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Introducing Darcy’s Melody!

Let’s Party!

   

I LOVE parties, and today is an exceptional day since August 17 is my sister Melody’s birthday, Georgiana Darcy’s birthday, and the launch of my new book, Darcy’s Melody, in eBook format on Amazon!  My sister, Melody Ann Ferree, holds a very special place in my heart and was my inspiration for writing a loving sisterly relationship between Lizzy and Georgina in this Pride and Prejudice tale. 

  In celebration, I thought we should have some cake and a giveaway! After all what’s a party without a little of the good stuff? Right? Melody’s favorite cake was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Yummy! Every year on Melody’s birthday, her girls all make carrot cake in her honor. Melody’s recipe is at the end of this post. These are my nieces: Molly, Deanna, Jessica, and Keila.For my birthday party on May 20, I asked you to tell me what was one of your favorite cakes. My virtual tasting was beyond belief with so many delicious offerings. Some of you even left recipes! Since Darcy’s Melody has an underlying music theme, this time I would like to know what is your favorite song or even what style of music makes you feel good. 

Although there is a prominent music theme in my story, there is also a subplot which has to do with Colonel Fitzwilliam and the Crown’s Secret Guard. I hope you like this first scene from chapter one where Darcy and Lizzy first meet in a rather unusual way. Enjoy! Jen Red ♫

DARCY’S MELODY

Chapter One ~ Under the Cover of Books

London

Tuesday, 21 May 1811, early afternoon

Ballard’s was an eclectic treasure trove of rare first editions and unusual books located on the thoroughfare of Piccadilly. Although it appeared somewhat dingy and dimly lit from the outside, inside the ageing building the atmosphere was inviting, and a vast array of literature beckoned lovers of the written word.

Promptly at one o’clock, Fitzwilliam Darcy entered the bookshop and walked directly towards his favoured section. While paging through a military war journal, he instinctively glanced toward the back of the shop. Even with several patrons milling about the establishment today, Darcy’s eyes were drawn to a young lady who appeared to be examining a small book in the poetry section.

Closing the journal, Darcy ambled over to where the woman stood and began perusing the titles on a nearby shelf. After taking a book in hand, he purposely turned his head towards the young lady. Captivated by her large, dark emerald-green eyes sparkling with mischief, he felt his lips curve into a half smile when she spoke.

“Pray, sir, may I trouble you to hand me the book of Cowper poetry on the upper shelf?”

 Darcy nodded. “With pleasure. Cowper is an excellent choice.” 

As he reached for the book, she continued, “One poem in particular reminds me of Oakham Mount in Hertfordshire. I find I am rather desirous of its solace today if only through the eyes of the poet.”

Handing her the book, he answered in kind. “I understand your sentiments for I, too, am from the country and have longed to return to Derbyshire.”

Arching an eyebrow in his direction, she inclined her head and said, “I thank you, sir.”   

“You are most welcome.”    

As she turned the pages of her selection in search of the poem, Darcy heard the young lady gasp when both of her books slid out of her hands and onto the floor. “Oh dear,” she sighed, stooping down to retrieve them.    

“Allow me,” he immediately offered. Both reaching for the books, Darcy felt her small, warm hand carefully slip a folded piece of paper into the palm of his own. The young lady had not replaced her glove after perusing her own book, and her skin was soft to the touch. Leaning closer, the faint scent of lavender seemed to strengthen, causing his chest to tighten and his heart to quicken in response.

Feigning innocence, she looked up at him and said, “Again, sir, I am in your debt. Perhaps I should make my purchases before I have another mishap.”

“Permit me to carry these to the desk for you.”

Acknowledging his offer with a slight curtsey, the young lady whispered, “Sir, I think we are being observed.” Then speaking louder, she added, “Thank you again. You are most kind.”

“Your servant.” He bowed. With his senses heightened from being forewarned of impending danger, Darcy spoke softly in return, “How did you come? I would not have you leave here unescorted.”

“There is a carriage waiting, sir. A manservant is nearby and a maid is within.”

“Then leave now and be careful.”    

After he placed the books on the counter, the young lady thanked Darcy, made her purchase, and quickly exited the shop. From where he stood, Darcy watched the footman assist her into the carriage. Assured of her safety, he abruptly turned and faced the observing patron who had folded his newspaper and was preparing to leave the shop.

“Excuse me, have we met?”    

The man was obviously confused and stammered, “I … I think so.  You are Mr. um.… ”

“Fitzwilliam Darcy. And you are?”

“My name is … is Gerard Mooreland, and if I remember correctly, my son, Jonathan, was a classmate of yours at university some years back.”    

Darcy furrowed his brow for a moment in thought. “I do not seem to recall the name. Do you care to refresh my memory?”

“My … my son was a master with the blade and was an active participant in the fencing club,” Mooreland boasted through a somewhat crooked smile. 

With no recollection of either man, Darcy made further inquiries after which he gave Mooreland his card and requested his son pay him a visit when he was next in Town. Concluding their conversation, Darcy made his purchase and left the bookshop being rather unsettled.

The giveaway for TWO of my eBooks will take place on Friday, Aug 24 and the winners will be posted here, on FaceBook and Twitter. Meanwhile, be sure to check out some of these links. To comment and be entered in my giveaway, just click on the title at the beginning or this post or the comment tab just below the title. There should also be a place after this post: leave a reply. Don’t forget to let me know what your favorite song is or what style of music makes you feel good. AND if you feel like sharing a little more cake, I won’t complain.  Jen ♫

I have recorded all of Lizzy’s songs and made a book trailer for Darcy’s Melody. You can find all of them here on YouTube. 

In addition, here is a chapter by chapter story in pictures of Darcy’s Melody on Pinterest.  

Here is the Amazon eBook Link.  

Note: As of Aug 17, the eBook of Darcy’s Melody is live on Amazon.com. I am still waiting for a proof copy of the print version and will make another announcement whenever my book is available.

Melody’s Carrot Cake
·      2 1/2 Cups flour
·      2 tsp baking soda
·      1/4 tsp salt
·      2 tsp cinnamon
·      1 cup light brown sugar packed
·      1 cup granulated sugar
·      3 sticks (1 ½ c.) salted butter, softened
·      3 large eggs
·      2 teaspoons vanilla
·      3 cups grated carrots (3-4 medium carrots)
·      ½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
·      1 cup (6 oz) raisins
·      1 cup (4 oz) chopped walnuts
Icing
·      16 oz cream cheese, softened
·      1 stick (1/2 c.) salted butter, softened
·      2 teaspoons vanilla
·      3 cups powdered sugar

*optional: you can add 1 Tbls. Lemon juice to frosting

* Feel free to add extra pineapple, carrots, vanilla, nuts, or raisins for a denser cake.

Directions:
1.     Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans or oblong pan
2.     In a large bowl, stir flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and sugars.  Add butter, one egg, and vanilla: blend with electric mixer on low. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes
3.     Scrape down sides of bowl and remaining eggs, one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each.  Add carrots, pineapple, raisins and walnuts.  Blend on low until thoroughly combined.
4.     Bake for 60-70 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then invert cakes on rack and cool to room temp. (If you use cake pans, be sure to cool them enough otherwise they will crumble.)

5.     Icing: beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add vanilla (and lemon juice if wanted) beat until combined.  Add sugar gradually, mixing on low.
6.     Ice and refrigerate for 1 hour to set icing.

 

 

 

 

Writers Contest

WRITERS CONTEST
As a reward  for the lovely writers who take time to post their stories on the forum, we are starting a new contest. 
Beginning July 1, 2018 and going thru December 31, 2018, all writers who post a story on DarcyandLizzy.com for at least four consecutive weeks (of course of a reasonable length a chapter . . .  no fudging) will be entered in a drawing for three Amazon gift cards to be awarded within two weeks of the contest end. Grand prize will be for $100 gift card and the next two prizes are $25 cards.

In the following six-month period (Jan. 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019) a writer can be eligible for one of the lesser prizes again, but not the $100 card until they have ‘sat out’ a six-month period in between.

Here is how you can increase the odds of winning: After you post for four consecutive weeks, your name is put in the pot. For every four-week period you post after that, your name gets put in the pot again. As you can see, for the benefit of this contest it would be more beneficial to post once a week for four weeks, rather than four times in one week.

I have added this because of questions asked: How long your story is will be up to you. To be fair, however, chapters should be at or close to 3000 words. Of course, the longer the story, the more times you name could be added to the pot.

We hope you will keep this in mind when you post next.

Welcome to my Birthday Party!

Welcome to my Birthday Party! I love birthdays and I’m so happy you dropped by to have some cake.  Please tell me which cake is your favorite and if you have a special birthday memory you would like to share, feel free to leave it in the comment thread. I have two eBooks and one print book of A Very Merry Mix-up to give away, so let me know if you would like one. (The print book is available only to readers who live in the USA or Canada.) The winners will be announced on May 21, the day after my birthday.

Have a nice day!  Jen Red ♫

 I LOVE fruit and this very berry pie cake is one of my favorites. Perfect with a cup of tea or your favorite cup of coffee. Shall we? (This one is store bought so I don’t have a recipe – sorry.)

Or how about this delicious Old Fashioned Super Moist Mayo Cake! It’s so yummy. Mmm…. (Recipe LINK)

    Then Carmalee thought it would be fun if she sent me her éclair cake! It’s an easy no-bake recipe, but oh so delicious! (Here is a video link on how to make this yummy treat. (LINK) Last but not least, we have my mom’s favorite Carrot Cake.  (Recipe LINK)

Thank you so much for stopping by to celebrate my birthday. You will find the comment link at the top of this post. Don’t forget to check back on May 21 to see if you are a winner. JAFF folks are the best! Jen Red ♫

A Very Merry Mix-up

Mar. 15, 2018

A Very Merry Mix-up

It all began when Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam stopped at the posting station in Bromley  on their way to Rosings Park for their annual visit. Looking for some diversion, the good colonel happened upon a local Romani woman  who was selling her people’s treasured  Moon Wine.  Find out what happens to some of our favourite Jane Austen characters when her advice is ignored in A Very Merry Mix-up by Jennifer Redlarczyk.   

Now available on Amazon.com in both eBook and Print versions.  

               

 

 

 

 

Teaser

1 April 1811, All Fool’s Day

Quickly rising, Darcy felt a little unsteady and found it necessary to hold on to the bed post while searching for his robe. Catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror, he staggered closer to the glass and groaned in disbelief.

“Merciful Heaven!” he thundered, turning back to the woman. “It is me, Fitzwilliam Darcy, in the body of that idiot rector! If you are Miss Elizabeth Bennet, as you claim, I fear we have both become the victims of some cruel joke. Will you not come and look for yourself?”

Picking up Charlotte’s dressing gown and quickly wrapping it around herself, Elizabeth guardedly went to the mirror as he requested. “Mr. Darcy?” She paled, realizing what he said was true. 

 

Please click here to see my Pinterest board for A Very Merry Mix-up ♫

Mr. and Mrs. and More!

The following post is from DAILY WRITING TIPS website and details the permutations of abbreviations for courtesy titles. I thought it very interesting and hope you will too.

Mister developed as a variant of master. (Interestingly, the newer title came to pertain to married men, while master, once a title of respect for a social superior, was reserved for unmarried men and boys.) Originally, both master and mister were abbreviated Mr. before a person’s name as a courtesy title, but as master fell out of use, Mr. came to be applied solely as an abbreviation for mister.

Mrs. was originally a generic abbreviation of mistress before a name, but it developed into a courtesy title specifically for a married or widowed woman, while Miss, with no abbreviation, was adopted as an honorific for unmarried women. Ms. began as a variant abbreviation of mistress as a courtesy title in the 1600s but fell out of favor. (At the turn of the twentieth century, it was proposed as a substitute form of address for a woman whose marital status is unknown, but the idea did not gain traction, nor did the abbreviation catch on fifty years later when a couple of business publications brought the issue up again. However, after feminist and journalist Gloria Steinem adopted the abbreviation as the title of a new magazine for women in 1972, its use quickly spread.)

Because no native plural form of Mr. or Mrs. developed in English, the French abbreviations Messrs. (Messieurs) and Mmes. (Mesdames) were borrowed; Mses. developed in imitation, and the plural form of Miss, Misses, like the singular form, did not acquire an abbreviation. Because of the decline in use of such honorifics, the plural forms are rarely seen anymore.

As a reference to a man who embodies a certain quality, Mr. appears in such references as “Mr. Right” (the ideal man for a woman to marry) or “Mr. Big” (a man of significant authority and/or status). Missus, a derivative of mistress based on a casual pronunciation of the latter word, and Miz, a spelling based on the pronunciation of Mrs. or Miss in the southern United States, should generally be used only in dialogue in historically or geographically appropriate fiction. However, “the Mrs.” or “the missus,” spelled as shown as humorous references to one’s wife, are appropriate in informal writing.

I hope you learned something new, for I did!

 

Jane Austen – The Melody of an Author

jane-austen-1Today, being Jane Austen’s birthday, 16 December, I would like to pay tribute to a very special woman in the world of literature. I first discovered Jane Austen when I was but a teenager. My mother was a lover of old movies and introduced me and my sister to the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice movie starring Greer Garson and Lawrence Oliver. What could be better than this old black and white with lively music and lighthearted banter between our beloved characters, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy?

darcyandlizzy-old

Little did I know that this old film was just a sneak preview into the world of Jane Austen and the literary works that I would soon come to love and cherish. Following this introduction, I quickly sought out our local used book store to see if I might purchase the original. To my delight, I found a fat anthology containing not only Pride and Prejudice, but all six of Jane Austen’s completed novels.

Our dear Jane was born on 16 December 1775. She was one of eight children (six boys and two girls) born to George and Cassandra Austen during the course of their marriage. Like Elizabeth and Jane from Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen was very close to her elder sister Cassandra.

Coming from a family of modest means, Jane did not have the privileges that would have been given to her in a more affluent household such as that of Georgiana Darcy or even Caroline Bingley. Her father was a simple clergyman who not only performed his duties in the ministry, but farmed and often boarded several boys that he tutored for extra income. While Jane and Cassandra did have some schooling outside of the home, from what I can tell, the majority of Jane’s education came from the independent reading she did, guided by her father and brothers, James and Henry.

z-ppJane had long been interested in the written word, and some of her earliest writings can be traced back as far as age eleven. She often wrote stories, poems, and short plays for her family’s amusement, and engaged in family theatricals on a regular basis. We can easily imagine how some of these experiences in Jane’s early life must have stimulated her imagination as well as forming the foundation for much of her writing that we enjoy today.

In this current day and age it is fascinating to be a part of the Jane Austen Fan Fiction culture that hungers for sequels, prequels and adaptations of almost every type based on Jane’s works. While writing my current Work In Progress, Darcy’s Melody, I have taken Austen’s main characters and written them into a new tale which takes place in London, during 1811. Although I could never hope to emulate Jane Austen’s masterful writing, I have thoroughly enjoyed trying to capture the essence of her characters within a genre that is so familiar to me, music. If you have not already done so, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you over to the storyboard to read along as I bring my tale to a close. Enjoy! Jennifer Redlarczyk ♫

PS I would love to know what first drew you to Jane Austen. What is your favorite Austen Book and what is is about JAFF that keeps you hungering for more?

dm

Melody of a Quilt

Melody of a Quilt

What is it about a beautiful handmaid quilt that makes your heart want to sing when you look at it or run your fingers over the seemingly endless stitches that were so lovingly placed throughout? For me it is an appreciation of an art that gives me a connection to the past. My mom, Jean Gibson Kreuser, came from a long line of Kentucky quilters who quilted out of necessity.

Growing up on a small 100 acer farm during the depression, my mom and her sisters used every scrap of fabric they could find in order to make coverings that would keep them warm at night. I remember her telling us stories how they would cut squares out of old shirts, dresses and sometimes even feed sacks to create their quilt tops. When looking in her old trunk, which I viewed more like a treasure chest, she still had several hand pieced blocks that she made when she was a young girl. pillow

As a child, I remember my mom was a woman who loved to keep her hands busy. I can still see her sitting in the old rocking chair crocheting or embroidering as we watched television or listened to music on the radio or phonograph. When I was very young, Mom sewed on an old Singer treadle sewing machine, as did my grandmother. I could sit at her feet for hours watching the wheel spin and the fabric run past the sewing feed as she made curtains for our windows or created the cutest clothes for me and my little sister, Melody. treadle-sewing-maching

At the young age of seven I desperately wanted to learn how to sew on that old machine and pestered my mom until she finally agreed to teach me. I was thrilled when Mom told us that our first project would be a nine-patch quilt top. The nine-patch was an old favorite of Mom’s, since it reminded her of her own childhood and all of the hours she spent sewing with her sisters. nine-patch

In making the nine-patch, the first thing we had to do was to cut an accurate two and a half inch square for the template. Once we got the cardboard template made, the next step was to tediously trace and cut the squares on varied scraps of cloth, being careful not to waste any fabric. We then sorted out the solids and prints, making what I thought were a very pleasing arrangement of blocks on the table. At last we were ready to sew.

On modern sewing machines, it is quite easy to make an accurate seam. On the old treadle it was more difficult so you had to mark the sewing lines for the seams to insure accuracy or use the presser foot as a gauge. With her loving hands guiding me each step of the way we worked diligently and actually completed the quilt top during the course of the summer between my second and third grade. Today, that old quilt resides at my sister’s house, and as tattered and worn as it is—the quilt has been an old favorite for many years.

Being a lover of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I have always had a soft spot for dear Georgiana, the younger sister who remembers so little of the mother who died when she was but a little girl. In my story Lady Anne’s Quilt, I have decided to give Georgiana a loving bond to her past through a very special heirloom, her mother’s quilt. Georgiana and her new sister, Elizabeth, happen to come upon the quilt while exploring the contents of an old trunk which was left by Lady Anne for her daughter’s sixteenth birthday. From there, a story of discovery allows Georgiana to connect with her mother in a way that is very endearing. This story may be found on the completed stories board on the forum. Lady Anne’s Quilt

In researching quilts made during Jane Austen’s time, I discovered that most quilts were often made from whole cloth and were not necessarily pieced or appliquéd as many are today. Even so, I learned by reading a wonderful UK article printed in The Jane Austen Community which tells us that Jane, her sister Cassandra, and her mother hand pieced the beautiful patchwork quilt that is now on display at Chawton Cottage in Hampton, UK. Here is a quote from the article.

In May 1811, Jane asked her sister Cassandra, “have you remembered to collect pieces for the Patchwork?—we are now at a standstill.”

 http://www.janeausten.co.uk/jane-austens-quilt/ ja-quilt-3

In corresponding with Sue Dell, Collections Volunteer at Jane Austen’s House Museum whose specialty is the Austen quilt, Sue told me that the central medallion is a chintz fabric that was taken from a piece that was sold as a panel for quilting, making chair covers or fireplace screens. The central medallion was cut out of this panel in the shape of a diamond and is equivalent in size to 121 of the small edging diamonds. Because it is printed, there is no piecing involved in this section of the quilt. Sue say that the full panel can be seen in a quilt in the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle in Yorkshire.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In addition to the center medallion, there are at least 64 fabrics including a mixture of dress fabrics and furnishing fabric that are used in the construction of the quilt. The central area is made up of block printed fabrics that were probably fussy cut. This technique centers the flower before cutting out the shape. The small diamonds around the edge are largely made from roller printed fabrics.

There is no embroidery on the quilt. In fact, Sue says that though it is called a quilt, it is considered a coverlet since there is a layer of wadding between the patchwork and the backing, but the layers have not been connected by a quilting stitch. While there were quilts made at this time with the quilting stitch going through all of the layers, Sue believes that the Austen women made theirs for decoration rather than warmth. Interestingly, Sue also says that the quilt is completely symmetrical in terms of the positioning of the patches—even the tiny diamonds around the edge.

When taking in all of the planning that must have gone into the quilt by the Austen women, and viewing the end result, one can only image that the hand sewing of this treasure would have taken months to complete. For those of us who value the art of quilting, I feel that we are fortunate to have this particular connection to Jane Austen’s past. My heartfelt thanks of appreciation go out to all lovers of Austen and to those historians who have worked so hard to preserve another part of her legacy.

NOTE: I would like to make mention of an incredibly beautiful book called Jane Austen Patchwork Mystery by Linda Franz. In it you will find wonderful color pictures and additional information about Jane Austen’s quilt. Included are step-by-step instructions of how you might make your own patchwork treasure.

ALSO: I would like to acknowledge Sue Dell, who so graciously answered many of my quilt questions by email. Sue will be speaking at the Jane Austen North American (JASNA) convention on Friday, October 21, 2016 from 7:00-8:00 pm. The Annual General Meeting takes place from October 21-23 in Washington DC Metropolitan USA. Here is the blurb from her lecture:

Jane Austen was an adept needlewoman who did plain sewing and participated in the decorative crafts of the wealthier classes.  Jane, her mother, and her sister together stitched a unique and beautifully designed quilt, now displayed at Jane Austen’s House Museum.  Slides showing the quilt in previously unseen detail will accompany a discussion of its design, construction, and historical context. ja-quilt-5

I would love to know if you have ever been to Chawton House and seen the Jane Austen Quilt. Or if you have a special quilt story of your own, please feel free to share it in the comments thread. Thanks so much for reading my blog today. Jen Red ♫

A Mother’s Touch

Mother & child

In chapter eight of Darcy’s Melody, Elizabeth comforts Georgiana much as a mother would. As we all know from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Georgiana lost her mother at a very young age and was most likely raised by several governesses. After the passing of her father, her guardians became her brother, Fitzwilliam Darcy and her cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. Knowing that, it is understandable that Georgiana is exceedingly shy, as she is described by Jane Austen in her novel. We might also speculate that she is in much need of female companionship and would have benefited by having a sister.

As you will read in Darcy’s Melody, music is all important to Elizabeth Bennet who sings and is willing to share her love of music to inspire others. Lizzy’s song, All Through the Night (Ar Hyd y Nos) is a lovely Welsh folksong sung to a tune that is mentioned in the Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards (1784) by Edward Jones. The Welsh lyrics were written by John Ceiriog Hughes, and have been translated into several languages, including English. Curiously, the melody was earlier used by John Gay in his ever popular English Ballad Opera, The Beggar’s Opera, 1728.

Bryn TerfelHere you will find a link to my rendition which is arranged by Ruth Elaine Schram: All Through the Night – Jennifer Redlarczyk

The second link is Bryn Terfel’s rendition sung in traditional Welsh. I first heard Mr. Terfel sing in concert at the Ravinia Summer Music Festival when I lived in the Chicagoland area. He has an amazing baritone voice and in this setting, the song is much like a prayer. Thank you so much for listening, and please feel free to tell me how music inspires you. Jen Red ♫

 

 

We are Speaking of Music!

 
LC4“What is that you are saying, Fitzwilliam? What is it you are talking of? What are you telling Miss Bennet? Let me hear what it is.”
“We are speaking of music, Madam,” said he, when no longer able to avoid a reply.
“Of music! Then pray speak aloud. It is of all subjects my delight. I must have my share in the conversation, if you are speaking of music. There are few people in England, I suppose who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.”   Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

I have often wondered what was required of a young lady to become a great proficient during Jane Austen’s time. Jane Austen, 1775-1817, studied the pianoforte until she was age twenty-one. As we know from reading her novels, music was an integral part of her stories. Several of her heroines played the instrument and sang, not to mention that her characters often attended balls and assemblies or concerts.

I suspect that Georgiana may have begun her musical studies at a very young age. While her first teacher may have been her governess, as she grew older and showed more promise, her father, and later her brother, would have engaged Masters who resided in London to serve as her tutors. 

Darcy and Georgiana MacFayden

“Oh! Yes—the handsomest young lady that ever was seen; and so accomplished!—She plays and sings all day long.”  Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

To become truly accomplished on the Pianoforte, a young lady such as Georgiana Darcy might have easily practiced six to eight hours a day, much like university music majors do today. Her technical studies may have included the older masters such as J.S. Bach, C.P.E.Bach, G.F. Handle, and Domenico or Alessandro Scarlatti. Then she would have been introduced to more contemporary masters such as Clementi, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. In addition, she would have had vocal studies where she would have been expected to learn Italian arias and popular ballads written by English composers.

C.P.E. BachIn Darcy’s Melody, I have allowed several proficient musicians to join the cast of characters and I would like to introduce them to you here. For example, in chapter one, we first hear of Herr Schneider, Georgiana’s music master, from her days at school. Coming from a German descent, I envisioned him as having lived in Hamburg where he studied with the notable C.P.E. Bach before immigrating in his later years to London where he took up his teaching position. 

Then, in Chapter Two, I have mentioned the acclaimed blind composer from Vienna, Maria Theresia von Paradis, 1759-1824. In my story, she happens to be a summer guest of the Darcys’ cousin, Lady Jessica Helmsley. In reality, Miss Paradis was a personal friend of Mozart and toured extensively in Europe as well as London. Maria Theresea von ParadisAt the hospital concert, in chapter six, Georgiana and her friend Lady Lilyan perform Miss Paradis’ composition, the beautiful Sicilienne. Please click here to listen to Sicilienne by Maria von Paradis. This particular recording of Sicilienne happens to be arranged for the flute and harp.

As for Elizabeth Bennet, while she has not had the opportunity to study formally like her friend, Georgiana, in Darcy’s Melody we find that she has an inherit gift for singing. Her strength comes through her interpretation of the ballad song which was very popular during Jane Austen’s time.

Thomas MooreSeveral of Lizzy’s first songs happen to be written by Irish favorite, Thomas Moore, 1779-1852. Even Darcy has a collection of Moore’s poetry which is referenced in the story. Please click here to listen to my recording of Believe Me If all Those Endearing Young Charms. by Thomas Moore.

Sir Henry BishopDuring the course of the story we are also introduced to an English musician, Sir Henry Bishop, 1786-1855, who became the music director and composer in residence of Covent Garden around 1810, at the young age of 24. Mr. Bishop was known for his ever popular English Ballad Operas. In Darcy’s Melody, Mr. Bishop assists Lady Matlock’s committee in her charitable endeavors and is commissioned to write a song, Deep in my Heart, which will be sung later in the story by Lizzy. Please click here to listen to my recording of Deep in My Heart by Sir Henry Bishop.  

While we journey our way through the posting of Darcy’s Melody here on the forum, I hope that you will enjoy how I’ve incorporated my own passion for music into this tale. Now that you’ve read a few of my thoughts and speculations, what can you tell me about your musical background?  Have you ever studied the piano or another instrument? Do you sing? I wonder if any of you have performed professionally or know of someone in your family who does. Please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts, as I would love to hear them.

Jen Red ♫

The Piano Lesson, Girard - 1810

The Melody of a Story!

May 17, 2016

The written word is like music to my soul. It can stir your emotions to great heights, inspire, and challenge you to think, put a smile on your face or perhaps leave you with a bit of melancholy. Just as a musician paints a story by the way he writes his music, the author writes the melody of his innermost being and leaves it on the written page for us to read. 

In Darcy’s Melody, Elizabeth Bennet and Georgiana Darcy meet through their mutual love of music. This is the story of how music and friendship bring two families together, challenging Fitzwilliam Darcy to embrace a new melody within his heart.

A preview from the first chapter of Darcy’s Melody is now appearing in the forum thread called A New Story Posting. Below you will find a visual preview of my tale. The stills are taken from the Pride and Prejudice 1995 Movie, while the Deryshire photos were shot by author, Florence Nicolaï. I shall be posting Darcy’s Melody in its entirety on this forum before publishing. If you are currently not a member, please feel free to register and login. See you in the threads!

Jen Red  ♫  Click HERE to see a preview of Darcy’s Melody on YouTube. 

Lizzy and Georgiana 1small

Author Trivia! ♫

Just for fun, I decided to interview some of our authors on DarcyandLizzy.com to find out what kind of music inspires their muse. Here is what I discovered.  ~ Jen ♫

Aleksandra – Ola Wegner: “I love all kinds of music from Classical to Film Soundtracks, then Country Music, Jazz, Broadway, Rock, and Opera. It’s kind of like reading. I love a little bit of everything, although oddly enough, I’m not much on Romance.”
Aureader – Rose Fairbanks:  “I like to write with the 2005 P&P Sound track playing in the background.  After that, it’s usually Disney Theme Songs.”
Brenda – Brenda Webb: “Country, country, & more country! Eddie Rabbit was my all-time favorite singer, Eddie Rabbit -I Can’t Help Myself  along with John Schneider (Bo Duke on Dukes of Hazzard) as a close second.”  John Schneider- A Memory Like You  
Kay Kay’s Quill – Kathy Langenstein Berlin:  “I’m a Hard Rock kind of girl, especially when I am driving my 2015 Mustang. What does that have to do with my muse, you ask? I work out dialogue and complex scenes while driving. Bizarre, I know, because my JAFF is Regency, not modern. When I move to my office and my computer for both my full-time job and my Darcy and Elizabeth story, I also move to Jazz, which is my version of white noise. Today, though, it will be all Prince, in the same way that several days were devoted to David Bowie not too long ago.”
Klnba – Zoe Burton:  “I can’t have any noise when I write, so I don’t play music at that time. I do love Country. George Strait is my favorite, though I have many songs and artists that I love.” 
Leenieb1- Lennie Brown:  “Oh this is a hard question! I LOVE music! Let’s see, when writing, I need music that is instrumental … no words allowed. I prefer that it be soothing and have the right feel or mood for what I might be working on, but that doesn’t always happen.”
Liedermadchen – Natalie Richards:  “As for inspirational music, I prefer tunes that are more on the mellow side while writing so that I won’t be distracted by the sudden urge to dance a reel. Christina Perri’s Arms comes to mind, Ella Fitzgerald & Loius Armstrong’s You Can’t Take That Away From Me and Dream a Little Dream of Me, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Nora Jones & the soundtracks for The Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice are others.”
Lindablanche – Linda Tremblay Blanchette:  “I don’t use music to fuel my muse as I always write without anything on. But, to get rid of writer’s block, I usually play Classic Rock or Pop like Journey, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Madonna, Prince etc.”
Lis – Lis Batten:  “I do like some modern composers and Mark Knopfler and his record Sailing to Philadelphia is one of my favorites. I’ve always liked Classical Music ever since my music teacher introduced our class to Tchaikovsky’s Overture of 1812 when I was 11 years old. Then many years ago, I watched the film Somewhere in Time and have never forgotten that music. I particularly like Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
Mgtiffy – Maureen Grinter:  “I like everything from Classical, Rock n’ Roll, Pop, Scottish Pipe Bands, but I guess what fuels my muse when I’m sitting at the computer writing, is music from Westlike, My favorite singer is John Farnham. I used to play the drum in the Air League Drum Band, and to this day when I hear that music, it makes me want to join in.”
PlaineJane27 – Ivy May Stuart:  “I love Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Ella Fitzgerald and then throw in some early Blues, Stephane Grappelli (Jazz Violin), Maroon Five, Corrine Baily Rae, and the list goes on.”
Rainbowpromise – Annette Wristen:  “Music is important to me though I can’t say that any certain type inspires my muse. For example when writing Chocolate, Curls & Dragons, I listened to a variety of YouTube fan videos that included Darcy clips. It’s Raining Men comes to mind. When writing Short of the Truth the song of choice was from Jars of Clay – Show you the Love. Currently I’m working on a Victorian novel so I listen to Viennese Waltzes.”
Rhae52 – Rhonda Aldridge:  “I always have a song playing in my head when thinking of certain scenes. In the final scenes of Take Me Home the song that played through my head was God Bess the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts. Of course, the title for TMH  came directly from Johnny Cash’s song by the same name because it was my little man’s favorite. When I think of the relationship between Will and Connor, the song Dare You by Hardwell feat/Michael Koma comes to mind. Then between Will and Lizzy, You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate or Im Too Sexy by Right Said Fred. The list goes on. Needless to say, Music is a very powerful force in shaping my muse.”
 Muzio Clementi piano belonging to Jane Austen
 Muzio Clementi square fortepiano belonging to Jane Austen, 1815

 

I hope you enjoyed my first blog post. Please feel free to leave your comments and tell me what kind of music inspires you below.
Till next time, Jen Red ♫
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