Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Georgia McCall...Obligation and Redemption

Available on Amazon
My guest today is new author and first time visitor to More Agreeably Engaged, Georgia McCall. Ms. McCall's book, Obligation and Redemption, is, in her words, causing a 'stir'.  She is sharing with us why she believes this to be true and why she wrote this novel. Her thoughts definitely gave me something to 'ponder' and I appreciate that! Please join me in welcoming Georgia McCall. There is a great giveaway too! :)

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From Obligation to Redemption:  why is Georgia McCall’s new book causing such a stir?  By Georgia McCall

When I first decided to put my musings down for posterity in the form of a novel, I had the story clearly laid out before me within the confines of my mind.  I had read many Austen variations, some so very good and others reminiscent of every other version.  They all looked similar:  Darcy easily falling in love (albeit against his will at times), with Elizabeth eventually following suit after various trials and misunderstandings.    However, no book had ever brought the couple together when neither of them had any inclination whatsoever towards the other – before Darcy had even developed an attraction to the impertinent woman with fine eyes.  I considered what it might look like for Darcy to suspect malfeasance towards a woman bound to him for life, his suspicions based on his past prejudices and experiences.

The possibilities for misconceptions and vexations were fun to contemplate as each fulfilled his and her obligations, but as I met new characters and discovered how the couple’s struggles were taking shape, a deeper and more meaningful impression began to emerge within the context of the story.  That a proud, arrogant and self-sufficient man could be humbled and changed to such an extent as to go from loathing to loving, I came to the conclusion that something rather miraculous would have to take place.  I had considered the similarities between our romantic hero and the Apostle Paul – stay with me now – that they both had come from an established pedigree, were educated, proud, influential, revered, yet thought meanly of those different from themselves.  Of course, this occurred at different degrees, as Darcy never would have murdered the innocent to promote his cause.  However, I felt my Darcy needed to be brought to his knees much as the great apostle had been.   Paul had been blinded yet received his sight again in a way that not only brought about a restoration of his vision, but also enabled him to see himself and others with new eyes.  He went from destroying to delivering.

Now you do not have to believe the stories of the Bible to enjoy my story.  I saw the similarities and use Paul as a model for Darcy’s journey, but what I strive to demonstrate in my book is Darcy’s overwhelming struggles with his own shortcomings.  He has always taken pride in the strength of his own virtue, building this pride on a straw-man.  Quite simply, Darcy worships Darcy.  His ultimate deficiency is not how he treats Elizabeth or those of inferior birth.  Rather, he congratulates himself on doing what is right and good, but he is unable to see his true motivation to garner praise and admiration from his fellow man and woman, which is the magnification of his own worth.  Darcy needs to recognize his own insufficiency and vulnerability hidden within his cloak of honor and respectability, and this comes about through the most unlikely source:  a woman of unknown family, meager accomplishments and little beauty.

The couple has a difficult beginning, full of all of the trials one might suppose between two people who distrust and exasperate one another yet bound in a way that leaves no room for escape.  Darcy attempts to exert the same degree of control in his marriage as he exerts everywhere else in his life but with no success – in fact, his life begins to unravel before his eyes.  But he cannot find fault in his own actions, so he seeks blame in the woman whom he suspects has manipulated him into marriage.  I found, at least for my story, that I desired Darcy to behave in a way that he never would have suspected himself capable of in order to truly see his frailty.  Within the context of the time period, he does nothing outside the social order of things, but his conscience tells him of his misdeeds and will not let him rest.

Elizabeth, hurt and betrayed by his fall from perfection, builds an immovable wall of distrust to protect her heart.  This is where Redemption enters the story.  I will not give away the details (enough people have done that in the reviews!) but I will say that healing and forgiveness are possible, as demonstrated in this story depicting the nature of redeeming love.

So why does the book cause a stir?  The quote I use at the beginning of my novel sums it up:

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved:
loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
Victor Hugo

And I believe that to many this idea is too good to be true.

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About the Author:

Georgia McCall resides in Memphis, Tennessee where she has practiced as a dietitian/nutritionist for the past twenty-four years.  Much to her delight, she has come to appreciate the joy of reading classic literature, including Jane Austen, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and the Brontë sisters, in addition to indulging in the vast array of Austen variations.  She also treats herself to a BBC drama and a glass of wine on occasion with her family, which includes a devoted husband of twenty–one years and two beautiful daughters, ten and fifteen.  Georgia enjoys jogging in the mornings during which time many stories have developed, although Obligation and Redemption is the first to make it from her active imagination onto paper.  She enjoys cooking, but not nearly as much as eating out, and being from Memphis, her favorite food is good ole’ Memphis-style barbecue.  Georgia faithfully attends a local Presbyterian church where she has been blessed with the best of friendships, and from where she experienced grace and learned the redeeming value of forgiveness.   

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I'm glad to have you visit, Ms. McCall. I enjoyed reading your post and it gave me food for thought. I found it interesting that you used Paul and his redemption as your model for Darcy and his own sins. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. For any of those reading this post, maybe it will make them think on your book in a different 'light'. I love your quote at the beginning! It is so true. I hope you will come back and visit again.

It's giveaway time! Yes, dear readers, Georgia McCall is giving away three things: 1 Paperback, US only and 2 eBooks, International. Just leave a comment with your contact info, to be entered. Tell us what you think. We want you to have your share in the conversation! Giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 3rd of October. Good luck to all.

18 comments:

  1. "However, no book had ever brought the couple together when neither of them had any inclination whatsoever towards the other – before Darcy had even developed an attraction to the impertinent woman with fine eyes."

    There are several out there, including one I wrote. The most notable one, though, is "Being Mrs. Darcy", which is available at A Happy Assembly. You must not be a forum reader?

    ~Zoe Burton

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  2. Prior to writing my book, I had read over 300 of these variations and had found none with Darcy married to Elizabeth when he did not admire her to some degree (or in the case of mine, suspected malfeasance). Of course that was two years ago, and since then I have focused 100% on my own book, hoping to avoid any unintentional influences from other authors' works or forums. I have hoped in writing my book that I have provided a story completely different than what was currently available. I am now free to return to my kindle and have enjoyed going back to the books I have already purchased, finding that it is like reading each of them for the first time. I will add yours to my list for I well remember the feeling of finding my next fresh story to dive into.

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  3. I doubt that there can be many real variations in the Darcy/Elizabeth story, just how well the tale is told. After reading many books about these two I am now adding more that deal with the minor characters. But I am always on the lookout for a new author to read.

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

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  4. Must admit that I'm intrigued by this book.
    The fact that Elizabeth is 'hurt and betrayed' only serves to add to the general confusion!

    I earnestly hope that Darcy hasn't cheated on Elizabeth,as I would be utterly bereft if this occurred and not sure if I could read about it.

    Then again,I may be all wrong and something else may the source of her feelings of betrayal.

    Regardless,I enjoyed reading about this book and hope it's received well by the JAFF community.

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    1. I hear O&R provides a great source of angst, but also satisfaction! Take heart in the title.

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  5. This is the first I've heard of your book and I am definitely intrigued. The comparison to Paul is fantastic and I look forward to reading this. I'm not going to read any reviews, I don't want any spoilers! Thank you for the giveaway. Kimpru1 (at) aol. com

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  6. I liked the idea of this book so I bought it. I haven't read it yet but look forward to doing so. I'm hoping it doesn't take the whole book for Darcy and Elizabeth to realise they love each other. Please don't enter me in the giveaway.

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  7. Tough premise, but I do enjoy stories where redemption is a key element. Hadn't heard of Georgia's book so I look forward to reading it.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

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  8. This is intriguing! Part of me wants to read the reviews and part of me doesn't want any spoilers! It sounds quite angsty but sometimes I crave those type of stories. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. :)
    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

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    1. I would recommend reading it without the reviews' influence. Many give away parts of the story that out of context can affect your perception before even getting started. They certainly run the gamut though (at least the ones that I allowed myself to read!) Like all books, there are those who love it and those who think quite the contrary; but as expected with any book worth its price, the readers' emotions are engaged either way.

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  9. I will have you know that your book was already on my wishlist! However, I'm pleased to learn more about it, to intrigue me more. Thank you for the giveaway chance.
    Ginna Say What at gmail dot com

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  10. I'm intrigued by the comparison of Darcy's redemption to the story of Paul. Sounds like an interesting take on P&P. Thanks for the giveaway. diaryofaneccentric(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  11. Oh, the excerpt was wonderful - thank you. What happened that Elizabeth and Darcy are married as Elizabeth would not have done anything for a compromising situation. Was Caroline up to her antics and they backfired? Thank you for the giveaway. I want to know how redemption is found. evamedmonds(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. Thank you for enlightening us with your thoughts and motivations for developing the Darcy character of your novel. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to your future endeavors.

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    1. I appreciate your interest so much. Darcy became a very complex character in the writing, perhaps even more so than the original. I enjoyed getting to know him throughout the process and love his journey and transformation. And I also valued Elizabeth's strength even in her imperfection. My goal was that I did not want either of them to seem untouchable; I wanted them to to seem like real people with struggles, faults and eventually understanding.

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  13. Throughly enjoyed Obligation and Redemption, congratulations to Georgia McCall. Looking forward to her next novel.

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    1. Thank you! That means so very much to me!

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  14. Just finished O & R and find it is one of my favorite P & P variations. I especially loved the dialogue throughout the book and the much awaited resolutions did not disappoint. Hope another try by Ms. McCall will follow.

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