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Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Sold Andy Warhol (too soon) by Richard Polsky

I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon)
Publisher: Other Press
ISBN: 1590513371
Pages: 288 pgs
Genre: Memoir
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 


 Publisher’s Description:

In early 2005, Richard Polsky decided to put his much-loved, hard-won Warhol Fright Wig, up for auction at Christie's. The market for contemporary art was robust and he was hoping to turn a profit. His instinct seemed to be on target: his picture sold for $375,000. But if only Polsky had waited . . . Over the next two years, prices soared to unimaginable heights with multimillion-dollar deals that became the norm and not the exception. Buyers and sellers were baffled, art dealers were bypassed for auction houses, and benchmark prices proved that trees really do grow to the sky. Had the market lost all reason?

In I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon), Polsky leads the way through this explosive, short-lived period when the "art world" became the "art market." He delves into the behind-the-scenes politics of auctions, the shift in power away from galleries, and the search for affordable art in a rich man's playing field. Unlike most in the art world, Polsky is not afraid to tell it like it is as he negotiates deals for clients in New York, London, and San Francisco and seeks out a replacement for his lost Fright Wig in a market that has galloped beyond his means. A compelling backdoor tell-all about the strange and fickle world of art collecting, I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon) takes an unvarnished look at how the industry shifted from art appreciation to monetary appreciation.

My Review:

Before I begin I must say that I don’t know much about art. I mean I know the requisite stuff but anything beyond that is questionable. I unofficially minored in art history in college but my interests were more classical than modern. But nevertheless, it did not take away from my enjoyment at all.

I found this book to be conversational and intriguing. I love reading books about subjects I know nothing about and art dealing is most definitely one of those things. I had absolutely no knowledge of how books got into collections and the people behind the deals. I Sold Andy Warhol (too soon) really gives you a birds-eye view on the world of art dealing and the changes in the market and tastes. I loved the dealing and negotiating. It was the most interesting part of this book.

This book could have been very boring if it had not been written in an engaging and intelligent manner. Polsky’s prose brings you right into the art dealing world and it really grips you and keeps you interested. There were however some points where I felt my interest fading but not for long. Polsky always managed to draw me back in.

I really liked I Sold Andy Warhol (too soon). It was a great subway read. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, yet intelligent read.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.
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The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers

The Wildest Heart
 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402222742
Pages: 736 pgs
Genre: Romance/Western
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 



Publisher’s Description:

No man can tame her
Lady Rowena Dangerfield, wild, headstrong, and scandalously independent, travels from exotic India to the splendor of London to the savage New Mexico frontier hoping to meet her long-lost father and start a new life. She arrives to find herself in the middle of a long-standing feud.


Nothing will stop him from taking what he wants
Lucas Cord, a handsome half-Apache outlaw, is a rebel renegade feared throughout the territories. When he encounters the beautiful stranger, unlike any woman he's ever known before, he knows instantly that he'll have to win her for his own. Together they will experience a rampaging passion as wild and hot as the Southwestern winds.


My Review:

I am a sucker for a good romance. Always have been, always will be. This was my first Rosemary Rogers and needless to say, I loved it. She writes the type of romance that I love…historical, full of tension, with strong characters.

I loved all of the characters in The Wildest Heart despite the fact that I wanted to strangle them most of the time. Rowena was such a headstrong and intelligent woman. I don’t often find female characters like her in romance novels. I was pleasantly surprised. She was strong, intelligent, cold and calculated. All the things I admire in my female leads in romance novels. I didn’t really like Lucas throughout the novel to be honest. He struck me as stubborn and obnoxious and, to tell you the truth, I was kind of rooting for Mark until he turned out to be even more stubborn and obnoxious than Luke. About halfway through the book, Luke did grow on me but it took a while.

This was the perfect romance for me. I hate soppy romances where the heroine is all wilty and the hero is all perfect. The characters in The Wildest Heart had flaws and issues. They were not all about the romance. There was a really compelling story and characters behind it. The sex scenes were also not graphic at all which might please some readers. Sourcebooks edition of this book is lovely. There is nothing I dislike more than romance novels with shirtless heroes on the cover. I mean how can you read a book on the bus with a half naked cover on the bus and keep your dignity? This one is very simple with just Rowena with Lucas in the background.

Needless to say, once I finished The Wildest Heart, I went out and purchased most of Rosemary Rogers other books. Definitely recommended.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Readathon Hour 18 Update

I have just finished Sexy. It was awesome as most Joyce Carol Oates books are. I think it is just about my time to turn in. My eyes are klling me and I just glances at the pages of what was to be my next book and saw blurriness. Tis a sign that Gracie should stop reading and start sleeping. I finished a total of 9 books. More than I have ever read in one day unless I was on jury duty. I had a blast reading all day. I want to thank everyone who commented on my blog and cheered me on. It really helped.
  • Thinner Than Thou-Kit Reed
  • This Lullaby-Sarah Dessen
  • The Book Thief-Markus Zuzak
  • The Work of Wolves-Kent Meyers
  • Truth & Beauty-Ann Pratchett
  • Donorboy-Brendan Halpin
  • Candyfreak-Steve Almond
  • How I Live Now-Meg Rosoff
  • Sexy-Joyce Carol Oates

Total Hours read-13

Total Books Read-9

Total Pages Read-2841

Up Next-The Land of Nod

Readathon Hour 15 Update

I started How I Live Now and had some trouble getting into it. But oh boy was I wrong. The language was so beautiful and the story so intriguing. I can’t wait to review it. Anywho, I am starting Sexy by Joyce Carol Oates now.
  • Thinner Than Thou-Kit Reed
  • This Lullaby-Sarah Dessen
  • The Book Thief-Markus Zuzak
  • The Work of Wolves-Kent Meyers
  • Truth & Beauty-Ann Pratchett
  • Donorboy-Brendan Halpin
  • Candyfreak-Steve Almond
  • How I Live Now-Meg Rosoff
Total Hours read-10
Total Books Read-8
Total Pages Read-2578
Up Next-How Sexy-Joyce Carol Oates

Readathon Hour 14 update

I had started How I Live Now but I wasn’t really into it so I picked up some of my backups and breezed through them. I LOVE readathons with a passion. We should have one every weekend. Hehe. I’m a freak with no life.
  • Thinner Than Thou-Kit Reed
  • This Lullaby-Sarah Dessen
  • The Book Thief-Markus Zuzak
  • The Work of Wolves-Kent Meyers
  • Truth & Beauty-Ann Pratchett
  • Donorboy-Brendan Halpin
  • Candyfreak-Steve Almond
Total Hours read-9
Total Books Read-7
Total Pages Read-2384
Up Next-How I Live Now-Meg Rosoff

Mid Event Meme

1. What are you reading right now? How I Live Now-Meg Rosoff
2. How many books have you read so far? 7
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? A Northern Light and Enthusiasm
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Yes. I told everyone not to bug me. Then a friend had a boy crisis and she bugged me.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Friend called about a boy crisis. I limited her to a half hour whinge fest.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How fun it is just to sit and read all day.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Make my alarm clock louder and me much less lazy.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I would wake up on time.
9. Are you getting tired yet? Nope. Not at all.
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I am just pacing myself and taking my time. Also I am tossing the books that I don’t get into within the first 20 pages.

Readathon Hour 11 Update

Well I am just chugging along. I have finished The Book Thief and I am now starting How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.
  • Thinner Than Thou-Kit Reed
  • This Lullaby-Sarah Dessen
  • The Book Thief-Markus Zuzak
Total Hours read-6
Total Books Read-3
Total Pages Read-1231
Up Next-How I Live Now-Meg Rosoff

My Readathon Menu

Snacks. Snacks must require me to not have to cook or light a fire or even turn an appliance on.  So my menu will consist of food that requires the least effort possible. I am not a heavy eater so I am snacking on dried cranberries, bananas and apricots for now. I also have a nice garden salad with ranch dressing and chicken waiting in the wings for dinner time. Very read comfortable food and much more healthy than potato chips. I am also drinking a very unhealthy thermos of coffee and have Red Bulls waiting for the coffee to be done..

Dewey Readathon Hour 8 update

Well, I have been up reading for three hours. I know, I know 8 am EST. 8 am is not a time that I have ever gotten along with. I tried to get up I did but I am an idiot and ignored the alarm in my sleepy hazy state. I did finish two books that were not on my list because I could not stop myself.
  • Thinner Than Thou-Kit Reed
  • This Lullaby-Sarah Dessen
Total Hours read-3
Total Books Read-2
Total Pages Read-679
Up Next-The Book Thief-Markus Zuzak

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dewey Readathon Reading List



I am so excited for the readathon on Sunday. I have been so behind on my reading and need to catch up badly. And boy oh boyo do I need to catch up. I am going to be reading mostly my YA books for my YA class that have been sitting in a pile on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
  • The Book Thief-Markus Zusak
  • The Thirteenth Tale-Diane Setterfield
  • Water For Elephants-Sara Gruen
  • Enthusiasm-Polly Shulman
  • Wild Roses-Deb Caletti
  • Freaky Green Eyes-Joyce Carol Oates
  • Sexy-Joyce Carol Oates
  • Honey, Baby, Sweetheart-Deb Caletti
  • Permanent Connections-Sue Ellen Bridgers
  • How I Live Now-Meg Rosoff
  • A Northern Light-Jennifer Donnelly
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell-Susanna Clarke
  • Brooklyn Rose-Ann Rinaldi
  • The Nature of Jade-Deb Caletti
  • First Impressions-Marilyn Sachs
  • Girl, Interrupted-Susanna Kaysen
  • The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman-Louise Plummer
  • Macaroni Boy-Katherine Ayres
  • Cassandra’s Sister-Veronica Bennett

Helen Hollick Interview

Pendragon's Banner: Book Two of the Pendragon's Banner Trilogy

Tell us a bit about yourself and your books.

I live in N.E, London UK (very near to where the 2012 Olympic Stadium is to be built)  with my husband Ron, and adult daughter, Kathy. And a dog and two cats! My first job was a library assistant, which I didn’t like much, but it was nice having access to all those books! I went on to become an Information Officer for our local Council, then became a full-time Mum. I was a librarian in a Special Needs School for a while, but my main occupation is writing. I started writing stories when I was about 13 – but became a “professional” published author when I was accepted by William Heinemann (Random House UK) a week after my 40th birthday. That was 16 years ago – I’ll leave you to do the math of how old I am now!

The Kingmaking, first of the Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy was my first novel – I am so thrilled that the books are now re-published in the USA & Canada! Following the Trilogy I wrote Harold the King, the story of 1066 and the Battle of Hastings, then A Hollow Crown (which chronologically in history should have come before Harold). Recently I have embarked on something a little more light-hearted, an adventure-fantasy pirate-based series - Sea Witch being the first in the series, with Pirate Code and Bring It Close as voyages two and three. These are a sort of mixture of Indiana Jones/Pirates of the Caribbean/Hornblower meets Sharpe!.

How much research went into writing this series?

I take my research very seriously – even for my adventure-fantasy series I do a lot of research regarding the historical fact & nautical accuracy. For the Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy I spent a lot of time delving into the early tales of King Arthur, finding out about later Roman armour and fighting methods etc. I believe it is the small details of things that bring a book alive, so some of my research was aimed at subjects I know about – horses. I also studied the landscape of the time, buildings, towns etc – if it is in the book I researched it!

What was the most difficult part of writing this series?

The final scene in Shadow of the King. Arthur had to die – and I could not kill him off!” In the end, I wrote that scene first then went back to the beginning to write the rest of the story. Some of the sad scenes in Pendragon’s Banner were also very hard to write. You’ll come across them (keep tissues handy!) so you’ll see what I mean!

I have never read a book about King Arthur where the fairy tale aspect was removed. What inspired you to write the non-fairy tale King Arthur?

I have never particularly liked the magical fantasy stories of Arthur (although I did like Mary Stewart’s novels, and I love the TV movie Merlin, starring Sam Neal..) The stories of the Knights of the Round Table did nothing for me though – perhaps because they never seemed “real”? So I set out, right from the start, to write the “what might have really happened” version – setting Arthur firmly in the 450-550 A.D., period and not using any myth, magic or fantasy – not even Merlin.

What are some of your favorite historical fiction authors and books?

Sharon Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick, and new UK author, Jo Field who writes about the English Civil War, she is one to keep an eye on.

Quick Fire Questions:

Can I have three answers for each? Of course.

My favorite book is: Mark of the Horse Lord, Rosemary Sutcliff: Here Be Dragons, Sharon Penman: Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey

Of my own books – Sea Witch because I put a lot of love into it and I adore my pirate, Jesamiah Acorne, and The Kingmaking because it was my first.

My favorite movie is: Master & Commander; Last of the Mohicans; Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl

The author who influences me the most is: Rosemary Sutcliff, Sharon Penman, Daphne du Maurer

If I received a free trip to anywhere in the world where would I visit: Anywhere in the far north so I can see the Aurora Borealis; I’d love to sail across the Atlantic in a Tall Ship – and Cornwall, England

My favorite historical time period is: Roman Britain, Saxon England, the Golden Age of Piracy (early 1700’s)

If a genie granted me three wishes, I would wish: 1. to have my short-sightedness seen to. I also have a cataract forming and I find it difficult to read small print sometimes. 2. To have a cook – I hate cooking; and 3. for my daughter to achieve her dream, as I have. (I wanted to write a book – she is a horsewoman and dearly wants to be chosen as a member of an English Team. One day Kathy….)

Thanks so much for sending me the book and allowing me to do this interview.

Main Website: www.helenhollick.net
Blog profiles: www.acorne.blogspot.com
Muse and Views Blog: www.helenhollick.blogspot.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/helen.hollick
Monthly Journal: www.helenhollick.net/journal.html

Pendragon’s Banner by Helen Hollick

Pendragon's Banner: Book Two of the Pendragon's Banner Trilogy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402218893
Pages: 496 pgs
Genre: Historical Fiction/England
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 



Publisher’s Description

Who was the man
… who became the legend
… we know as
KING ARTHUR?


Pendragon's Banner is the second book in Helen Hollick's exciting King Arthur trilogy, covering 459-465 A.D. This is not a fairy tale or fantasy. There is no Merlin, no sword in the stone, and no Lancelot. This is the most accurate Arthurian legend ever written, based on historical evidence and meticulous research.

At age twenty-four, King Arthur has the kingdom he fought so hard for and a new young family. But keeping the throne of Britain—and keeping his wife and three sons safe—proves far from easy. Two enemies in particular threaten everything that is dear to him: Winifred, Arthur's vindictive first wife, and Morgause, priestess of the Mother and malevolent Queen of the North. Both have royal ambitions of their own.

In this story of harsh battles, secret treasonous plots, and the life-threatening politics of early Britain's dark ages, author Helen Hollick boldly reintroduces King Arthur as you've never seen him before.

My Review

Arthurian legend has never really been my thing. It was always too fairy tale for me. Or even worse, a really bad movie. I was pleasantly surprised with this book because it really transformed the Arthurian legend for me and made me very interested in the history, the romance and the action.

I was a bit nervous when I picked this book up because I am always nervous what I pick up a series in the middle. I get a bit twitchy and skittish and worry that I am missing something. I found that this was not really a problem with this book. I honestly did not feel like I was missing anything. I was thoroughly impressed with the historical detail and richness in this book. I love historical fiction where you can tell the amount of research that went into writing the book. This is definitely one of them.

The relationship between Arthur and Gwenhwyfar was also a highlight for me. I did feel like I had jumped into their story in midst of it but it’s not like I won’t buy the first book in the series because I can’t help myself.  You could feel the push and pull between them. Gwenhwyfar was such a leap beyond the typical heroine we see in the Arthur fairy tales and legends. She is strong, intelligent, and willful not like the simpering, whimpering damsel in distress.  I really liked that because I hate damsels in distress with a passion.

Pendragon’s Banner did have one small issue for me. It jumped a lot between different time periods. Each chapter is marked with the year it takes place in but sometimes I had to go back and check what I was missing. Not really a big gripe and you can expect something similar in most historical fictions.

I liked this book a lot. It has become one of my favorite historical fictions and I will play catch-up with the first book in the series and buy the last book the minute it comes out.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Second Date: Love-Italian American Style by Mary Lydon Simonsen

The Second Date: Love - Italian American Style
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 1442157216
Pages: 180 pgs
Genre: Romance/Contemporary
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 




Publisher's Description:

Sonia Amundsen looks like a Nordic goddess on the outside, but her heart, soul, and stomach are all Italian. She is also a successful professional who is about to celebrate her 30th birthday. Although friends have been setting her up on blind dates for two years, she never goes out on a second date with any of them because she is still looking for that perfect guy. The problem is that she has very specific criteria as to who Mr. Right is. Sonia is beginning to think that such a man is not out there until.... Set in the late 1980s, Sonia is surrounded by an extended Italian family, a caring, but over-bearing mother, warring aunts who use family funerals to stage full-blow tragedies, and a close friend, whose main goals in life are to get pregnant and to help Sonia find true love. The Second Date explores friendship and love in the heart of the Italian-American community where food is second importance only to love.

My Review:

Let me first start by saying that I am an Italian American from Southern Italy with a family very similar to the family depicted in this book. I too like Sonia have light green eyes (but with dark hair), parents who want me to marry someone from our region (Puglia) and even more specifically (Bari), want to marry an Italian man with a good job and sanity and have a strong affinity for the culture that I grew up in. All of the similarities to my life and my situation gave me real unrealistic and somewhat hard to please expectations about this book that I was nervous could not be met.

I have never really read a book where the image of an Italian American was positive. From my childhood I have been bombarded with images of the stereotypes of Italian culture. Mafia bosses, goons, murderers, whacking. Not at all what I have grown up with as an Italian American but whenever someone hears my last name for the first time, they will almost 98% of the time ask if I have any family in the mob. It's insulting and degrading and sadly that is what my culture is only really known by the bad elements. Second Date was completely different. Not only were the people familiar but the behavior, the language, the dialect was all a page from my life. I found myself laughing out loud in many places because it was so familiar. It would be lovely to see a book like this sitting next to Mario Puzo's novels as representations of Italian American culture. Or better yet replacing it altogether.

The romance was also good. Nick and Sonia were so cute together. But it was the portrayal of Italian American culture was the shining star in this book for me at least. There was one instance at the end of this novel where Sonia becomes concerned that Nick might be killed by the mob. This was the only part of the novel that really rubbed me the wrong way. It was going so well and then all of a sudden there is the stereotype. Why did it have to be included? Couldn't it have been something else? Small gripe really but still.

I was really pleased with this novel. It was the only book that I have ever read that portrayed Italian Americans in a positive light. I really hope a publisher is smart enough to pick this up.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Angel Lane by Sheila Roberts

Angel Lane
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 0312384823
Pages: 352 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 



Publisher’s Description:

Keep the heart in Heart Lake. That’s exactly what three small-town shop owners hope to do when they launch their crazy-ambitious “Have a Heart” campaign—asking neighbors to commit one random act of kindness every day. Emma, Sarah, and Jamie love their lakeside community, but the little town is growing too big too fast, and a doing a good deed never hurt anyone. Or so they thought…

When Emma slashes prices at her quilt shop, practically giving away blankets to anyone who looks vaguely cold, she almost stitches her way into bankruptcy. Sarah’s free cooking class boils down to a hotbed of crime when some punk kid swipes her favorite heirloom. And at Jamie’s chocolate shop, things take a bittersweet turn when a local policeman starts giving her grief, stirring up feelings she’s tried to forget—and slowly melts away her defenses…

With irresistible humor, warmth, affection—and recipes!—author Sheila Roberts serves up a generous, open-hearted story about the friendships we make, the chances we take, and the lives we touch every day.

My Review:

Okay. I know I am not the most heartwarming person and movies like It’s A Wonderful Life made me want to throw myself off a bridge but I really enjoyed Angel Lane even though it is quite heartwarming and squishy.

I really loved all of the characters in the novel. My favorites were Emma and Jaime. Both were characters so desperate for love and affection that it was difficult not to like them. I felt especially sympathetic to Emma. Her troubles with her failing business, neglectful cat and men all tugged at my heart strings. I also identify with the plight of being perpetually single. Jaime was also a great character. She was so emotionally scarred from her marriage that she turned herself into an emotional cripple. I almost wanted to shake her in frustration but I understood her as well. Josh and his father and children were also great characters and Josh was the perfect complement to Jaime.

The story also had the potential to be really cheesy and hokey but it wasn’t. It was engaging and fun. The writing was a major part of this. It was crisp and clear and did not engage in any overblown language or hokey statements.   My favorite part of the book was the food. I know, I know. It’s strange but the chocolate and the recipes were all so yummy. The blackberry and white chocolate truffles are something I must try someday. I might even try a few of the recipes if I ever get inspired to use my oven (likely never).

I really enjoyed Angel Lane. It would be the perfect read to curl up with.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sara Angelini Guest Blog

The Trials of the Honorable F. DarcyHello everyone, and thank you, Grace, for having me here on Books Like Breathing. It’s been such fun doing the virtual tour for my book The Trials of the Honorable F.  Darcy. I wanted to talk today a little bit about how I updated Jane Austen’s characters from Pride and Prejudice and the challenges I faced in doing so. Knowing that I was working with literature’s most beloved couple, modernizing them with integrity and fidelity was a daunting task, but I must say that I was ultimately very happy with the outcome.
The first hurdle was to address the plot. Obviously, the strict social circles of the Regency era are not present today. The gulf between Darcy ‘s and Elizabeth’s social statures was essentially unbridgeable; Elizabeth had no real hope of ever entering those circles and Darcy faced almost-certain ridicule, embarrassment, and scandal by marrying her. In today’s world, a comparable pairing was Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall - by all appearances, a farce of a marriage choreographed by a white-trash gold-digger and a nearly-senile man duped by desire and the miracle of Viagra. To take Austen’s characters to such extremes simply to stay faithful to the literal plot seemed both unjust and in poor taste.
Yet the conflict could not be simple dislike or misunderstanding; the essential plot dictated that there be an external force that compelled Darcy to deny himself the luxury of choosing who he wants to love, and then to do the unthinkable by pursuing the very thing that would bring him down. Likewise, Elizabeth’s rejection of him had to be judged extremely foolish by her peers.
The only conflict that I could think of that would have strong sway over the characters was an ethical one. Because I am a lawyer, I am familiar with the strict ethical standards to which the judicial and legal communities are bound. If a judge has any personal bias, knowledge, or stake in a case, he should recuse (disqualify) himself from hearing it. In fact, even if he has no actual bias but it appears that he does, he should recuse himself. Failure to do so allows the loser to argue that the judge was prejudiced, and then the judge’s dirty laundry is aired in an effort to prove or disprove his stake in the case. I couldn’t think of anything more humiliating to Darcy than having to explain that yes, he was boinking Elizabeth but no, it hadn’t affected his decision in any way.
(It’s been suggested that with the current political climate rife with sex scandals [wide-stance, anyone?], a relationship between a judge and an attorney would be small potatoes. I have to say that I don’t agree. Judges really are our last resort for conflict resolution, and we need them to be completely impartial. If I lost a case only to find out that my opponent was sleeping with the judge, I would raise holy hell to have the decision overturned. If I already knew the judge and the attorney had a relationship, I would disqualify the judge. While I can roll my eyes over a senator’s mistress, I can’t forgive a judge for being sleazy.)
By making Darcy a judge and Elizabeth an attorney, I set up a conflict that prevented them from having a relationship as long as they continued to work together. I pulled the noose tighter by making the district a small one which had only one other judge, thereby assuring that Elizabeth and Darcy would have to choose love or career.
With the plot set , some other changes were in order. Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s ages had to be advanced by about ten years to allow Darcy to realistically have achieved the position of judge. Likewise, his sister, Georgiana, would be about 25 instead of fifteen. Her seduction by Wickham would have been ancient history by the time Darcy and Elizabeth met, thereby eliminating that rogue’s role from the plotline. That meant Lydia’s elopement with Wickham was also out; our hero was going to have to prove his worth without Wickham’s aid.
Rather than substitute some other plotline, I decided to focus solely on the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth and how they interact in my modern world while maintaining their core characteristics: A proud, standoffish man used to getting his own way and a wry, intelligent woman unafraid to speak her mind.
Once the plot was outlined, I had to tackle modernizing the characters. Nearing 40, Darcy was certainly going to have his share of paramours, but if he was such a great catch, why wasn’t he married yet? I had to make him somehow content to be single, which meant at a minimum he was able to have sexual gratification. Enter Caroline Bingley.
Poor Miss Bingley. I always felt sorry for her, she really got the short end of the stick. She chases after Darcy in her passive-aggressive Regency way and gets nothing but disdain for her efforts. I made the choice to empower Caroline Bingley by making her independently wealthy. With Darcy’s social cache irrelevant in modern society and with no money worries, Caroline is free to pursue Darcy or not as she pleases.
In Austen’s original, Darcy seems to tolerate Caroline - they joke about the Bennet family in the beginning of the book - until he falls for Elizabeth. Then he pretty much ignores her or insults her. I found this to be a rather unattractive trait of the original Darcy, and decided to put their relationship on equal footing by making them friends “with benefits.” This would explain why Darcy was content to remain single while also put some teeth into Caroline’s role as foil to Elizabeth.
Darcy’s proposal at Hunsford also had to be updated, because modern men simply don’t propose to women they’ve never dated. It became a come-on disguised as a career boost, and ended with Elizabeth’s vehement rejection and career suicide.
I won’t give away the rest of the book except to say that their relationship is modern in all aspects - Elizabeth is flirty, sassy, and sexy and Darcy is warm, tender, and funny. They fall in lust, have dynamite sex, break up, and fall in love somewhere along the way. I hope that you will enjoy their journey as much as I enjoyed writing it.
The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy—in stores October 2009!
A sexy, bold adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice that re-paints favorite characters in twenty-first century colors
Judge Fitzwilliam Darcy, a legal expert on both sides of the Atlantic, is ready to hang up his black robe and return to the life of a country gentleman—until he meets Elizabeth Bennet, a fresh-faced attorney with a hectic schedule and no time for the sexy but haughty judge.
Tempers and sparks fly in Judge Darcy's courtroom— and outside, in a series of chance encounters that give each of them pause—as the two match wits and try to fight their overwhelming attraction. When they meet up in England at an international law conference, they embark on a hot, heavy affair. Back in the States, though, ethical considerations intrude, and each is subjected to a torturous period of soul-searching before they can find their way back to each other...
About the Author
Sara Angelini is an attorney living in the San Francisco Bay area. After earning an MS in Animal Sciences, she decided against becoming a veterinarian when she realized she only liked her own pets and moved to California with her husband to pursue law school. She is working on her third novel. For more information, please visit www.judgedarcy.com.
 

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