Nearly every Monday on my blog, I post a music video as well as an excerpt from a work in progress along with some writing news. Below is part of the Music Monday post I shared with my blog followers on September 3, 2018 (with a few modifications like a slightly longer story excerpt).
She shook her head. Mr. Marsh truly was the complete opposite of Mr. Edwards. She stood and looked around her room – the room in which she had been wallowing in self-pity for two days now. She had been wallowing! She did not wallow. She shook herself and pulled herself upright. Two days was enough.
“Did you need something, miss?” her maid asked as she entered.
“Yes, Sally, I need several things. First…”
Published to YouTube by Liz Rockfiles on April 1, 2016.
Every romance has a new day at least once in the telling of the tale and often more than once. These new days might include the moment when two young lovers meet for the first time, or, as in the excerpt above, the new day might come when one or the other of the pair has that epiphany moment which causes him or her to realize what (or should I say who) will truly make them happy. In the snippet from Charles: To Discover His Purpose, Evelyn has dried her eyes and put away her hurt feelings and is ready to begin her new day. This new day comes near the end of the book.
In the excerpt below from my upcoming release, Assessing Mr. Darcy, we have the dawning of a new day just about to happen. Bingley has heard that there are five beautiful ladies just three miles from his estate, and he has told Darcy about them — several times. This story excerpt shows Bingley and Darcy just before they will meet the lovely ladies that reside at Longbourn as well as the moment they do.
AN EXCERPT FROM Assessing Mr. Darcy:
Darcy had found his tea with Bingley to be refreshing, but not so refreshing as the feel of the wind against one’s person as he rode. At least, that is how Darcy saw it. He and Bingley had discussed the basics about which books were most important to look over first and what Bingley’s hopes were in securing an estate like Netherfield. It was for Bingley as it was for many gentlemen.
Bingley wished to gain the prominence that such an estate would bring him as well as a place into which he could put some of his inheritance in such a fashion that it would continue to reap benefits well past when he departed this earth. Bingley was no fool. He was happy and amiable as well as obliging to a fault at times, but he was no fool once he put his mind to a matter. It would take some doing, but Darcy did not expect it would be overly long before Bingley understood the workings of an estate as well as any gentleman did. Darcy smiled wryly. Bingley had the added advantage that he was likely to gain the approval of all his neighbours with very little effort. That was how Bingley was. He liked people, and they liked him. It was an enviable quality.
“I see the knoll,” Bingley circled back to where Darcy was riding at a slower pace. “There.” He pointed to his left. “And that fence there must be the one of which the groom spoke. We are nearly at the end of Netherfield’s lands in this direction. I shall have to ask him tomorrow for a marker of where it ends in the opposite direction.”
“Do you truly care to know?” Darcy teased. “Are there pretty ladies at an estate in all four directions?”
Bingley laughed. “I wish there were, but I think the only pretty ladies that are near my estate are in this direction. Mr. Philips did not mention any others.”
“Mr. Philips, their uncle, did not tell you about any other pretty ladies? How odd.” Darcy’s tone was sardonic.
Again, Bingley laughed. “You should be so lighthearted more often, for you are very good at it.”
“I cannot be.” Darcy’s reply was quick. He found it incredibly difficult to relax with anyone he had not known for any length of time. And even then, there were those such as his aunt Catherine and Caroline around whom he could only marginally relax, though he had known them for years. Lady Catherine was just too demanding and always looking for things to reprove for him to be anything more than mostly at ease in her presence, and Caroline? Well, he was never truly at ease around any lady who was attempting to convince him to marry her.
“I think you could be if you tried,” Bingley retorted.
Darcy shook his head. “To this point in my life, it has been impossible, and I do not see that changing any time soon.”
“Very well,” Bingley conceded. “I shall attempt to work on you, but I will not be utterly discouraged if I am not immediately successful. It shall be an offering of thanks for the help you are giving me with the estate.”
“I think I would rather not receive your gratitude if it is to be given in such a fashion.” Darcy drew his horse to a stop. In the field just beyond the fence, there were three riders – one gentleman and two ladies. “It seems we are in luck,” he called to Bingley.
“What do you – Oh! Yes, indeed, we are!” Bingley replied as he noticed the riders.
“Do they have a brother?”
Bingley’s face pinched. “I am not entirely certain. I believe I remember something about a cousin or brother or some such thing, but…”
“You were far too focused on the ladies to commit that bit of information to memory.”
Bingley smiled sheepishly. “I was.”
Darcy shook his head. It was just like his friend to put all other thoughts out of his head when discussion of a pretty lady was broached. It would be good for the man to marry if only so he could focus on what needed to be done instead of where a wife might be found. Maybe they would be fortunate, and they would find a steady and calm lady amongst the beauties of Longbourn. Then, Darcy could encourage a courtship while still retaining enough of Bingley’s attention to guide him in setting himself up as master of his own domain.
“Shall we approach them?” Darcy asked.
Bingley drew to a halt and looked at his friend with concern. “You wish to meet strangers?”
“For you, I do.”
“Not for yourself?” Bingley teased.
Darcy shook his head. “No, I am not eager to marry, but I know you are.” He clucked to his horse as he turned him in the direction in which the fence ran. They would approach it slowly and at an angle so as not to look too eager. “You do realize that choosing one lady as a wife will mean not choosing every other lady, no matter how beautiful.”
“Yes,” Bingley answered tersely. “If you think so meanly of me, I am surprised you would think to offer your sister to me.”
“I do not think meanly of you. I merely wished to judge your enthusiasm for marriage. You truly wish to marry? You are only four and twenty.”
“And you are eight and twenty. I see no reason why my age should be a detriment to marrying if yours is not one to remaining unmarried. Yes, I know there are not many in our circles who wish to be married so young, but I have my inheritance, and I wish to settle into it as my father desired. Therefore, it would be best for me to take a wife, so that I can send Caroline to live with Hurst, and my wife can be hostess for you and my other guests.”
“So you wish to marry to be rid of Caroline?” Darcy asked with a laugh.
“I do. You should consider it. If you were married, she could not fawn over you as she does now.”
Darcy continued to laugh. “That is a worthy argument. I shall have to consider it if I ever find a lady who is to my liking.”
“I would not be as fastidious as you for a kingdom!” Bingley declared. “Perfection is rarely found in human form.” He smirked. “Except, of course, in the form of the great and noble Fitzwilliam Darcy.”
Darcy’s eyes narrowed. “I do not think of myself as perfect.”
“No, but you do wear an air of superiority at times that suggests you do.”
“I do not.”
“Pick a marker.”
“It shall not be as satisfying as thrashing you at Gentleman Jacksons, but…” Darcy did not finish his sentence, opting instead to urge his horse into a gallop. It was a trick he had learned from his cousin, Richard, and had found particularly useful in beating Bingley in a race. The man was not only an expert at making friends, but he was also very good at selecting fast horses.
“It was not a fair race,” Bingley grumbled as he reached the stile just behind Darcy.
“No, it was not, but it was excessively satisfying,” Darcy replied with a wide grin.
“That was some show of horsemanship,” the gentleman in the adjoining field called out.
Bingley doffed his hat and made a grand bow. “My thanks to you, sir.”
“Mr. William Bennet,” the man said as he approached Darcy and Bingley.
He was a large man, both in height and breadth, with a friendly countenance.
“Mr. Charles Bingley and my friend Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.” Bingley motioned first to himself and then Darcy.
“Two of my sisters,” William said as he motioned for the ladies with him to come forward. “Jane is the eldest and Elizabeth the next after her.”
Darcy caught his breath. Uncle or no, Bingley’s solicitor was not lying about the beauty of the ladies at Longbourn. Miss Bennet was the sort of lady the masters sought, which made Miss Elizabeth’s beauty seem to pale in comparison but not to him. There was something enchanting about the set of her eyes and the slight disproportion of her features. It was her beauty, not that of her sister, which had caused his breath to hitch.
Who is he?
Well, before he took the name Bennet he was William Collins. He came to Longbourn at the age of ten after his father died, and he has grown into a very caring and protective brother to the Bennet ladies. Sound interesting?
This different spin on how Darcy and Elizabeth get together releases this Friday, October 26, 2018. It is currently on pre-order.
If you would like to be entered to win an ebook copy of Assessing Mr. Darcy just leave a comment below.
Contest closes at 11:59 PM EST on October 31, 2018.