Saturday, August 05, 2017

Blog Tour: Darcy in Wonderland by Alexa Adams - with giveaway!

I am thrilled today to be part of the blog tour for Alexa Adams' latest release, Darcy in Wonderland - there is a giveaway too! 

Thank you so much for hosting me and allowing me to blabber on a bit about my new book, Darcy in Wonderland. This is my first attempt at writing a true mashup, and while challenging, it was also a ton of fun. You would be hard pressed to find two more disparate worlds than that of Pemberley and Wonderland, but I think it’s that difference that makes the story work. To give you a taste, here is my parody of Lewis Carroll’s All in the Golden Afternoon, which opens the novel:

All in the golden afternoon,
        My pen in hand, I ply.
The task before me comprehends
       That which I never tried.
To intertwine two writers’ books:
       Beloved worlds collide.

Oh, my muses! Adored authors,
       I ask through me you speak,
And help me play with each your tales
      While dodging your fans’ pique.
Please let me take sufficient care
      In tweaking the antique.

Austen — my Prima — heeds my call
      (she’s such a constant friend),
And sends me tales of Pemberley,
      The Darcy brood ascends.
They plan to host a birthday ball
      And all their world attends.

Carroll next infuses fancy;
      Tales of Alice enchant.
But Austen still must have her say,
      So Darcy will transplant
From Pemberley to Wonderland,
      Miniscule as an ant.

It is only on occasion
      That my voice will intrude,
Upon those of famous authors.
      Just me: a parvenu
Yet as I alone am living,
      What would you have me do?

And when my pen decreased its speed
       One Muse to me would chat,
And then, in turn, the other one,
      Would take his turn at bat.
And so we sailed forth to the end
      And never once fell flat.

Darcy! Pursue your daughter through
      Adventures most absurd,
But born of child’s fantasy
      And playful choice of word.
Tumble down endless rabbit holes,
      Where lunacy allures.

The story takes place at some undefined time in the Victorian Era, several decades after Elizabeth and Darcy married. They have a thriving family of six, the youngest being Carroll’s Alice, who surprised me by proving a perfect little copy of her mother. Left to their own devices while the rest of the family is off visiting the Bingleys, Alice leads her father down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland. From there, the story sticks pretty close to Carroll’s tale, except for the very prominent presence of a highly rational Darcy.

Life at Pemberley, as one might expect, is orderly and precise. Alice keeps life from becoming too routine, but with an army of servants and five older siblings to keep her in check, she rarely has the opportunity to cause too much mischief:

“Go back to your seat, girl,” commanded Lady Catherine. “Whatever can you be thinking?”

“I probably did not think,” Alice replied, helping herself to her great-aunt’s bread and butter, much to the lady’s consummate horror. “I don’t always, you know. At least, I think I must be thinking because my mind is always coming up with a great many notions, but perhaps they distract me from what Mama and Papa and Miss Williams wish me to be thinking about at a given time.” And in illustration of her point, Alice promptly jarred Lady Catherine’s teacup with her elbow and knocked it into her lap, soaking her damask traveling gown.

Lady Catherine jumped to her feet with the youthful vigor that continued to astound all who knew her. “Wretched child!” she shrieked. “See what you have done!” She looked to be on the verge of shaking poor Alice, who was now cowering before her, had Darcy not been quick to intervene.

“Alice!” he admonished, all while ushering her beyond Lady Catherine’s reach. “You must apologize to your aunt at once!”

“I am truly sorry, Aunt Catherine,” Alice quickly followed.

“You have ruined my gown!”

“If it makes you feel better,” Alice continued hopefully, “I don’t think the color becomes you at all.”

This is Darcy’s domain, and his active management and stewardship ensures that everything is as shipshape as such an intrepid daughter allows. You can imagine how such a man’s patience would be tried by the absolute nonsense that prevails in Wonderland, where even the basic laws of physics are entirely thrown out the window. Animals order him about and undermine his dignity as he struggles to keep his daughter safe, return them both to the sanctuary of Pemberley, and impose reason upon the utterly irrational, to little avail. This is where the idea for the story was born. I’ve always enjoyed exploring what happens to characters when thrown out of their comfort zones, and little could be more discomforting to Darcy than rampant absurdity. At the same time, I feel like Austen would approve, having found such amusement in the absurd herself. Had she lived to read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, I can easily imagine her sharing both books to her many nieces and nephews, or perhaps great-nieces and nephews at that point, and laughing at the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Queen of Heart, all while relishing Alice’s childish wisdom in negotiating her curious circumstances.

If the book is well-received, I have some intention of following up with Lizzy Through the Looking Glass. It would be a rather different endeavor, as I imagine Elizabeth taking such an alternative reality far more in stride than her husband, but it would still be very interesting to see how she might respond to the Red and White Queens, the bossy flowers, and the unforgettable Tweedledum and Tweedledee. I’d also like to discover how she would handle the Jabberwocky. I am not one to overly plan my books before I start writing, instead letting the characters take me where they will, so it would be just as much of an adventure for me as for Elizabeth. Besides, I admit to enjoying the second of Carroll’s Alice stories better than the first, and I would very much like to play with it. We’ll see.

Thank you again, Miss Lizzie. It has been an honor to stop by and linger a while. Where can I find cleverer and more well-informed conversation than with an Austen and Carroll fan? This is what I call good company.

Illustration by K. Wiedemann:

Visit Alexa at:

** GIVEAWAY - ends Saturday 12th August **

Alexa has been kind enough to offer a giveaway of a copy of her story, open internationally - the winner can choose whether a paperback or an ebook copy.

Please leave a comment
 for a chance to win. 
The giveaway ends on 12th August. I will be in touch with the winner so please leave your email in the comment! The very best of luck!

My thanks again goes to Alexa for this post about her new book, and this fun extract! 

I wish Alexa all the best with this release.