Thank you, Bonnie and the team at Coffee Time Romance, for hosting me today. You've set an interesting topic. Thirteen intriguing things? Thirteen fun items? Thirteen…How about thirteen questions from….
Enid: Mr. Darcy! <Chest heaving, heart pumping. What a handsome young man! What tight breeches!>
Darcy: Miss Wilson. Is your family in good health? <with a curt bow>
Enid: Yes, they are in good health.
Darcy: How long have you been in the neighbourhood, the Jane Austen World?
Enid: But five years, sir.
Darcy: Where are you staying?
Enid: My own website SteamyDarcy.com <Face turning red> and AustenUnderground.com/forum
Darcy: Oh, I see. That is a very confined and unvarying society.
Enid: Not true, sir. There is something new to read, chat and write everyday.
Enid: Yes, sir. I assure you there is a great deal going on. For example, two of my friends, Aimée Avery and June Williams and I have just released a new Pride and Prejudice-inspired short story collection called Honor and Integrity.
Darcy: Are you going to find some instance of goodness, some distinguished trait of integrity or benevolence with a certain gentleman? <with a frown on his face>
Enid: Not me, sir. But Aimée takes an eager interest in Mr. George Wickham. She created an adorable version about him in a time-travel story entitled G.E.O.R.G.E. in our book. Mr. Wickham was even created with a part of your tissue.
Darcy: Upon my honor! My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever. Madam, pray tell me, are Mr. Wickham’s follies and vices forgetten in your book?
Enid: No, June wrote a most interesting variation in which Lydia Bennet did not marry Mr. Wickham! "Who cares where Wickham is? I have got myself a more handsome husband," Lydia said proudly, in June’s Barriers to Love.
Darcy: <smiling> How about you, madam?
Enid: I do not write about Mr. Wickham at all in the three stand-alone stories I wrote for the collection.
Darcy: That is singular. No Mr. Wickham in your Pride and Prejudice-inspired short stories! Who did you write about?
Enid: Miss Elizabeth Bennet and you, sir!
Darcy: <paces around, fingers playing with his ring> What have you written about Miss Bennet and me?
Enid: Nothing of importance.
Darcy: Upon your honor?
Enid: Well…if you must know, sir. In one of my stories, she sat on your lap.
Darcy: <with a thundering face> Am I to be rendered ridiculous by a person whose first object in life is a joke?
Enid: I hope I am not one of them. I hope I never ridicule what is wise and good. In that story, Miss Elizabeth and you have been married for 25 years. You’re blissfully happy in your marriage, and your mother is still alive.
Darcy: That is wonderful. I find these what-if stories about Miss Bennet and me most pleasing. What more can you say about them, madam?
Enid: There are plenty more but you will have to buy and read the book. For example, Aimée has turned Pemberley into an Air Force Base and you’re the new colonel there.
Darcy: Colonel Darcy? I like the sound of it. I hope I am not a common redcoat. What is the colour of my uniform?
Enid: Well, read the book! In fact, Aimée, June and I are giving out an ebook copy to one lucky reader. Hmm, just tell us what kind of what-if stories do you like, by commenting below, to enter the drawing. It is open to worldwide readers and closes on 3 August.
Darcy: <bow> Good day to you, madam.
Enid: Hey, why the hurry? How about getting a cup of coffee with me? Aren’t you going to sign an autograph for me? I want a picture of you, hunk!
Darcy: I am a gentleman of honor and integrity. I do not engage in the follies of modern days, you already have a beau with long blond hair, and your thirteen questions are done. I have a pressing engagement with Miss Elizabeth. Again, good day and goodbye to you, madam. <strides away in his tight breeches>
Enid: Damn, he walks fast. Those gorgeous long legs, and that bum.
Title: Honor and Integrity: A Collection of Pride and Prejudice-Inspirted Short Stories
What if Mr. Darcy’s mother was still alive? What if the Bennet sisters had suitors who were unacceptable? What if Elizabeth didn't realize Darcy's identity? And what if three authors of Jane Austen-inspired stories put their heads together and challenged each other with creating stories which contain the words ‘honor’ or ‘integrity’?
This collection of nine short stories contains sweet, romantic and intriguing stories across Regency, fantasy and modern genres.
You can find steampunk, deception, manipulation, theft, murder, love, marriage, coffee and many more themes in this volume.
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!