First Page Friday ~ Suzan LAUDER

As stated before, I have know Suzan Lauder for well over fifty years. I won't say much more than that because a lady truly never reveals her age.... In our youth we participated in some fabulous schemes. Suzan wrote and directed our church youth group in a Cinderella spoof, complete with hits from the 50's, called 'Hey Cindy'. As you can see, fan fiction has played a part in Suzan's life for a long time. The other production, which we rehearsed for quite some time, was Jesus Christ Superstar. This never took off, unfortunately, but it was a blast to sing those songs (in tune, I might add).

Suzan's love of fan fiction found a home when she discovered Jane Austen and the many authors who bring Miss Austen's stories to life by taking her beloved characters down different paths. Such is LETTERS FROM RAMSGATE. I'll let Suzan's blurb and subsequent first page set the stage.

Blurb:

"Sir, I am not known to you. I fear you may have concerns regarding some intelligence that recently came to me from your sister..."

A simple letter shatters illusions and turns the world upside down!

On holiday in Ramsgate, Elizabeth Bennet befriends shy, romantic Georgiana Darcy, who shares an adoring description of an ideal elder brother. When Georgiana discloses a secret infatuation with her brother's 'close friend' Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth altered perception of both men affects her actions and alliances.

The secret with an anonymous letter from Ramsgate ties Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth together but also separates them. A second missive unlocks the disguise, but Mr. Darcy realizes his true passions too late to assist Elizabeth in her darkest hour. Will the shocking disclosure of a forgotten letter transform his understanding of her heart and lead them to embrace their future?

LETTERS FROM RAMSGATE is a Pride and Prejudice variation suitable for most audiences (youth and up).

First Page:
May 1811
Portman Square, London
Even though Fitzwilliam Darcy was accustomed to being admired by women, he was discomposed by his visitor’s flagrant scrutiny of his figure from the moment she entered his study. As her eyes examined his body from head to toe, her brows lifted, and a slight smile appeared on her face. After his bow and her curtsy, she took a chair while Darcy situated himself behind his desk for protection.
The visitor was Mrs. Isabel Younge, the widow of a much older man who had been the son of a well-respected viscount. Darcy had some knowledge of Mr. Frederick Younge’s reputation but knew little of the lady other than she was said to be sociable and exuberant. Her husband was wealthy and a spendthrift. He had doted on her and spoiled her but settled in the card rooms at balls and parties while she danced. A year earlier, Darcy’s cousin Henry, Lord Courtland, had joined Mr. Younge in speculation related to the sugar trade but had withdrawn not long thereafter. Henry was fortunate because Younge and his partners lost a great deal of money. Younge died almost penniless not long afterwards.
Mrs. Younge was well favoured and elegant in her fashionable widow’s weeds. She and Darcy shared observations about the weather and her carriage ride before she began the discussion of their planned business. “I understand you seek a companion for a gently born female of tender years.”
A solemn tone replaced what Darcy had judged as personal interest, and his suspicion about her motives was eased. “You are correct. My sister is in her fifteenth year.” Still so young. Am I doing the right thing?
“Where is Miss Darcy’s current residence?”
“At the moment, with me. I am her guardian along with my cousin Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam.”
“Has she a governess?”
“No. Not long ago, we took her from school. She found it tiresome, and due to her shyness, she was unable to form friendships. The subjects they taught were of little interest to her, and my library allows her to study whatever topics she chooses.”
“Too old for the school room, too young to be out in society. Without doubt, her ennui continues. I imagine you have no idea what to do with a young lady.”
Although the judgement did not surprise Darcy, it still annoyed him. “Georgiana has been in my care for close to five years, so we are accustomed to each other. No detail has been spared in her entertainment. She enjoys the recreation afforded by riding, archery, and clever table games. Any bauble or music book she desires is hers.”

About the Author:

Saucy opinions like "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has no pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid." won Suzan Lauder, who thought, "I have to read more by this woman who writes with such snarky humour!" And another Jane Austen fanatic was captured in the clever dead author's net. As a lifetime member of JASNA, Austen figures prominently in Lauder's writing, and Pride and Prejudice has inspired all her published fiction.

Her publisher is Meryton Press.


6 comments:

  1. I love this story, and the opening pages are captivating and well-written!

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    1. I agree, and thank you for stopping by Kelly!

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  2. This is a great story, and anything by Susan Lauder is a must read for me!

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    1. Very true. Suzan works hard to provide a concise and entertaining story. Thanks for dropping in today.

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  3. This is such a good book and the cover is gorgeous!

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    1. I'm very jealous of her cover. It IS gorgeous!

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