Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mr. Darcy's Secret - and Elizabeth has one too!

The big day is here at last! Mr. Darcy's Secret is out today and here I am proudly clutching my new novel!!!
 There have been a lot of people trying to find out Mr. Darcy's secret without having the bother of reading the book...and by asking extremely impertinent questions which have also included several devious methods on Twitter. But, I have not succumbed...my lips are sealed. I am not telling and the only way to find out Mr. D's very secret, SECRET, is to read to the very last page!
However, for your entertainment and for the chance to win a copy of Mr. Darcy's Secret, we have a 'Guess Elizabeth's Secret' game and competition. Two very amusing tweeting chums and fellow lady writers, Jane Travers and Kathryn Eastman have suggested and devised a competition for your diversion. Their first idea was that everyone should try to guess Mr. D's secret, but then we did think that might spoil the actual reading of the book. So, that was quickly abandoned to be replaced with this next idea that our Lizzy might be hiding something.
Yes, Elizabeth Bennet/Darcy has a secret, but what can it be? This is a chance for you to be creative and funny, there are no right or wrong answers, but please remember that visitors of all ages visit this site, and to keep within the 'Austen spirit'. Imagine Elizabeth has a secret of her own that she has kept from Mr. Darcy, only to be discovered once they are married. The most entertaining secrets will be selected and the winner drawn from a hat. Please leave your secret in the comment box below with a contact email for a chance to win, or you may contact me with your answer if you are shy.
This competition is to win one signed copy of Mr. Darcy's Secret and will be open until Valentine's Day, February 14th. Winner announced on 15th. Look out for another chance to win another copy of my book later this week and for information about my upcoming blog tour.
Mmm...just wondering what William Collins's secret might be...

43 comments:

Luthien84 said...

Hi, Jane. Congrats on your latest publication. I can't wait to read Mr. Darcy's Secret and find out what it is.

As for Elizabeth's secret, I can't imagine that she will hide anything from Mr. Darcy. If I have to venture a guess, I'd say that she has a secret engagement with a gentleman of lower social standing than her but he is striving hard to make a better living and start a family with her. However he died before he declared his intention to her father so no one in her family know about it, even Jane. This happen 2-3 years before she met Mr. Darcy.

This in part echoes Jane Austen's life as told by Cassandra years after Jane's death about a man she met in Sidmouth but died several months after they are acquainted.

Thanks for organising this lovely contest.

evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jane Travers said...

Yay!

Ok, my theory is this:

Lizzie claims, jokingly, that she first fell in love with Mr. Darcy after seeing Pemberley. I put it to you that it was not after seeing Pemberley, but after seeing Darcy's sister Georgiana that she fell in love - yes, our Lizzie has a total girl-crush!

What better way to stay near the object of her affections than to marry her brother? ;)

Sorry if this one is a little naughty...

Oh, and I absolutely love the book cover, Jane!

Jane Travers said...

Continuing on a theme, Lizzie falls in love - not with Darcy - but with Pemberley itself. Yes, she's had a major crush on Capability Brown for many years now, and the beautiful grounds of Pemberley embody all that that gentleman espouses in his garden designs.

;)

Jane Odiwe said...

I'm going to enjoy this contest, I can see! Thanks for the wonderful comments and for the laughs!

Jane Travers said...

Ooh, here's one which will probably create a storm of protest...

Lizzie really is the gold-digger that Caroline Bingley believes her to be, but has been an excellent actress and has lured Mr Darcy in completely!

Now that she's married and has a fortune at her fingertips, she grows bored with Fitzwilliam and starts looking for other ways to fill her time, soon succumbing to opium and gambling.

(Note: I don't believe this for a second, I love Lizzie!)

Jane Travers said...

Blessed with good bone structure and beautiful skin (though only tolerable teeth) Lizzie Bennet has for years maintained the pretence - with the help of her "parents" - of being a young woman. She is, in fact, Mrs Bennet's spinster sister, not her second daughter.

Finally, and more successfully than Blanche DuBois, she has succeeded in making the rather short-sighted (but too proud to admit it) Fitzwilliam Darcy fall in love with her.

But what will happen when Fitzwilliam fails to beget a child and heir from his "youthful" wife?

Gosh, I could go on like this all day! Fun ;)

Sue Wilkes said...

Hi Jane, congratulations and well done! You must be thrilled!
I know exactly what Eliza Bennet's secret is. Life is so dull at Pemberley whenever Darcy goes away that she dresses up as a highwayman,borrows his pistols and seeks adventure as a 'gentleman of the road'! What would happen if Lizzie held up Darcy by mistake....?

Jane Odiwe said...

I love that idea, Sue - thanks for your input and your kind comments!

Sue Wilkes said...

I suppose my idea is more Georgette Heyer than Jane Austen - but glad you liked it!

Jane Travers said...

Ooh, just thought of another one!

Have you seen the movie The Crying Game? Well, that. ;)

Nancy Kelley said...

Come on now Jane, leave some secrets for the rest of us to guess. ;) Your crying game one was totally my first answer.

Hmmm... I had a secret devised for Darcy, which I'll share as I ponder Lizzy's. In a shocking turn of events, Darcy reveals that before marrying the old Mr. Darcy, his mother was first secretly married to... wait for it... Mr. Bennet! When her father found out, the marriage was annulled. However, Lady Anne soon realized she was with child and she was hurriedly married off to Mr. Darcy.

Unfortunately, this means Darcy and Lizzy's marriage is invalid due to consanguinity. However, the existence of a male heir does solve the Bennet family's money problems. Georgiana, now the sole heiress of the Darcy fortune, happily marries the man she truly loves, Darcy moves to Longbourn, and Elizabeth (knowing no fiction could match her life), becomes a renowned novelist.

Still pondering Lizzy's secret--I'll come back in a bit with that.

Kath said...

Just popping in briefly to wish you a Happy Publication Day, Jane and every success with Mr Darcy's Secret!! Your new photo's super, you look lovely.

I think Ms Travers has "delighted us long enough and should let the other young ladies have time to exhibit" their entries. ;-)

I will be back very soon to share mine and am very excited about this competition. Thanks for running it!

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you Nancy - very funny, love it!
Kath, you are so kind about my new hairdo! And yes, I didn't like to say, but your quotation about letting other young ladies exhibit is very apt, I feel! Do have a go at the competition - brilliant idea, wonder who came up with it?

Jane Travers said...

That is brilliant, Nancy! I totally want to read that book.

As for you, Kath, :p

EmileeHope said...

Congratulations! I would say the big secret Elizabeth is holding is that she was adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Bennett as a young girl. She was an orphan and they took her in when she was only a few years old to be a playmate for Jane. (They didn't think they were going to be able to have more children at the time, then of course they ended up having 3 more girls as we all know.)
Elizabeth has only just recently discovered this news and is trying to find information on her birth family. She isn't sure what Mr. Darcy would think of the situation and isn't wanting to tell him until she is finished with the research. Then, depending on the results she may share what she has discovered with him.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Emilee! Excellent - love that idea, very clever. I think I'm actually going to just ask for ideas for my novels in future from you all, you are ALL so brilliant at it!
Keep them coming!!!

Nancy Kelley said...

I admit, there is a silly part of me that wants to write that story. I must focus on my (actual, real) novel however.

Lizzy's secret... She spent a brief time on the TARDIS as companion to The Doctor. You've done it, haven't you Jane? You've written a Pride and Prejudice/Doctor Who crossover.

Jane Odiwe said...

Nancy - you should do it!

Brilliant, LOVE it! But, how did you guess? Keep it under your hat - I mentioned Northanger Abbey and Ninjas as a joke once, and I think someone's pipped me to it!

Rebecca Brown said...

Hmmm, obviously Lizzie's secret couldn't be that she us actually Mr Wickham in disguise... ;)

Ok, keeping it clean...She is actually a Napoleonic Spy and a revolutionary and has married Mr Darcy for the sole purpose of stripping him of his assets *pauses for brief daydream* and sharing them among the sisterhood of France.

No? Um...

I know I know I know. She has been ferreting away shillings for years and using a connection made through he Uncle Gardiner to speculate on 'Change. She now has a private fortune that outstrips Darcy's. Which is fortunate, as Georgiana's secret is that she has a passion for whist...

Rebecca Brown said...

Hmmm, obviously Lizzie's secret couldn't be that she is actually Mr Wickham in disguise... ;)

Ok, keeping it clean...She is actually a Napoleonic Spy and a revolutionary and has married Mr Darcy for the sole purpose of stripping him of his assets *pauses for brief daydream* and sharing them among the sisterhood of France.

No? Um...

I know I know I know. She has been ferreting away shillings for years and using a connection made through he Uncle Gardiner to speculate on 'Change. She now has a private fortune that outstrips Darcy's. Which is fortunate, as Georgiana's secret is that she has a passion for whist...

Jane Odiwe said...

I really, really like the stripping him of his assets idea, but can't quite think why...rests finger innocently against cheek and glances heavenward with a pert expression...

Nancy Kelley said...

Oh yes, please do strip Darcy of his assets. That's an excellent start to any story.

What? I just mean it would create conflict, that's all. Why are you looking at me like that?

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you everyone for making today such fun - please keep the suggestions coming! Don't be afraid to have a go, there are no right or wrong answers and your name will be added to the hat for a free copy of Mr. Darcy's Secret!

Luthien84 said...

Hm, I'll give another try. What if Lizzy is a poet who published a few poetry books under a man's name? Later Mr. Darcy quotes one of her poems to his friend and she can't help but smile. Mr. Darcy grew suspicious and ask her about it and she confess the truth. What do you think?

Jane Odiwe said...

Luthien84, well, I loved your first one, but that is a fabulous idea too because it's realistic. Now that would make a very nice book, don't you think?

Luthien84 said...

Thanks Jane for your lovely comments. Maybe you can published a short stories anthology called Mrs. Darcy's Secret? Just an idea.

Philippa Perry said...

Elizabeth's secret? Why she has been writing for years. She wrote on a little round wine table and refused to have the squeaky hinge of the door to her parlour oiled so that if Darcy came to look for her she could cover her page of manuscript with a piece of embroidery she had been supposedly working on. Darcy notices after a couple of years that no progress has been made on the said embroidery and there appears to be ink stains on its reverse. He confronts her and is delighted when she reveals her novel which is now ready for publication. He thinks he can work out a thin disguise for Caroline Bingley but fails entirely to recognise the tall, proud man as himself...

Jane Odiwe said...

Lovely! Hints of our own Jane, I see! Thank you Phillipa for joining in!

Christine Jensen said...

Congratulations on the publication of your book!

I am not incredibly creative (more a reader than a writer), but I will give this a shot.

Lizzie has been writing a newspaper column under the name of Benjamin James for the past two years. Her column, though fictional, poked fun at the social rules of the Ton. One of her articles (written while Darcy was staying with Bingley at Netherfield) used Darcy as a model for her scathing article.

Newly married to Mr Darcy (granting her access to the higher social circles) , Lizzie will now have more fuel for her scathing articles, but she is conflicted and can't decide whether she should continue.

Christine Jensen said...

Sorry, my name above is not linking correctly, thought I would repost with a proper link to my blog page.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, Christine for stopping to join in - Brilliant! I love that idea!

Minda said...

oh, dang you got me ! The truth is that Elizabeth is me : ) no just kidding but I guess a lot of us wish that was the case.

Elizabeth's secret is that she was kissed by a girl once, by Caroline Bingley. Lizzie was shocked and have never told anyone, she is embarassed by that. Caroline just loved the way Lizzie always laughed and the way she told everyone what she wanted. She treats Lizzie badly so that no one will ever realize her secret.

Isa Merino said...

Jane, your smile is beautiful. Great Day. Great picture. I´m happy for you. I wish you the best for you and for your book.

Kisses from Spain.

Isa

Isa Merino said...

And for Elisabeth´s secret, well I´ll try it:

I think the secret is that She is a girl with her own fortune but anybody knows. Why? Because she becomes rich just one week before the wedding. She has been writing about she and he, but how i´t´s complicating for women being a writer she published like "A Lady". The characters of her book are Darcy and her, but she changed the names for: Jane A. and Tom L.

The book has been a best seller and now she is as rich as her husband.

Well, that´s all, that´s the secret.

I hope you undertand my poor English.

Isa
(From Málaga. Spain)

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you Minda - very original idea!
Isa, thank you for your lovely comments - love your wonderful idea!

Lieder Madchen said...

I love this contest! Here is my attempt...

Soon after their wedding, Darcy espies Elizabeth slipping out into the gardens late at night. Troubled, he follows her from a distance, careful to stay out of sight. He sees that she is crying and upset, so he is about to go to her when he sees Wickham come forward. Listening from a place of concealment among the bushes, he learns that Wickham is threatening Lydia and forcing Elizabeth to spy on and steal from Darcy. In fact, it was to protect her sister that she married Darcy in the first place. Elizabeth hates deceiving Darcy like that, for she thinks he is an honorable man, but she dare not tell him for Lydia's sake.

I think that this scenario could have some fun possibilities. :)

Congrats on your new book!
Lieder Madchen

Crandy said...

Mr. Darcy will be very sad to learn upon marrying Elizabeth, that her fine eyes of which he is so fond are only fine with the help of colored contact lenses. Can Darcy still love Lizzy after he learns that her finest feature is a fraud?

Cynthia Hale
haleofa@gmail.com

Louisa Cornell said...

Mr. Darcy is shocked to discover Lizzie is actually the world famous naturalist E.L Benet and she has been studying him, Mr. Collins, Mr. Wickham and Charles Bingley in aid of her newest treatise "Courtship and Mating Rituals of the English Male Animal" She actually married him to further her research for a follow-up treatise "Mating Habits of the Enamored Wealthy Englishman in his natural habitat!"

Jane Odiwe said...

Lieder, Crander and Louisa - thank you for entering into the spirit so well-fantastic!
Louisa, yours made me really chuckle. I think we could write a short story anthology based on everyone's ideas, don't you think?

Claudia said...

Hello Jane! This competition is so funny! I confess that I'm not good with riddles and secrets, but I'm going to try. I'd love to win a copy of your book :)

It's hard to imagine a secret into Lizzie's story since she looks so immaculate. I think it could be something related to the past of her family. Perhaps Lizzie's father, as he was in financial straits, was forced to agree with a man with no scruples who asked to take Elizabeth "as collateral". Mr. Bennet was not able to comply with the agreement and he is now forced to give Lizzie to the evil moneylender. I know my idea is a little risky, but I can't conceive of something sinister between Lizzie e Darcy!

Greetings from Florence, Italy :)

Claudia

claudiagaggioli@virgilio.it

Jane Odiwe said...

Oooh, I love that idea, very imaginative - poor Lizzy! Thank you Claudia - I shall enter you with the others into the competition!

KC said...

Okay I'm going to jump in although my first idea was her being a novelist and I also LOVE the idea of her being one of the Doctor's companions. It's brillant. Here's another story plot to add to mix even if it doesn't exactly work with historical facts:

Elizabeth is actually one of the first suffragettes. She's secretly been rallying and petitioning and getting the ball rolling. It would be scandalous for this to get out of course. But now that she is safely married she is hoping to sway Darcy to her way of thinking and to use his influence in the higher powers of England to gain a better future for her children. Especially if she only has daughters like her parents and is forced to leave them without any support.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you, KC for your contribution. I feel sure Lizzy would have been involved in the suffragette movement if she'd lived through that time-great idea!