I wrote my first Christmas variation two years ago, and many of you may remember how hard it was for me. I got the book out just before the holiday that year.
Last year, it was a little easier to write a Christmas book. Still, I did not get it published until the day after Christmas.
This year, thanks to writing at the new bakery in town four days a week, I got my annual Christmas book done at the end of October! Go me! LOL
It has become easier to write the stories, and to celebrate the holiday. I discovered in 2017 that I enjoy my Christmas Eve celebration more than I do Christmas Day, so last year, I planned a big solo celebration. I made my Christmas turkey on Christmas Eve, with all the trimmings. I baked cookies in November and froze them so I’d have goodies while I watched my movie. Then, about dark I started my party for one. Well, three if you count Jasper and Selena, my Boxers. LOL This year, it will only be me and Jasper, but I’m still determined to enjoy it. <3
Last year when I wrote, I tuned Pandora on my laptop to Christmas music. This year, I didn’t have to. Partly that was because I was not writing at home and partly because for most of the time I wrote, it was way too hot to think about Christmas. LOL Plus, with my new celebration, I find it easier to be in a Christmas mood. <3
Anyway, I enjoyed writing this story. I made it a Patreon-exclusive story, which meant that I only shared it with my patrons while I was writing. Since I finished it, I have shared it on a forum (darcyandlizzy.com). I have also given away a bunch of copies. My Patreon patrons got their free copies, and I gave away copies to my Burton’s Babes group on Facebook and to my newsletter subscribers.
Now, I want to give a couple copies away to Austen Authors blog readers.
The story is titled Darcy’s Christmas Compromise. Below is an excerpt. It comes from the beginning of Chapter 1. Under that can be found the directions for entering the giveaway.
Elizabeth Bennet followed her aunt and uncle into the assembly hall in Lambton in Derbyshire. Suddenly realizing she was gripping her skirts, she unclenched her fists and smoothed the material. Then, clasping her hands in front of her, she took a deep breath and looked around.
Edward Gardiner led his wife and niece to an open spot near a wall and stood with one on each side of him. “What do you think, Lizzy? Is it so very different from Meryton’s assemblies?”
Elizabeth grinned. “No, it is not, and I am happy to see it.”
“I told you it would be similar.” Maddie Gardiner teased her niece. “Assemblies everywhere are alike, except for the identity of the people. I would imagine you will have an excellent time sketching their characters.” She smiled at a couple who strolled past, returning their greeting.
“I believe you are right.” Elizabeth winked at her aunt, causing the other woman to chuckle. “Will your relatives be attending tonight? I thought Mrs. Allin said they would, but I do not see them here.” Her gaze continued to examine the crowd, happy she recognized a few attendees.
“Yes, they should be along soon. Aunt Victoria told me to go on without them, but they would be right behind us.”
Just then, the couple in question walked up to Elizabeth, Maddie, and Edward.
“Have you met everyone, Maddie?” Victoria Allin looked around at the people surrounding her niece.
“I believe I have met most of them before, but I am certain you missed a few over the past two or three days.” Maddie’s lips lifted in a slight smile.
The five of them chuckled together. Elizabeth’s hand rose to cover her mouth. Her eyes twinkled above it.
When the amusement had faded, Mrs. Allin suddenly stiffened. “Oh! There is Mr. Darcy.” She turned to Maddie and rested her hand on her niece’s arm. “He does not often come to assemblies, but I heard he is hosting a house party. His guests must have wished to attend. I will endeavour to obtain an introduction for you.”
“Thank you, Aunt.” Maddie smiled and dipped her head.
Within a few minutes, a tall, elegant, well-formed young man stopped in front of Maddie’s aunt and bowed. “Good evening, Mrs. Allin. It is delightful to see you.”
Mrs. Allin curtseyed. “Good evening, sir. How kind you are to grace our little assembly. It has been too long since you last visited.”
Though the elder woman’s words sounded a mite harsh to Elizabeth, Mrs. Allin’s tone was soft and she could see that Mr. Darcy was not offended by them.
Darcy blushed, but smiled. “I apologize for that. I am only now becoming familiar enough with my duties as master to feel free to socialize.”
“Do not let it concern you.” Mrs. Allin tapped Darcy’s arm with her fan. “I was only teasing. We are all proud of you. You took on a massive task at a young age and if rumors are true, have increased the harvests on all of Pemberley’s farms. It was only right for you to make the estate your primary concern for as long as it took.”
Darcy’s blush deepened. “Thank you, Madam.” He was silent for a moment but then started, as though suddenly realizing Mrs. Allin had visitors of her own. “Would you introduce me to your guests?”
“Certainly!” Mrs. Allin smiled widely. She gestured to her left. “This is my niece, Madeline, and her husband, Mr. Edward Gardiner of London. Beside him is his niece, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, of Longbourn in Hertfordshire.”
Darcy bowed to each new acquaintance in turn. As he rose from his bow to Elizabeth, he froze, his eyes roaming her face.
Elizabeth, who had spent the previous few minutes staring at the handsome gentleman’s features, fought to think of something intelligent to say. She swallowed and opened her mouth just as Darcy finally did the same.
“I am very pleased to meet you.” He reached for her hand, bending over it to kiss the air above her fingers.
Elizabeth felt the jolt of Darcy’s touch all the way to her heart. She gasped softly, swallowing again as her eyes widened. “Likewise; I am pleased to meet you, as well.” She dropped a swift curtsey.
Giveaway details: I am giving away one ebook copy of Darcy’s Christmas Compromise (internationally) and one signed print copy (US only). To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm ET on Monday, November 18, 2019. Winners will be announced on Sunday, November 24, 2019.
Please note that I have ordered print copies of the book, but it may take a couple weeks for me to get them. I can’t send the prize until I get the book in my hand, so it might be a few days before I can do so.