed parameters, but rather than limiting our imaginations, they let our imaginations soar.”

“We love Jane Austen, and her legacy! And we would love to know we contributed even a bit to it. The House in Chawton is the very heart of this legacy.”

“And then there is Mr Darcy! We love Mr Darcy!”

“Yep, we do!”

Okay, you have our attention. So what’s in it?

Here are some tidbits to tempt you! Enjoy these excerpts!

Alone, by Michelle d'Arcy 

With every step closer, Darcy knew what he wanted and knew what he would do. He had no doubts remaining. The surprise, joy, and gratitude on Elizabeth’s beautiful face and the tears of happiness in her bright eyes would surely make his extended torment worth the while. She would surely forgive him for the weeks of silence and turmoil, during which he had given her the impression he was toying with her affections. 

He entered and found her alone in the parlour. She was pale and clearly not feeling well; she looked surprised, and he needed a little time to gather his thoughts and find the right words to address her. 

Then, their eyes met, and he lost himself in hers. She licked her lips, in obvious anticipation, so he opened his heart and held it in his hands, offering it to her. 

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” He heard himself revealing the tumult that had tortured him for six months. 

She remained silent, wide eyed, completely still while he poured his very soul at her feet.

My Funny Valentine, by Elin Eriksen

Elizabeth curtseyed deeply. Far be it from her to show any lack of manners on her part. Oh no, she would be perfectly civil.

“Mr Darcy, we have not been introduced due to your lack of gentlemanly behaviour. I am willing to overlook that slight impropriety, which surely must count as insignificant and came as the result of you walking away in the middle of an introduction. I am referring to your party’s arrival, when my mother importuned you by asking you to dance with one of her daughters, and your immediate and hasty retreat to the opposite end of the room.”

Mr Darcy opened his mouth as if to speak, but Elizabeth had not finished, and she stopped him with a pointed hand gesture.

“I perfectly comprehend your feelings, Mr Darcy. You are an excellent physiognomist, and you should always judge people’s characters by their looks. One would not want to associate with anyone lacking in appearance, and certainly not dance with any lady slighted by other men.” 

Elizabeth drew a breath to allow her point to be understood. “You simply must allow me to express my gratitude. My dear grandmother has instilled in me the virtues of never expressing behind anyone’s back what you cannot say to their face. I, therefore, highly appreciate your sincere evaluation of my appearance. With that said, I shall not disturb you for a moment longer but shall promptly remove my unpalatable presence from your company.” 

A Coincidence of Connexions, by Riana Everly

Mr Darcy looked away and cleared his throat. Was he flushing pink? She hardly could believe so arrogant a man could feel such an emotion as embarrassment.

“I recall… when last we spoke, at the ball at—”

“Netherfield,” Elizabeth supplied.

“Yes. We danced.” He stopped and she waited. He surely had more to say than repeat such a fact. He cleared his throat again. “We were discussing your… our mutual acquaintance, Mr Wickham, before we were interrupted. You accused me of withdrawing from him my own friendship, in such a manner that he would suffer all his life. I did not know, then, how to respond. It hardly seemed the place…”

“Much better to bring out these matters at an intimate dinner party.” 

“You are, madam, always correct. I seem to have the ill fortune of a terrible choice of timing. But the topic was raised, and I had to address it. Forgive me.” He said this last with such genuine meaning that she could not help but be affected. 

Perhaps she had severely misjudged everything about Mr Darcy!

In Time for Valentine’s, by Iris Lim

“I shall be throwing a ball, here at Matlock House, that shall be the talk of the Season,” said Lady Matlock. 

Fitzy scoffed. “We already are the talk of the Season, mother dear.” 

“Not that sort of talk—the good kind.”

“A hardly think a ball could so easily distract the voracious ton.” 

“We shall have it on St. Valentine’s, a day many are coming to associate with love.” 

“Again, Mother, I do not think—” 

“Then we shall announce a betrothal—preferably, one of yours.”

Both Darcy and Richard sprung up with alacrity.

“You cannot mean—”

“And given that Richard shall be leaving for the Continent soon, the better candidate would be Darcy.”

“Aunt, please, you must see—”

“Georgiana would benefit, would she not?” Lady Matlock continued, unperturbed by Darcy’s clear agitation. “Besides, I already have several ladies in mind. I am sure you shall be able to find at least one of them suitable.”

“This is madness. I cannot possibly—”

“Oh, but you can.” The countess pinned him in place with a glare. “Have no fear, Darcy, we shall have you betrothed in time for Valentine’s.”

Ten Valentine’s Days, by Laura Moretti

“Darcy had been so in love with her, ten years ago. Paradoxically, he’d only realised how much after his drunken declaration. When days had passed. When his hangover had subsided. When he’d had time to reflect. 

He missed Elizabeth like hell.

He’d cut Elizabeth from his life cold turkey, like one would just stop smoking, stop eating sugar, stop doing drugs. And yes, it was hell.

The withdrawal. Everything hurt. Before the…‘The Events at the Pub at Hunsford’, Darcy had spent two years in Elizabeth’s presence, in the same circle of friends. Darcy and Elizabeth had celebrated Bingley and Jane’s engagement together, their attendance mandatory at the intimate dinner and during the huge party that followed; they’d been best man and chief bridesmaid at the wedding. 

Elizabeth had been a constant in Darcy’s life. Her banter. Her laugh. Their heated debates. The love she showed her sister, her friends. It was in her absence Darcy realised how much he was—hooked.

Seven years. Why couldn’t he move on? 

Mr Darcy's Matchmaking Valentine, by S. Neha

Yellow? Oh… no! Rosie’s favourite doll has a cap of the exact same colour. It was now evident to Elizabeth why her aunt was standing close to those two gentlemen and why Rose was so upset. But how did Rosie’s doll wind up in the lake in the first place?

The gentleman with the stick suddenly, and somewhat improbably in Elizabeth's opinion, stretched his arm a little bit further and stumbled, just as she had feared. It was only the second gentleman holding on to him that saved him from a dunking in the frigid waters. The very next moment, the man was lifting the stick in the air, Rose’s doll dangling from it. That young lady’s squeals of joy indicated that she, too, had observed the rescue of her poor, beleaguered doll.

The gentlemen then turned to face the others, both beaming proudly, and Elizabeth’s thoughts scattered in shock. It was Mr Darcy who was holding the stick with the dangling doll, and very poetically, it was Mr Bingley who had been hanging on to his coattails! Although in this instance, one could be charitable and argue that he was making himself useful.

* * *

Available for a limited time!

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So, my friends, what do you think of this short story collection? We'd love to hear from you! 


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