The day has finally arrived! Or, I should say, the week has finally arrived, as it always takes a while for the various formats and marketplaces to catch up with the publishing schedule.
But, for all intents, DARCY AND ELIZABETH: HOPE OF THE FUTURE, my far-too-long awaited novel is now available. Whee!!! Time to pop the champagne and toss the confetti!
I am definitely looking forward to celebrating. Completing this novel has been an intensely difficult journey for me, let me tell ya. No need to rehash any of that as I have written about my struggles in previous posts here and on my blog. All that matters now is that the second volume of the Darcy Saga Prequel Duo has been written, edited, and is gradually rolling out for my dear, faithful, patient fans to read. Yeah!
With the writing of this book, I feel the Darcy Saga Series is complete. Not done, as I intend to continue the series beyond The Trouble With Mr. Darcy for sure! But, “complete” in that I have covered all the gaps, as it were, from where Miss Austen left off in Pride and Prejudice, to where I originally began my sequel back in 2006. The very first “short story” I wrote was set on the wedding night, and it is now the first chapter of Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One. From there, I moved forward in recounting my vision of a happily ever after marriage for Darcy and Elizabeth. From time to time within the pages of my sequel novels, I wrote “flashbacks” of happenings during the betrothal period, and even a few short bits filling in behind-the-scenes events from Pride and Prejudice. However, delving deeply into those prior moments was never my focus. In fact, I resisted looking backward, as it were, for a long while, even when readers asked me to! Somewhere along the way, my handsome cravat-wearing muse overrode my reluctance. I am SO glad he did! This is why I can now say, with tremendous happiness, that with the finalization of Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future, I truly have a complete sequel series!
Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet
will soon be joined in Holy Matrimony!
The initial month of their Season of Courtship has passed. Together, the lovers strengthened their bond through honest communication, as they dealt with adversity, jealousy, and distrust. Ever growing in mutual love and understanding, a dramatic confrontation broke through the final barriers.
Now their Hope of the Future “happily ever after” is assured!
As long as Lady Catherine can be stopped in her scheme to interfere, that is.
Or, will Mrs. Bennet’s bad advice ruin future marital felicity?
Might increasing liberation lead to overwhelming passions that cannot be controlled, with catastrophe a result?
Continue the journey begun in Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship.
Delight in their flourishing romance, ride along on their escapades in London,
and be a witness at the wedding of the century.
The miraculous design of how Two Shall Become One begins before the sacred vows.
In case it isn’t obvious, Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is the second part of my tongue-in-cheek “prequel to the sequel” which begins with Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. Released in 2014, Book One of the Darcy Saga Prequel Duo is available for purchase at all the usual marketplaces (link buttons below). I suppose it goes without saying that the first book should be read before the second one! LOL!
Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is gradually rolling out everywhere. The process takes time and inevitably meets with some technical snafus! Plus, each marketplace varies in how speedily they work through the reviewing processes and then getting the book published onto their websites. The print paperback version will take the longest, although I anticipate it being available before the week is out.
For the most up-to-date news and links, keep an eye on my Sharon Lathan, Novelist Facebook Page where I can swiftly post. I will also alert of news on my website www.SharonLathanAuthor.com *click the image of me just above.
So far, as I am finishing up this post late on Monday, the novel can be purchased via the buttons below:
Yes, of course I am hosting a GIVEAWAY! Up for grabs are TWO (2) print paperback, signed copies for TWO (2) lucky winners. Also to be awarded are TWO (2) ebook copies (device/format of choice) for TWO (2) lucky winners.
The deadline to enter is before midnight on Friday, August 11. I will contact winners, and they will be announced here on Austen Authors the following Sunday.
Blog comments will count, with the Rafflecopter form below as an extra bonus for those who choose to use it.
Last, but most certainly not least, I have an excerpt to share. Aside from this one below, I also have a total of 25 “snippets” which I have shared on my website! Those can be read on my blog by clicking the image of my smiling face above. Don’t I look SO happy? I have good reason to be!
Excerpt from Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future ~~
Darcy gave the briefest of nods to Bingley’s rhetorical question but said nothing. As the details for departure time, where they would meet, and the like carried on, Lizzy watched Darcy’s face with growing unease. His expression was neutral, displaying no obvious hint to his thoughts or emotions, yet Lizzy sensed something was not right.
“William,” she whispered as soon as the opportunity arose for a semi-private conversation, “is something amiss?”
He swung his eyes to her immediately and then dropped them to his plate. “No! Nothing. That is, nothing to worry over. We can discuss it later.”
“I would rather discuss it now, please. My overactive imagination will leap to all manner of ridiculous assumptions. You know it will. Do you really wish to be the cause of that, Mr. Darcy?”
His lips twitched, but he still evaded her gaze. Hesitantly, speaking so low she had to lean closer, he explained, “I do not wish to cause wild speculations but also do not wish to ruin your dinner.”
“A dinner this superb will not ruin, I assure you. Now,”—she flattened her hand atop his, which was fiddling with the edge of his napkin—“look at me and speak plainly.”
Sighing, he did as she asked. His eyes were faintly troubled but more sheepish than anything. “I regret to inform that I shan’t be able to escort you home. I must stay in London on…business.”
“Oh! I see. Well, this is disappointing, of course, but I understand. We have sprung the news suddenly and did plan to stay longer. What business do you have? Or is it more of your secret plotting for my grand entrance into Pemberley?”
“Perhaps,” he hedged. “I have a meeting with my solicitor, Mr. Daniels, on Tuesday for various estate matters. On Wednesday I am meeting with a merchant at the Exchange who is…acquiring select items for me. No, do not ask,” he added when her lips parted. “However, the main reason is…Well, to be frank, it is a bit embarrassing.”
“Something embarrassed Mr. Darcy? Oh please tell me.”
Smiling, he slid his fingers through hers, the napkin acting as a shield from the sharp eyes of Mr. Bennet at the far end of the table. “I may regret confessing this, but, as you are aware, I attended a meeting at the Jockey Club last week. It seems that in the excitement over our engagement, it completely slipped my mind that one of the horses bred at Pemberley is competing at Newmarket. I really should not miss… Must you laugh? Have you no pity for my predicament, Miss Elizabeth?”
“Forgive me, but I am imagining the consternation amongst your Jockey Club peers at having anything horse related ‘slip the mind’ of Mr. Darcy. Were they searching the sky for flying pigs?”
“Not that I noticed. Although, now that you mention it, Lord Westingcote did stare out the window for a long while. I thought that the result of Mr. Shelley’s riveting dissertation on the benefits of blue banners over red. What do you think?”
“Of Lord Westingcote’s inattentiveness or the banners?”
“I cannot fathom how a discussion of the vital importance of proper banner color bored any one of sound mind, so his lordship must have been searching the sky for the flying pigs. And obviously red, always red. Unless they plan to invite bulls to the races?”
“We voted against that this year. It was a narrow margin, however, so perhaps blue banners might be safer, in case they revisit the inclusion of bulls another year.”
Lizzy shook her head, laughing softly to avoid drawing undue attention, and squeezed his fingers. She adored bantering with him, the fun enhanced now that he had learned to relax and explore his surprising propensity to tease and outwit. “So, an important race is upcoming, and you wish to watch your exceptional Pemberley thoroughbred take the prize. I can find no fault in this perfectly reasonable excuse to stay in town, Mr. Darcy. I suppose if I must share you with other entertainments, horse racing is a worthy choice.”
“Once we wed, you can come with me, Elizabeth. If you wish.”
“I would like that very much. I’ve never been to a horse race, but it must be thrilling. Watching you race certainly is, when I am not frightened half to death by one of your daredevil exploits, that is. I look forward to sharing in those sports and activities you are passionate about.”
“And I you, my dear. Who knows, I may even surpass your skills as a juggler, in time and with serious study.”
Lizzy groaned. “I swear, from this day forward you are forbidden to listen to another word anyone in my family says to you regarding my youth. But, for the record, I did master three balls in the air at once.”
“If only you had persevered, instead of diverting in your quest to conquer shovelboard and become the reigning champion in all of Hertfordshire. How did that endeavor go again?”
Lizzy groaned a second time and briefly covered her eyes.
Grinning, Darcy pressed on. “Imagine the possibilities. You might now be a juggling master performing at Astley’s circus.”
Further joking was interrupted by the next course, Lizzy reluctantly removing her hand from Darcy’s. Once they were served, Lizzy took advantage of the footman serving Georgiana, who sat beside her, and again leaned toward Darcy, whispering, “I will miss you terribly. No one can tease me as skillfully as you, William. But…that is not the main reason.”
She held his gaze, ensuring he understood her meaning. His gaze softened and dropped to her lips, and a swiftly indrawn breath confirmed the message was received. Swallowing, he huskily replied, “I will return on Friday, possibly Thursday evening, if my business concludes. Being parted from you, Elizabeth will be agonizing, so be prepared to make up for the lost time.”
Smiling dreamily, she reminded him, “We still have tomorrow, and for the sake of preventing overwhelming agony, I suggest it wise to find a way to create a stockpile, so to speak. What say you, Mr. Darcy? Does this sound like a feasible plan?”
Tell me what you think!