Website Announcement, Giveaway, and Magical Darcy Sneak Peek
Welcome to Magical Austen, home of Jane Austen inspired fantasy!
We’re a group of authors who each started out writing Jane Austen retellings and then gravitated to combine Jane Austen’s beloved characters with elements of fantasy. We hope you’ll explore the site and download our free reads, including the ebook of Glimpses of Magic.
Sign up for our newsletter to get an amazing exclusive JAFF fantasy story by Sarah Courtney, plus there’ll be more free short stories coming several times a year for our newsletter subscribers! And you’ll get news of our new releases – and the latest about the Magical Darcy group story we’ll be posting soon on this website.
You can also check out our Fantasy Reads for Austen Fans Facebook page.
And we have a special giveaway! One of the treats we have in store for you is our Magical Darcy Round Robin, written by Abigail Reynolds, Monica Fairview, Melanie Rachel, Sarah Courtney, Victoria Kincaid, and Lari Ann O’Dell. To celebrate the debut of this website, we are holding a giveaway for three advanced reader slots for Magical Darcy. To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The winners will be chosen Monday July 25. Winners will receive the upcoming chapter of the Round Robin a week before it is posted.
We will start posting the story this website Wednesday August 3rd, followed by weekly installments.
Here is a special sneak peek from Chapter 1 by Abigail Reynolds.
Darcy straightened as the doctor emerged from Georgiana’s sickroom, revealing a glimpse of his sister’s wan, thin face resting on her pillow, her eyes closed in exhaustion, before her maid closed the door firmly.
“Well?” Darcy demanded.
The doctor shifted his bag from one hand to another. “There is no improvement, as you are no doubt aware. I have given her a sleeping remedy to make her more comfortable, but there is no cure I can offer for a magical malady. Have you consulted a medical mage?”
“Yes.” Every single one he could bribe or threaten to make the journey to Pemberley to examine Georgiana, and they had all said the same thing – that this was beyond their abilities.
“I am sorry, sir.” He bowed and left, taking Darcy’s last scrap of hope with him.
Darcy rubbed the back of his neck as the doctor’s footsteps faded away. Surely there must be something he could do! But Georgiana would need time to recover from the doctor’s visit before he could sit with her again, and he had exhausted his last lead. No amount of brooding would help her.
All that was left was for him to distract himself. He might as well be useful, so he headed to his study and the long-neglected pile of mail his secretary had left him.
The first few were invitations which he pushed aside. As if he had any desire to be entertained! Then he spotted the familiar spiky handwriting of Lady Catherine de Bourgh on the next envelope. With a groan, he broke the seal.
My dear nephew,
I will waste no time in coming to the point. The Patronesses of Magic have met and we are in unanimous agreement that you must marry immediately. We are well aware of your objections to the idea, but now that Georgiana cannot produce an heir to Pemberley, it is time for you to give up your stubbornness and do your duty. We have picked out three candidates for you to choose among —
With an oath, he crumpled the letter and threw it into the fire. Devil take her! How dare she assume that Georgiana would die! And he was not a breeding stud to answer to her demands.
His fingers reached out to stroke the left-hand drawer of his desk in the familiar spot where the finish was shiny from all the times he had undertaken the same action. Everything he had left of Elizabeth Bennet was in that drawer – the few notes she had written him, the sketch her sister had drawn of her. Four years, and the wounds were still fresh.
And the damnable thing was that his aunt was right. For Pemberley’s sake, he did need to marry, intolerable as it might be.
A soft rapping at the door preceded the entrance of his valet. His so-called valet. Russell, the last person he wished to see right now.
The chair scraped on the rug as he pushed it back. “I have already received the Patronesses’ recommendation,” Darcy snapped. “And I do not wish to hear one more word about it.”
“The Patronesses can wait.” Russell held up a piece of paper. “There is more important news afoot. The Great Library has reappeared at last.”
It took a moment to sink in, but then Darcy jumped to his feet. “Are you certain? It is open?”
“I just received word. It is certain.”
The Great Library, home to the spell books that just might hold the answers to Georgiana’s illness. It had been inaccessible for half a dozen years, since the death of the last Librarian. And now it was open again.
Excitement filled his throat. At last, a ray of hope! “I will leave for Oxford immediately,” he announced.
Russell pursed his lips. “The Library may be accessible, but that does not mean you will be admitted. The questioning can be difficult and painful, and there is no guarantee of success. We must discuss your strategy.”
Darcy gritted his teeth. “You have half an hour, while my bags are being packed.” Russell no doubt meant well, but Darcy had no intention of allowing Georgiana to suffer for a minute longer than necessary.
What did you think? Let us know in the comments.
Wow! I’m so excited for this! I was very disappointed when the except ended- I definitely want more! Is Elizabeth the new librarian?? What happened 4 years ago?? Is Wickham responsible for Georgiana’s sickness?? So many questions! I can’t wait!
More will be coming, but you’re asking all the right questions! Putting all our heads together to plot this story has been amazing fun.
One of your questions will be answered two weeks from today, Rachel!
This is so exciting. I’m already invested and looking forward to reading more. It’s interesting to see Darcy in a position where he doesn’t have all the ready answers. I’m definitely curious about the medical library! Can’t wait for more!
Melanie — I know, right? Darcy is his usual arrogant self but there’s a lot at stake, and he has to tread carefully. The Library is a really magical place. I think you’ll like it.
You had me at magical library😉
Four years? What on earth happened to Elizabeth? Obviously she has to reappear in Darcy’s life or I wouldn’t be reading this story! Please let her be the one person who can cure Georgiana and let Darcy find her soon. Pretty please!
Questions will be answered in due time, but I guarantee you an Elizabeth and Darcy happy ending! When we posted polls in the Facebook group asking what elements people wanted in this story, Second Chances was the trope that got the most votes. So here we are – E&D’s second chance!
It’s hard to refuse you, Glynis, when you ask so nicely. 😀
Teasing, teasing people!
Can’t wait to find out the answers to all of the questions this poses.
What happened to Georgiana?
What happened to estrange Darcy and Elizabeth?
Why has the Library re-opened?
You’ve got my number – that entire scene is a huge tease of the big issues coming up! We have so many ideas for this story!
Out to torture us, already?
This is going to be something that simultaneously makes me insane & enjoy.
Anji — as you can see, there are lots of elements to the plot. We’ve been putting our heads together for some time now trying to work it all out.
Oh oh! This is good so far! Excited to read more!!
Thank you, LeAnne! I can’t wait for you to read all of the first chapter.
So glad to hear you enjoyed it, LeAnne!
Oooooh! What an emotional beginning! His sister is sick, he’s being pressured to marry against his will and something happened to part him from our dear girl. Can’t wait to see what happens next!
You will be all amazement when you see what happens next!
Ugh this has hit on many of my favorite tropes – magic, an earlier meeting, someone who is ill, Georgiana being an important part of the story – I am incredibly excited to read this!
Yay! When we held polls in the Fantasy Reads for Austen Fans Facebook group, people voted for a Second Chances trope. It’s been such fun writing Elizabeth & Darcy’s second chance!
Thanks Aimee. It’s been great putting all these tropes together so far. There is one trope I would love to do, but I’m not sure if there is a place for it yet.There is a lot more to come.
Isn’t it a perfect combination? In our poll, the readers wanted Georgiana to be part of the story, so we’re happy to oblige.
Oh, my goodness, I have so many questions! Thank you for sharing this excerpt and the giveaway. I am looking forward to receiving the newsletters from this site. I have been really getting into the fantasy variations, so this feels like perfect timing.
So glad to hear you’re enjoying the fantasy variations! It’s still shocking to me because in 2015 I came very close to not publishing Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment because there was no market for Austenesque fantasy — and look where we are now!
Thanks, Robin! This is a great time to be getting into fantasy variations. At least three of us have fantasy releases coming out before that year is out. Plus this group story. It’s been lots of fun planning it out.
Super excited for this! I’m hooked!
Great! So glad you’re enjoying it!
Love the new website and what an amazing teaser! Can’t wait to read this book. Congratulations, ladies!
Thanks, Debra-Ann! I’m excited about it.
Thank you, Debra-Anne, and thanks for dropping by!
This is going to be good .i cant wait .
Thank you, Wendy! I can’t wait for you to see the rest of the chapter!
I think you’re going to love it, Wendy!
This excerpt is wonderful! I love the sort of gender construct swaps—the Patronesses are holding power and Darcy, as a man, is offended at being a breeding stud. I can’t wait to read this, and I am so excited for the new website.
You’re going to love this, Dara! This story has elements of a gender-swapped Persuasion, which I am so excited about! Wait till you meet our Elizabeth!
Hehehe! I like how you’re thinking, Dara.
Nothing like getting our curiosity going. Interesting glimpse of what appears to be a fascinating magical world. I look forward to what happens next. Please don’t keep us waiting too long.
First chapter goes up on August 3, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!
Coming very soon, Diana. Don’t forget to put in your calendar.
WOW!This start is full of Mavic and promise. I am looking forward to reading more. Thank you for this excerpt.
Thanks, Kathy! I’m excited about it.
Good teaser!! Loving the way my mind thinks you all might go for this one!! Can’t wait to read more!!
Thank you all!!
Yay!! I tried to pack lots of hints into this scene. 🙂
A pleasure, Lori. You have to let us know what parts you guessed right once we’re done.
I’m betting ELIZABETH is the new librarian! Or maybe Mr. Bennet. Either way, can’t wait to read more!
Well done! You’re paying attention to the hints!
Hmm, can’t give anything away at this point, Amanda. 😉
Wow! Just wow! Or maybe wowza!!
I’m primed to read this book, whether I win it in the giveaway or I have to wait for its release.
Congrats on the launch of the website!
Thanks, Debbie! We’re so excited about the possibilities for JAFF fantasy, and I’m thrilled that you like the excerpt!
Thank you so much, Debbie! It’s going to be full of surprises.
Oooo! Be waiting patiently for more chapters! Think I have most of the magical P&P versions but always looking for more!
There are lots more magical P&P variations coming! I’m astonished at how many of us are working on JAFF fantasies!
There are more on the way, but for now, we’re going to keep you entertained with the Round Robin for a while.
Loving this. Persuasion is another favorite. I look forward to next post.
Yes! It wasn’t quite intentional right away, but pretty soon we started to realize that the Second Chances trope really did give it some Persuasion vibes!
Thank you, Patty. There are definitely some elements of Persuasion in the story.
Thanks Patty, this is my first time working on a project with elements of Persuasion. It’s great fun. I hope you enjoy how we blended magic, P&P, and Persuasion.
What happened to Lizzie? Is it tied to Georgiana’s illness? I need to know!!!
You may end up with more questions before you get answers! 🙂 But I loved how all of the tropes from the poll tied together, so I hope you will, too.
I need to know too, Sharon. No, wait. Just kidding. 😉 Glad you’re enjoying it.
Oooh!!!! This sounds like such an interesting story! I can’t wait to read more!
We’ll have more parts coming soon! This has been a lot of fun to write.
Happy to hear you liked it, Amy.
This is so exciting! A magical library! The polls were so fun to participate in, so it will be especially fun to see how it all comes together. I’m anxiously awaiting the next installment in the story. 😀
It was really fascinating to look at all of the different ways to interpret and fit in the choices from the polls, so there should be some fun twists for how we squeezed them all in.
You guys really left us with a challenge, Katie! We’ve been sweating it out trying to tie everything together. Thank you for joining in the polls!
No, no…, not Elizabeth (to let them meet after 4 years in the first chapters is to fast), but I agree that the new librarian should be an Bennet. A real curve ball would be that Kitty is the new librarian (still waters) lol.
Ps. the Bennet Ladies can hold a grudge against somebody who snubs one of them.
I think the Bennet ladies would never forgive a man who jilted one of them!
It would certainly be a fun twist to have Kitty as a librarian, Wim! 🙂
I’m so glad this is going to happen soon! I can barely wait! I hadn’t voted for “second chance” but a gender-swapped Persuasion theme (Abigail’s comment above) sounds intriguing, and we already see Darcy pining for his lost love. Has Elizabeth married someone else? Darcy’s sense of loss was so final it had me worried (though in a world of magic, even assumed death need not be final) but on second thought, I’m thinking more along the lines of Elizabeth having married… maybe Mr. Collins???
I also wonder about the sketch Darcy had about Elizabeth that her sister had drawn… how did he get hold of such a thing, and will it have a significance?
Good spotting, Agnes! That picture may indeed prove important.
Good questions, Agnes. I like that you’re thinking of such different possibilities! Anything is possible with magic!
Wow. So exciting.
Poor Georgiana. A Magical library! And it just reappeared! A test to get in! This will be so exciting, can’t wait!
Yes, I packed a lot in that short excerpt! Never a dull moment for poor Darcy!
I love it, too, when the hero has to go through tests, Linda.
This story is bound to be wonderful considering the talents of the authors involved. I’m totally into this story already after reading the tease in this post. Poor Darcy. I hope he is able to find his way through the morass to Elizabeth. Congrats on forming this collaboration.
Thank you! It’s such fun to work with this team. Darcy will find his way to Elizabeth, but we’re not going to make it easy!
Thank you! Yes, poor Darcy is really in a bind.
My goodness! Such impact in a short time!
Interesting!! Can’t wait!!
I can’t wait for you to read it all! I’m so excited about this story.
It shows what a good writer can do in a short space! I can’t wait for the Round Robin to begin!
Oooo it sounds like this is everything I had hoped it would be!! So excited to read more. Xoxo
Thanks, Julia! It’s been such fun to write!
Well, it’s the polls that helped us on our way, Julia, so thanks to all our readers who chose the building blocks of the story!
Very fun! Looking forward to more. Best wishes to all of the talented writers participating.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Jennifer!!!
I love it already! A Darcy out of control is always fun to read, especially when the authors give him good dialogue to reflect his difficult attitudes. If Lizzy or any of the other Bennets are in positions of power, things are even more fun. And of course, poor Georgiana has to have a magical malady that can only be assuaged by a certain combination of people (or fairies) and spells (then we have echoes of Snow White or Sleeping Beauty!). What fun you authors must be having! Please write faster.
I really like the fairy-tale elements you’re suggesting, Cheryl! And yes, we are having some amazing discussions!
Such a wonderful hook to the story! I can’t wait to read more! Of course I’m dying to know what happened between Elizabeth and Darcy. Two thumbs up so far.
Thank you! It’s going to be quite a tale!
Yay! Very glad to hear it, Malia!
Oh my goodness! I am so excited to read what happens next! This will be so fun to see the mix of styles.
It’s so much fun writing with other authors, and especially the brainstorming!
It’s a great group, Jessica. And yes, we all have our own styles, but we’re talking to each other all the time, so I think the transitions will be very smooth.
Jame Austen fantasy stories are always so creative!
That’s exactly why I love writing them, Colleen!
Looking forward to more!
Don’t forget to note the date in your calendar. August 3rd.
I’m going to be so excited when this is all said and done, as it’s going to be amazing.
I can tell already.
I have to say that, despite being biased, the chapters I’ve read so far really are stupendous!
Lots more to come, Meaghan!
Oh, what fun! What angst! Others have said it better, but I really cherish these stories where D & E’s character remains the same even in the unlikeliest scenarios. I’m especially eager to learn more about what’s happened in the last four years! (And historical tie-in to the year without a summer, by chance?)
Oh, my, you have no idea how many ideas we have for what’s happened in the last four years! I can’t wait until you hear all of it! I’m not telling about the year without a summer, though!
I love it when Darcy and Elizabeth have to face new challenges, too.
I can’t wait for release day! So many questions…. I’m guessing Elizabeth is the new Librarian – we shall see! My favorite genres are fantasy and historical fiction, and I’m loving magical JAFF.
I’m with you on fantasy and historical fiction, so magical JAFF is the cat’s meow for me!
Count me in, Robin. Fantasy and the Regency era, especially!
Always looking forward to more magical JAFF.
What an amazing giveaway and opportunity!
Good luck, Amy!
So many questions from just small excerpt. Will be waiting anxiously to read.
Abigail really packed them in, didn’t she? We have so many surprises planned, AnitaP.
I love this kind of story and can’t wait to read more.
Glad you got a chance to read the sneak peek, Denise!
This is certainly a tantalizing beginning. What/who made Georgiana sick? What is the past relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth? What happned four years ago? I look forward to having all of my questions answer as the story continues!
You’re asking all the right questions, Linda! I can’t wait to see what you think of the answers!
What a teasing opening! Mysteries abound!
Georgiana sick with something, A library that appears and disappears, A history with the love of his life four years old… Gah!
Can’t wait to read MORE!
So glad you like it! I love setting up all the mysteries.
This sounds so exciting. I wonder where Elizabeth is. And what has made Georgiana ill. I can’t wait to read more.
Now those are two very critical questions! You’ll get the answers to those in the first couple of chapters, but I guarantee you that there’ll be many new questions by that time!
I am looking forward to the new fantasy story, and I hope Darcy and Elizabeth get together ASAP.
They will definitely be getting together, Ann, but as for ASAP, I don’t know about that…. 😀
I would love to be an advanced reader of these stories.
Wishing you luck in the draw!
This definitely leaves more questions than answers and sounds very intriguing. Where is Elizabeth and where has the Great Library been? What is happening to Georgiana and did Lady Catherine have anything to do with it? I am quite excited to learn more.
Aha! You are asking some important questions. We even know the answers to some of them, LOL! I hope you’ll be back on August 3 for some answers!
OMG!! I can’t believe all of you actually are making it work!!! I respond every pool on the group so I feel part of the book and it already feels right and perfect!!! Congrats to all of you!!!!
Thanks for taking part in the polls! We had such fun taking all your answers and weaving them into a story line. You’re definitely part of this book!
Barbara, thank you and all the lovely readers who voted. Without you, this story would have been very different.
Oh my goodness, is this ever going to be fun. I know I’m late here, I have been out of town doing other fun stuff. With this story posting online part of the fun is reading everyone’s comments. It’s a party! The excerpt is soooooo intriguing. Ladies, you rock!