Nov 222017

Hi friends!  Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving to all those who are getting ready to celebrate!!  But before we celebrate being thankful and take part in our Thanksgiving traditions, I’d like to celebrate the lovely new book Kara Louise released this month!!  As you might have heard, her new book Chance and Circumstances shows us what happens if Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth Bennet met each other first!  (Sounds really interesting, right!)  Kara is here to talk about her new release, Chance and Circumstances, and what she feels is one of the more challenging aspects…er…characters to write about!  We hope you enjoy!

The Elephant in the Room

I want to thank Meredith for inviting me to share with you today about my new book, Chance and Circumstance.

I have titled this post, “The Elephant in the Room.” Or perhaps I should have entitled it, “The Elephant in the Book.” Or possibly, to make it more clear to you, “The Part of Jane Austen’s story that is there and has to be dealt with, but I really don’t want to have to write it.” And what is that, you ask?

It’s the whole Wickham and Lydia fiasco!

With every book I have written, I have to face the fact that I probably should do something with Wickham (in addition to his vicious lies about Darcy), and I usually don’t know what I am going to do with him. I hate to just reiterate Austen’s version of his actions with Lydia, and hope when I get to that point in the book when he surfaces again in a sinister manner, that I will have some original and interesting inspiration.

In my newest book, Mr. Bingley meets Elizabeth Bennet when he first moves into Netherfield. Here is the book description: Chance brings about an early encounter between Charles Bingley and Elizabeth Bennet soon after his move into Netherfield. He soon begins to favour this pretty and lively young lady. Circumstances have kept Jane Bennet and Mr. Darcy from the neighbourhood, thereby changing the events that Jane Austen penned in “Pride and Prejudice.”

When Mr. Darcy finally arrives, will he be able to keep from interfering when he meets this young lady his friend so greatly admires? When Jane returns from touring the Lake District with her aunt and uncle, will the young gentleman who returns with her prove to be better suited for her than Mr. Bingley ever was?

In this “Pride and Prejudice” variation, chance and circumstance greatly affect the way several of Jane Austen’s characters arrive at their happily ever after, but not necessarily in the way you think.

We have the usual cast of characters that Jane Austen penned (with the exception of the young man Jane meets in the Lake District and who returns with her to Longbourn). I wanted to examine what would have happened if the initial meeting between Bingley and Elizabeth occurred when neither Jane nor Mr. Darcy were around. I believe with their lively and engaging personalities, they truly would have enjoyed each other’s company – at least at first. But when Mr. Darcy finally arrives, followed by Jane with a young man in tow, how will that affect everyone? Will the couples we love end up loving each other?

But wait, let’s get back to Wickham – or the elephant in the room. I would just as soon kick him out of my stories if I could, but he is a good source of villainy who can occasionally serve a purpose – and often that is separating Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. But I do struggle with changing it up a bit. In some of my books (including Chance and Circumstance), I have had Elizabeth write home to warn her family about him, with the hope that it will take care of any further issues with him. I’ve had Darcy discover he and Lydia were gone immediately after they left (Longbourn) and he goes after them, rescuing her before she is ruined. And then I made him quite the villain in Mr. Darcy’s Rival, where he kidnaps Kitty. (He had hoped to entice Lydia to come with him, but he settles for Kitty when he encounters her in Meryton, taking her forcibly.) In that story, Miss Bingley is also party to this evil scheme (as is Mrs. Younge).

As I considered what part Wickham might have in my newest story, I was free to do just about anything as the timeline of any involvement he might have is actually earlier than in Pride and Prejudice. And I think I came up with something that serves the purpose, but is different enough that I hope changed things up for the reader. Even though Elizabeth warns her family about Wickham, he does do something that upsets the Bennet household. I won’t divulge what that is – you’ll have to read the book to find out, but I hope it readers will find it different enough to enjoy it.


So tell me, readers. What do you think about Wickham and Lydia?

What do you think about books that simply rehash his and Lydia’s actions?

Do they need to?

When you read a book, are you expecting some sort of scandalous behavior that he is involved in or do you hope he won’t come back into the picture?

I posted about half of my chapters online (go to this link to get started reading if you would like to), and it was interesting to see a few comments saying they hoped Elizabeth would find out about Wickham earlier rather than later, or they wanted Darcy to set him straight. There are all kinds of things we can do with him, but what do you, the reader, want?

I truly want to know.

Great questions, Kara!  I am looking forward to hearing everyones’ responses!  For my part, I agree that Wickham is a great villain and I do enjoy how he can sometimes stir up trouble.  But I also do sometimes tire of reading the same elopement plot with Lydia.  I like when either authors are brief with those events or show us something new or different about them.  Thanks so much for this lovely visit!  I can’t wait to read Chance and Circumstance!

Connect with Kara

Website    ❧    Facebook    ❧    Twitter    ❧    Austen Variations


Today Kara brings with her ONE copy (paperback or ebook – winner’s choice!) of her newly released novel, Chance and Circumstance, for me to giveaway to ONE lucky winner! (paperback or ebook for US winner, ebook for international winner!)


To enter this giveaway, leave a comment, a question, or some love for Kara!!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide (with some shipping restrictions).  Thank you, Kara!
  • This giveaway ends November 29th!
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  74 Responses to “Guest Post + Giveaway with Author Kara Louise!!!”


    It sounds great and I would love to read it 🙂
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com


    Yes I’m definitely in team ‘get rid of Wickham before he does any damage’ Especially as it seems Darcy has enough problems trying to win Elizabeth for himself without alienating Bingley (or Elizabeth!)
    I look forward to seeing what route you take here. Thanks for the chance of winning a copy.


    This novel appeals to me greatly and is captivating and very special. Thanks.


    Thanks for sharing your book! I too spend my timing thinking about how I don’t want to think about Wickham! EXPOSE him as soon as possible is always my go to…I’ve read some of your excerpts from this book and it is very captivating! Keep up the great work!


      Thanks, Betsy! And while I do have to deal with Wickham again beyond what you may have read in this book, It is not as ruinous to the Bennets. It does involve Lydia, again, however. Stupid girl!


    A very happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it!!


    Ah Mr. Wickham…I do like him as a villain in the books but also have no problem if Lydia is saved from going down that road. I also think that Caroline Bingley should be made to marry him too or possibly think she is thwarting Elizabeth by ‘falling’ for Mr. Wickham! Then again, I wouldn’t mind a story where he is redeemed or reformed! Yes, he is the elephant in the book but he does add such a contrast to Mr. Darcy! Thank you for a chance at the giveaway. Looking forward to finding out what you have done with him!!


    Oh a to those that celebrate…”Happy Thanksgiving”!!!


    My friend read this and loved it….she just sent me the book last week. Now I really can’t wait to read it!!!


    I do think Wickham can affect the plot in an interesting way, and I do love it when an author chooses some way other than Lydia Bennet for him to show his villainy.

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’d love to read it!


    When I read any Pride and Prejudice variation, I’m all for wringing Caroline and Collins’ neck and doing in Wickham as soon as possible in the story (any method of death is acceptable). Lady Catherine’s character deserves some sort of immediate elimination also, but I guess that there has to be a villainous character somewhere in the story. As for as Lydia goes, the girl is just plain stupid and deserves what she gets. Of course, some may think that Darcy is his own villain as it takes him quite a while to get over himself and see what’s in his heart. On my TBR list, sounds interesting and I cannot wait to read it!


    An interesting premise – looking forward to reading Kara’s new book.


    I really like it when something different and unexpected happens to Wickham. I love when he gets what he deserves, and I’ve read a few where he thinks he’s getting what he’s demanded but he’s tricked right at the last moment and ends up on a ship to some far away place!! Sometimes it’s nice to have the Wickham drama over and done with quickly, but I look forward to finding out what you’ve done with him!!!!


    Soooo many variations and soooo many different scenarios for all the usual suspects. It’s gotta be really tough to come up with something really unique without throwing us readers completely into a fit storm of rebellion. And yet we’re all so greedy, we want more, more, MORE! At least I do.

    I think the Lydia stories I’ve liked the best have been the ones where she either saw way ahead of time what a stinker Wickham is and ditches him, or is forced to reform under extreme hardship. (Hee hee, aren’t I spiteful?) The best Wickham stories have been where he dies ignominiously, or reforms after much hardship.

    But someday, I wish someone would write either an entire novel or a really decently lengthy epilogue where we see Lydia 20 years into the future, after caring for, worrying over, and becoming very proud of her (most likely) many children, observed THEIR different personalities (would some take after one or more of her sisters?) shy and retiring, or ne’er do well rakes, or stupid immature-forever silly geese like their mother????
    Because, don’t we all know of someone like this, who everyone worried about and thought would never ‘make it’ but who finally grew up and became very lovely down-to-earth, good citizen human beings?

    I’m looking forward to reading this.


      Of course! Happy Thanksgiving Meredith, Kara and all the Austenesque Reviews circle of friends.


      I love your idea, Michelle! How fun would it be to see a story about Lydia’s children (and have her maybe as a Mrs. Bennet) type of parent?!? 😉 I’ve read some lovely stories that redeem Lydia – Jane Odiwe’s and Maria Grace’s come to mind first, but those take place when she is much younger. I like your idea of an older Lydia story!


    Really interested in this book as the premise is one I’m intrigued by. I agree with you about wanting canon scenes to be brief. I prefer variations that verge away from canon offering something new.


    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    I’ve read the chapters of this book as posted on Austen Variations, and I am so excited to see what will happen next!!

    Wickham is always a sore point for me. I hate it when Elizabeth falls for his lies and believes him rather than Mr. Darcy. I prefer the stories in which Elizabeth is attuned to his nefarious character in their early meetings and immediately knows that he is trouble! I don’t like seeing any character die, but I do prefer seeing Wickham sent to America or Australia. Then there isn’t too much guilt for Darcy.

    Thank you for these “elephant in the room” thoughts, Kara!! I always enjoy your books (and am hoping to win a copy!!)!!

    Susanne 🙂


      Thanks for your thoughts, Susanne! I know everyone has a preference on what they like and dislike. Hopefully if there is something you don’t like in a story, other parts that you like will make up for it, because I know you know in this one, Elizabeth does believe his lies. Good luck in the giveaway!


      I agree, Susanne – I always cheer for Elizabeth when she questions Wickham’s story on her own!


    What a great premise for a JAFF variation. What will happen if Bingley meets Elizabeth first? I have read some of the posted Chapters and liked the fact that Darcy was instantly jealous of Bingley. Wickham is the forever bad boy. I always have difficulty when an author reforms Wickham as I truly think it could not happen. He is truly a villain so an author would have to craft many situations where he interrupts Darcy HEA. Thank you for the giveaway and a Joyful Thanksgiving.


    I read the first 14 chapters while it was on the blog written by Kara and then bought the book. I do like to read stories by authors making their own story of what Wickham and/or Lydia do although several have her disappearing into the under world either on her own or after W. abandons her. Don’t know that I like to think about that. Horrible fate for any girl much less a woman.

    I have to post my review. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it.


    Don’t include me in the give-a-way as I have already won a copy and am looking forward to reading it as soon as it arrives. I just wanted to read Kara’s comments on this post. Thanks to Meredith for hosting and to some lucky winner who will also win a book.

    Now, regarding Wickham… the rat-bastard we love to see foiled or hoisted on his own petard. I have seen him in just about every situation imaginable… from him being slightly annoying to manically deranged. He is so full of himself… I wonder why he doesn’t attempt to get at Jane. Or is she too beautiful even for him. Perhaps Mrs. Bennet always keeps Jane in reserve for when something better comes along. I can see her guarding Jane like a junkyard dog.

    I like reading where Wickham is really bad and Darcy and our dear Colonel are really good as they strategize together and use creative plans against him. It is so cool how the Colonel can always track him down. I love our dear Colonel. And I love it when they outsmart Wickham. That’s when I can’t put the book down… waiting to find out what is going to happen.

    Have a blessed holiday and blessings on the launch of your book. Thanks again for your generous give-a-way.


      Thank you so much for your lovely visit, Jeanne! I love hearing your opinion! I agree about when Colonel Fitzwilliam and helps track Wickham down…I love it when Wickham is afraid of him! 😉


    Thanks for stopping by, Jeane! I think Wickham didn’t attempt to go after Jane because she didn’t have what he wanted (willingness or fortune). Lydia didn’t have fortune, but she was stupidly willing. Again, I hope you enjoy the book!


    Comment to Kara Louise on Austenesque reviews regarding the boring Lydia/Wickham denouement.

    Hi Kara,

    I’ve enjoyed your stories for several years but I never considered the dilemma authors face with keeping the Lydia/Wickham story line fresh.

    I personally feel Lydia is immature and spoiled but not stupid. No sister of Lizzy’s could be a total fool.
    I would love to see her in a situation where she discovers George’s perfidy, say the day before their elopement she catches him making out with a bar wench in Brighton OR in London a “fancy” woman sees them together and tells Lydia of his deflowering and abandonment of her. Or overhear a married woman shopping with a companion and buying expensive presents for her dear Wickham. OR they could be leaving Brighton in the carriage and overtaken by highwaymen and perhaps George barters his lady for his freedom! Or Lt. Denney could tip her off that Wickham offered her to another officer as the stakes in a card game.

    I’d love to see a livid Lydia – maybe she could grab his sword and beat him with it.


    Love your ideas, JoEllen! Have you considered writing your own book? 🙂


    To answer your question, I’m afraid that I’m just putting more of the work back on you. Thus…. If a book is compelling enough for other reasons to be able to leave Wickham out, then leave him out. I’m just a reader, nothing close to being a writer, so I have no idea what to tell you about how it’s done. Also, like Meredith said, sometimes I get tired of the same L&W elopement plot.


    I really don’t like Wickham. Make him brief if at all. I really do like this idea of Bingley meeting Elizabeth first. I’d love to read this. I’m going to look at the link you mentioned right now. You certainly stirred my desire to read something new.


    Hi Kara and Meredith! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! I read part of Kara’s book in Austen Variations and am super curious to read the rest. I love your books, Kara, and have read most of them! About your questions, well, I love well written stories, and whether Wickham is a villain or not will depend on the plot and how it is done. However, one of the things that bothers me in canon is Lydias’s fate. She is brash and impulsive but she was basically still a child! Without much parental guide, she was on her own and she will pay for one mistake for the rest of her life. I think it was very unfair so I love when authors redeem her and she gets to have a better life.
    Well, here is my email address:

    danielaquadros (at) gmail (dot) com


    I do like s little variety when it comes to Wickham & Lydia. I’m curious to see what part he plays your new novel. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone as well!


    Excited this release from Kara!


    I love Kara’s books! Can’t wait to read this!


    I always wish Lydia weren’t so stupid and egotistical to get involved with Wickham, but I enjoy any creative ideas to deal with him. You have captured my interest already with Lizxy meeting Bingley first and I can’t wait to learn how it ends. Thanks for the giveaway.


    I’m looking forward to reading this book. I’m so intrigued by the Bingley/Elizabeth storyline. I do like stories where Wickham causes trouble, and I love when it’s a different storyline than the usual with Lydia. Thanks for the giveaway!


    Thank you for this post ladies, I really liked reading it because it approaches a theme I often discuss with other readers. I agree with you Meredith, I also get tired of the of reading the same elopement plot with Lydia, and honestly I am starting to skip that part in almost every single book I read. When one reads too many JAFF books, one tends to get tired of that plot. I prefer for writers not to mention it or to make it brief.
    Thank you for the giveaway as well, I would love to win this one as Kara Louise’s books are always a must read 🙂


    Souls wonderful and I always love KL’s books


    Hi Kara, When Wickham has a large role to play, I prefer it when he uses wiley brain to scheme of ways to wreck havoc in Darcy’s instead of resorting to violence or kidnapping. To me, Ms. Austen’s character is a bright young man, who uses his intelligence to get out of getting his hands dirty. If he weren’t so self-absorbed he could do much good.


    I don’t want to read a story where the author tells me everything about Wickham and Lydia’s elopement. I am familiar with the original and truly hope for something new that I’ve not read before. Part of me hope that he doesn’t come back into the picture and ruin Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s happiness. But without his villainy, our favourite couple would not overcome difficult trials or obstacles to arrive at their HEA.


    I enjoy when Lydia finds out what a cad he is on her own and takes care of him in her own, rather hoydenish way. I guess I just like strong women. I look forward to reading this, I’ve enjoyed the first few chapters.

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