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 For All the Wrong Reasons, Mr. Darcy’s Angel of Mercy, Darcy on the Hudson, Becoming Elizabeth Darcy, A Walk in the Meadows at Rosings Park, Darcy Goes to War, Mr. Darcy Bites Back, Captain Wentworth: Home from the Sea, and 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 and A Killing in Kensington.
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: Austen Inspired Fan Fiction by Mary Lydon Simonsen
Mary’s Facebook Page
Mary’s Novels ~
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.
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?
Darcy and Elizabeth: The Language of the Fan, A Short Story
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.