For this month’s post, I have decided to post a short excerpt of my newest offering, Coincidence. The idea for this novel came from a discussion I had with a friend from church. He is also interested in writing Pride and Prejudice, and we often speak of our ideas. On this particular occasion, we were discussing what makes a good novel, and one of the points I made was that coincidence, while certainly real, cannot be the foundation of a novel–or at least it must be backed up by events which are directed by conscious thought. Otherwise it can just become silly rather quickly.
As we all know, there are certain coincidences in Pride and Prejudice which move the story along, some more blatant than others (Elizabeth touring Pemberley at the exact moment Darcy returns comes to mind–and a day earlier than Darcy had intended at that!) But that’s part of the charm of the story, and it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, as long as it’s not overused. During the course of this discussion, my friend suggested that I might want to play with the idea, and thus a story was born. Of course, there are coincidences and there are coincidences, and it will be up to our heroine to discover which is which.
I had hoped to have the cover ready to reveal today, but unfortunately no such luck. It should be ready by next week, at which point I’ll post it on Facebook. While I don’t have a firmly set date yet for release, it should be by the end of the month.
And without further ado, here is the excerpt. This should give you a good indication of what the story is all about!
* * *
Love makes a man do strange things, and before that moment, Darcy had never truly understood that adage. Given, however, the fact that he stood in the foliage some distance from the parsonage, watching the house, looking for any sign of Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s imminent departure, he could not deny the fact that he was as apt to be affected by this strangeness as any.
Days of thinking about Miss Bennet, considering what he knew of her, her dislike of him, his passionate regard, which seemed unlikely to fade away, had left him feeling irritable. It was the sensation of not being in control which left him feeling that way, Darcy decided. He had always behaved with circumspection and soberness of thought, and in part he knew the reason for this was because of how Wickham had always been the exact opposite. But it had always served him well, regardless of the reason for it.
Now, however, he seemed to be at the mercy of his passions, and it left him unsettled. For a time he had been almost upset with Miss Bennet herself, for was she not the author of his current troubles?
Reason soon took over, however, as he knew that she could not be blamed for his perturbation of spirit. The woman had no notion of the effect she had on him—she did not even like him!
In the end, it truly did not signify. Miss Elizabeth had invaded his mind, slipping in through cracks in his defenses. He thought of her when he least expected to do so, usually in the most incongruous moments. Only the previous evening he had suddenly smiled, as the thought of what Miss Elizabeth might say concerning his aunt’s continued silliness entered his mind, prompting the woman herself to comment on his sudden joviality. Lady Catherine had obviously thought his resistance against marrying Anne was weakening because of it, if her self-satisfied expression after the fact had been any indication. Darcy could well imagine what she would say if she knew the true reason for his sudden mirth!
In his ruminations the previous days, a notion had entered his mind, and he had grasped hold of it, and he knew that though he had no true idea of how to proceed, he wished to improve her opinion of him. Speaking to her on her walks seemed to be a perfect opportunity to begin his campaign.
So immersed was Darcy in his thoughts that he almost missed the sudden splash of color which appeared against the drab walls of the parsonage, and he focused his eyes on the house, noting that Miss Bennet had, indeed, appeared, and was now walking away from the door toward the lane. No doubt she would cross and enter the woods south of Rosings, and could soon be found within its confines. Almost against his will, Darcy grinned—he would meet her in the park. He could hardly wait.
Suspecting she would walk her favorite path, Darcy turned and slipped back into the woods at his back. He soon struck a small path through the trees which would take him to the wider path he knew that she preferred. If he reached it in time, he could be on the path before she made her way there, and he could then approach her from the opposite direction, and then turn and walk with her. It was perfect, as long as she acted as he had predicted.
When he reached the main path, Darcy strode south toward where he expected she would soon be walking herself. A sense of anticipation came over him, and though he continued for several long minutes, he did not see her, and the expectation became nigh unbearable. Where had the woman gone?
A few moments later he passed a bend in the path, and there beside the road, looking at some wildflowers along the path, crouched Miss Elizabeth Bennet. She was dressed in a muslin gown of pale yellow, over which she was wearing a rich brown spenser, with matching bonnet and gloves. Darcy had seen this particular outfit before; it became her well, indeed. And that morning she appeared lovelier than Darcy had ever before seen her.
As he stepped forward, a greeting spilling forth from his mouth, Darcy decided that regardless of what she thought of him now, he did not wish to let her go. He would change her opinion of him. There was no other choice.