I first became acquainted with Jane Austen when I was a senior in high school in the late 1960s in northern New Jersey. As soon as I finished reading Pride and Prejudice, I went on an Austen marathon and read all of her books one after the other. Little did I know that forty years later, I would publish a novel, Searching for Pemberley, with a Pride and Prejudice tie-in.
After retiring as a special education assistant, I started to write fiction. In the three years it took for me to complete Searching for Pemberley, the publishing world had changed, and I was able to self-publish my novel. Sourcebooks found my book on Amazon and called to offer me a contract. You can imagine how thrilled I was to walk into a local bookstore and to see the re-titled Searching for Pemberley sitting on a shelf for others to buy. I have written three other P&P re-imaginings for Sourcebooks: The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, A Wife for Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Darcy’s Bite. I have also self-published several other P&P re-imagings as well as two time-travel romances, Becoming Elizabeth Darcy and Another Place in Time, as well as a modern novel, The Second Date, Love Italian-American Style. I am the author of a British police procedural series, the Patrick Shea mysteries: Three’s A Crowd, A Killing in Kensington and A Death in Hampden. The last Patrick Shea mystery, Dying to Write, is about a murder committed at a Jane Austen conference in the South of England.
I do most of my writing in the Valley of the Sun (aka Phoenix), but when the temperatures hit triple digits, my husband and I head up to Flagstaff in Arizona’s High Country, a perfect place to write a novel.
Mary’s website and blog: Fiction by Mary Lydon Simonsen
Mary’s New Releases
It did not begin well. At the Meryton assembly, Fitzwilliam Darcy was rude, and Elizabeth Bennet was offended. But what if, through a series of conversations, Darcy and Lizzy come to recognize the virtues that lay hidden beneath his pride and her prejudice? Even though the lovers walk a smoother path, there are obstacles, including other suitors for Lizzy and societal hurdles for Mr. Darcy. Conversations with Mr. Darcy, a novella, is a gentle “what if” Pride and Prejudice re-imagining where Darcy finds courage and inspiration in a long-ago love story from his own family. – Novella length
Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley is stubborn. Although given good principles as a child, he has grown into a man who needs convincing that his opinions are not the only ones that matter. Reform is possible, but it will require the intervention of a strong-willed Elizabeth Bennet, who has opinions of her own. – Novella Length
Mr. Darcy – Bitten, A Novella – While touring the Black Forest with his father, fourteen-year-old Master Darcy is bitten by a wolf. When the wound does not heal, Old Mr. Darcy consults a doctor and learns that his son has actually been bitten by a werewolf. As the years pass, Fitzwilliam has come to accept that for two nights of the lunar calendar, he is a creature of the night, prowling the grounds of Pemberley with a small pack of werewolves. He understands that for reasons of safety, it is in his best interest to marry a she-wolf. But that decision was made before he met Elizabeth Bennet. Mr. Darcy – Bitten is the story of Fitzwilliam Darcy’s pursuit of a woman who is fully human, but whom he cannot live without.
Darcy and Elizabeth – Answered Prayers, A Pride and Prejudice Short Story – Although four months have passed since Elizabeth Bennet’s rejection of his marriage proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy has yet to come to grips with the idea of a future devoid of Elizabeth’s love and companionship. Riding through the rain to reach Pemberley, Darcy arrives at his home with his mood as gloomy as the weather. When he discovers that Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle are touring the gardens, Darcy decides to use the approaching storm as a way to keep Elizabeth at Pemberley. It is his last chance to convince Elizabeth that he is a man worthy of her affection. Will he succeed?
Darcy and Elizabeth – Behind Pemberley’s Walls, A Pride and Prejudice Short Story – Four months after Elizabeth Bennet’s rejection of his offer of marriage, Fitzwilliam Darcy is still trying to puzzle through the reasons for her refusal. When he arrives at Pemberley, a place of reflection, he finds that Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle are touring the gardens. Is it possible that Fate has presented him with an opportunity to make amends for his awful behavior in Kent? Darcy quickly devises a plan to find out if Elizabeth is having second thoughts about refusing him, but it involves a bit of subterfuge. The question is: Will he succeed? Darcy and Elizabeth: Behind Pemberley’s Walls is a lighthearted retelling of the famous couple’s reunion in Derbyshire. Length: 10,500+ words
Darcy and Elizabeth – Lost in Love, A Pride and Prejudice Short Story – After Elizabeth Bennet’s rejection of his offer of marriage, Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to Pemberley in the hope of finding a path that will lead him to Elizabeth. Little does he know that Elizabeth is already at Pemberley, walking the gravel paths of the maze in Pemberley’s expansive gardens. When Darcy and Elizabeth meet in the middle of the labyrinth, the unexpected happens. This short story is a lighthearted retelling of the famous couple’s reunion in Derbyshire. Length: 6,500 words
In need of a break from his job at Scotland Yard, Detective Sergeant Patrick Shea of London’s Metropolitan Police is looking forward to some quiet time at a timeshare in rural Devon in England’s West Country. However, when he arrives at The Woodlands, Patrick finds himself in the midst of a Jane Austen conference. Despite Regency Era dresses, bonnets, and parasols, a deep divide exists between the Jane Austen fan-fiction community, those who enjoy expanding on the author’s work by writing sequels and re-imaginings, and the Janeites, those devotees who think anyone who tampers with the original novels is committing a sacrilege. When one of the conference speakers is found dead in her condo, Patrick is back on the job trying to find out who murdered her. Is it possible that the victim was actually killed because of a book?
Another Place in Time – In the time-travel romance, Another Place in Time, Fitzwilliam Darcy learns of the existence of Elizabeth Bennet from Hannah and Jacob Caswell, time travelers from the twenty-first century. When Darcy’s offer of marriage is rejected at Hunsford Parsonage, the Caswells advise Darcy to visit the future and seek the assistance of an expert on Jane Austen and the Regency Era.
When Darcy arrives in Baltimore in 2012, he finds Christine O’Malley serving on a panel at a Jane Austen conference. Although his arrival is a crowd pleaser, Chris is upset that an “actor” impersonating Mr. Darcy has stolen the show. After a rocky start, Chris agrees to go with Darcy to the past to help him sort out the mess with Elizabeth.
While plans are being made for Darcy to capture the heart and hand of Elizabeth Bennet, Chris, who has experienced her own heartache, finds she is falling for Darcy’s cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. With her sensibilities firmly rooted in the future, will Chris be able to find happiness with a man who occupies another place in time?
When They Fall in Love, A Novel
Spring of 1821 – A recently widowed Fitzwilliam Darcy has taken up residence with his six-year-old daughter, Alexandra, at a villa in the hills above Florence and invites Charles and Jane Bingley and their daughter to come for a visit. Included in the invitation is Elizabeth Bennet, who has taken on the responsibility of governess for her niece, Cassandra Bingley.
In the intervening years, Elizabeth’s opinion of the Master of Pemberley has altered greatly, but has Darcy’s opinion of Elizabeth changed? After all, he married another and fathered a child. Will they be able to put their troubled history behind them?
When They Fall in Love is set against the background of the greatest city of the Renaissance, a perfect place to start over.
Becoming Elizabeth Darcy, A Novel
In 2011, American, Elizabeth Hannigan falls into a coma and wakes up in the bed and body of Elizabeth Bennet Darcy. Beth soon realizes that the only way back to her life in the 21st Century is through the Master of Pemberley, Jane Austen’s Fitzwilliam Darcy. But first she must uncover the dark secret that has brought her to Pemberley in 1826 in the first place. Becoming Elizabeth Darcy is a story of love, loyalty, and loss, where a very modern woman is called upon to resolve the problems of Jane Austen’s most beloved couple.
Darcy Goes to War, A Novel
Spring 1944 – Britain is now in its fourth year of war. In order to defeat Adolph Hitler and his Nazis,
everyone in the country must do his or her “bit.” While a young Elizabeth Bennet makes her contribution by driving a lorry, Lieutenant Fitzwilliam Darcy flies bombers over Germany. Because of the war, both are wary of falling in love, but when the two meet near an RAF air station in Hertfordshire, all bets are off. In Darcy Goes to War, Lizzy and Darcy battle something more than class differences. The greatest evil of the 20th Century is trying to bring Britain to its knees. In order to be together, they must survive the war.
Mr. Darcy Bites Back, A Novella
As Mr. and Mrs. Darcy approach the first anniversary of their marriage, they look upon their life together as very much an idyll. With one exception. Their lives will always be ruled by the lunar cycle as the Master of Pemberley is a werewolf.
As Darcy prepares his pack for their first nightfall together, an unsettling rumor is being spread in the village that a phantom Ghost Buck has appeared in Wentside Woods on the Darcy estate. Because Darcy does not believe the stag exists, he wants to know who started the rumor. Is it possible that someone knows of his darkest secret and is trying to draw him out?
For All the Wrong Reasons, A Novella
Pemberley, the Darcy estate, is entailed away from the female line. When Fitzwilliam Darcy learns that his heir, Peter Grayson, is engaged to Caroline Bingley, he realizes that he must take a wife and father a son. But will Elizabeth Bennet agree to enter into a loveless marriage, and if she does, will she wed for all the wrong reasons? This novella explores Darcy and Elizabeth’s path to a happily-ever-after ending.
Mr. Darcy’s Angel of Mercy, A Novella
Two years after the conclusion of The Great War, those afflicted by the conflagration are still trying to put heir lives back together, including Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. While Darcy grapples with horrific memories from the war, Elizabeth, who had served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment, suppresses most recollections of her service in France. But Darcy suspects that there is one memory that the two share: a beautiful night in a hospital ward in France where Darcy was visited by an angel of mercy.
Darcy on the Hudson, A Novel
When Fitzwilliam Darcy, Georgiana Darcy, and Charles Bingley set sail from England for New York, each travels with a different purpose. Georgiana wants to put a particularly jarring incident involving a family friend behind her, and Charles wishes to visit his Uncle Richard in an exciting new land. For Darcy, it is an opportunity to explore the possibilities of new sources of wealth in the expanding United States, but once Darcy meets American, Elizabeth Bennet, it is the beginning of a love story. But will their cultural differences and a possible second ward between Britain and America keep them apart?
The day after the assembly at Meryton, Fitzwilliam Darcy departs Hertfordshire, believing he leaves little of interest behind him. But when Elizabeth Bennet comes to Kent, Darcy has an opportunity for a second look at the dark-haired beauty, and he is instantly smitten. Unfortunately for Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth has a long memory, and the gentleman from Derbyshire will have to earn her love. His efforts begin with a walk in the meadows at Rosings Park. Also includes two short stories: The Language of the Fan and Mr. Darcy Steps In.
In 1806, Captain Frederick Wentworth returned to the sea in hopes of leaving behind memories of Anne Elliot of Kellynch Hall. But after eight years as the captain of the Laconia, he has failed to jettison recollections of the only woman he could ever love, that is, until a shipboard accident robs him of his memory. When he is once again thrown into Anne’s company, he knows nothing of their previous engagement. With the slate wiped clean, will Anne Elliot be able to secure the love of Captain Wentworth or will opportunities to reclaim a lost love be denied her?
Titles available from Sourcebooks Publishing
Mr. Darcy’s Bite
This fresh original paranormal Jane Austen sequel explores Mr. Darcy as the leader of a secret world of werewolves threatened with extinction. After learning his secret, Elizabeth must decide if she can accept Mr. Darcy as a man who becomes a wolf for two days out of the lunar cycle. Mr. Darcy’s Bite is a story of love and acceptance where our beloved couple’s devotion to each other is tested with every full moon.
A Wife for Mr. Darcy
When Mr. Darcy realizes he has insulted Miss Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly, he feels he is duty bound to seek her out and apologize. Instead of meekly accepting his apology, Elizabeth stands up to him, and Darcy realizes that she is a very different type of lady than he is used to. Although intrigued by this unique young woman, Darcy is already entangled in a courtship. It is a brutal predicament for a man of honor who only longs to follow his heart.
The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy
After Elizabeth’s refusal of Darcy’s offer of marriage in Kent, Lizzy and Darcy parted company. Although each has regrets about what had happened at Hunsford Lodge, neither sees how the situation can be remedied. But Anne De Bourgh is of a different mind, and with the help of Georgiana Darcy, she sets a plan in motion to bring the two together at Pemberley.
Searching for Pemberley
Maggie went in search of a love story, but she never expected to find her own… Desperate to escape her life in a small Pennsylvania mining town, Maggie Joyce accepts a job in post-World War II London, hoping to find adventure. While touring Derbyshire, she stumbles upon the stately Montclair, rumored by locals to be the inspiration for Pemberley, the centerpiece of Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice. Determined to discover the truth behind the rumors, Maggie embarks on a journey through the letters and journals of Montclair’s former owners, the Lacey family, searching for signs of Darcy and Elizabeth. But when the search introduces her to both a dashing American pilot and a handsome descendant of the “Darcy” line, Maggie must decide how her own love story will end.
Also by Mary Lydon Simonsen: The Patrick Shea Mystery Series: Three’s A Crowd, A Killing in Kensington, A Death in Hampden, Dying to Write (with a Jane Austen tie-in), and Murder by Moonlighting. For more information on the Patrick Shea mystery series, please visit my website: www.patricksheamysteries.com.