Chaos Comes To Kent – Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Chaos Comes To Kent – Cover Reveal and Excerpt

What do you get when you cross a stay in Kent, an amiable, matchmaking Lady Catherine, our own beloved ditz Mrs. Bennet, a stupid and servile Mr. Collins, and a haughty Anne de Bourgh, determined to marry Fitzwilliam Darcy? Chaos, of course! I am pleased to announce my newest short novel, Chaos Comes To Kent, which is scheduled for release on Amazon on Monday, May 22, 2017. It was a lot of fun to write, as it’s part romantic comedy, part Pride and Prejudice variation, and part farce. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have! Now, on to the excerpt!

 

As Mrs. Bennet sat across from her, Lady Catherine thought about how to best approach the matter. If she went about it the wrong way, the woman would no doubt begin proclaiming her opinion for all the world to hear, no doubt ruining everything in the process. Mrs. Bennet, kind soul that she was, was not the most discerning. Darcy could be obstinate when he thought he was being directed, and she had no doubt Miss Elizabeth was his match in that regard.

A stray thought crossed Lady Catherine’s mind, and she grinned to herself, hiding her smile behind a sip of her tea. The earl would no doubt accuse her of being a matchmaker should he discover her intentions. But matchmaker was such a gauche term, and one which did not convey the full import of what she was trying to do.

“I wish to speak of your daughters, Mrs. Bennet,” said Lady Catherine at length.

“They are behaving, are they not?” said the woman with a hint of worry.

“No, you need not concern yourself. In fact, they have been model guests.”

“Then how can I help you?”

“First, what is your opinion of my nephew, Mr. Darcy? Miss Elizabeth has informed me that you met him in Hertfordshire.”

Mrs. Bennet had the look of a hare being stalked by a fox, and her response was atypically hesitant. “Well . . . Mr. Darcy, he . . . Well, I am not certain . . .”

“You may speak frankly, my friend,” said Lady Catherine. “Your daughter has told me something of his visit to Hertfordshire.”

An expression of complete affront came over Mrs. Bennet. “Mr. Darcy was very disobliging—very disobliging, indeed! He was nothing to his friend, Mr. Bingley, who was everything agreeable and friendly. And Mr. Darcy slighted my Lizzy, you know. I do not doubt she had plenty to say of the man.”

“In fact, Miss Elizabeth seems to have allowed the matter to rest in the past. She claims to have no injuries to resent.”

Once again, Mrs. Bennet seemed shocked. “And as for Mr. Bingley, I can well believe that he was everything charming, but so he is with everyone. Furthermore, according to Darcy, he tends to fall in love often, falling out of love with equal frequency.”

Mrs. Bennet gasped. “Are you saying he is inconstant?”

“He is young and inexperienced, Mrs. Bennet. Compare Mr. Bingley to my nephew Darcy, for instance.” Mrs. Bennet made a face, but she did not interrupt. “Darcy has had the responsibility of his estate since he was two and twenty, and he was brought up to know his duty. He is a gifted master, knowing instinctively what is required in any situation. All his tenants and his servants consider him the best of masters. If he has a failing, it is a tendency to an excess of gravity and difficulty speaking with those he does not know. But that deficiency might be corrected, at least in part, by a vivacious wife, might it not?”

The only response Lady Catherine received was a blink. She smiled to herself, for she knew she had captured the woman’s interest.

“Then let us speak of Mr. Bingley. He is an amiable man, at ease in any company, and a great favorite among all the ladies. But he is almost five years younger than Darcy, he has never had to see to an estate, never had to do anything other than draw the interest of his fortune to support himself. He has never had to do any work, never had to fend for himself, has never made decisions when matters depended on him. Now, which of the gentlemen would you rather have responsible for your daughter’s welfare?

“Darcy is clearly the better catch, Mrs. Bennet. Mr. Bingley is a good man, and some day, I believe he will be a good husband to some young woman. But that time is not now.

“Both of my nephews are good men, both are independent, and both have much to offer to a wife. As I said, Darcy will improve in company with the right wife. My other nephew, the colonel, has no need, as he is already at ease in any society. I believe that each of my nephews will find exactly what they require in your two eldest daughters.”

A slow smile settled over Mrs. Bennet’s face.

“Are you suggesting that your nephews might be matched with my daughters?”

“I merely suggest that there is a possibility that they might suit. If we point out their relative merits, I am certain they will do the rest themselves.”

Mrs. Bennet actually clapped her hands in her excitement. “Of course! You may speak to your nephews, and I shall deal with my daughters.”

“Exactly. But gently, Mrs. Bennet.” Lady Catherine shared a secret smile with the woman. “They must come together themselves. They will not appreciate it if they feel we have directed them.”

“Of course,” replied Mrs. Bennet, her eyes alight with the fire of determination. “If all goes well, we shall be connected twice over!”

“We need only to gently guide them, my dear Mrs. Bennet. Everything else will fall into place.”

43 Responses to Chaos Comes To Kent – Cover Reveal and Excerpt

  1. Mrs. Bennet and Lady Catherine? Oh my, I can’t wait to see what mischief they are up too… Congrats on your newest release!

    • Yup, they’re friendly enough to be in cahoots. Of course, Lady C is the driving force, but don’t underestimate Mrs. B’s ability to foul things up!

  2. Oh-My-Gosh!! What a scene. That was awesome. I would love to read this. That was hilarious. I cannot imagine Lady C and Mrs. Bennet even in the same room, let alone, talking… and… planning/matchmaking their relatives. Wow!! What a neat idea. I can’t wait to see this. Thanks for the excerpt and best of luck on the launch.Oh… and I love the cover.

  3. I can’t believe Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet talking together. Have they both been hitting the bottle or what? This is going to be a good one to read. Then Lady Catherine suggesting that her two nephews would be great catches for Mrs. Bennet’s two oldest daughters—WOW!
    Great excerpt and nice looking cover! Good luck with the release!

  4. Did I see Amiable and Lady Catherine in the same sentence??? I can’t wait for this release!! Thanks for the excerpt!

  5. Lady Catherine smiling?! Did your auto-correct try to fix that all the time?! Ha ha. I like it.

  6. Cute excerpt. I always thought that Lady Cat and Mrs. Bennet had a lot in common.
    Looking forward to the release. 🙂

    • Canon Lady C and Mrs. B definitely, though I’m not sure either would appreciate the comparison. Not so much in this, though they do share a common purpose. Sort of…

  7. As my son-in-law would suggest…”and shennanigans will ensue!” I have seen Lady C paired with Mr B…but this strikes me as an alliance of the level of Lady Sefton and the Princess Lieven! Will it end with both of these doyennes sitting in court at Almacks? Looking forward to reading this next in your catalog!

    • And shennanigans there are! That’s interesting your comments about Lady C and Mr. B–I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that particular pairing. That would be interesting, indeed.

    • After Angel of Longbourn a friend mentioned that I might have a talent for romantic comedy. I don’t know how true that is, but I did laugh a few times while writing it.

  8. This should be interesting, in the least. With Mrs Bennet involved, anything can happen. Can’t wait to read it. Good luck with the release!!

  9. I quite liked that excerpt – still a plotting, but now amiable, Lady Catherine. I did have the thought that Mrs. Bennet will direct Jane to Darcy and Lizzy to the colonel causing the “farce” mentioned. Looking forward to reading and finding out if I am right. Thank you for sharing!

  10. I am intrigued by how Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet have formed a friendship! Looking forward to reading the book in May!

  11. It sounds great 🙂 I love that picture you got for the cover. I especially like your plans for Anne. That will be a nice twist. Congratulations on your upcoming release.

    • I’ve done a good Wickham and a good Caroline, so I figure Lady Catherine was next. Eventually, I’ll probably do Collins too. Thanks for your comments.

  12. I’m glad to see you’re back, Jann! This appears to be another skillful look at the P&P players, best served with judicious twists. As May 22 gets closer, I’ll be happy to spend some of my birthday money on your book.

  13. Good heavens! Was that really Lady Catherine? And if so is she on some sort of medication? Does she actually think that Mrs Bennet can be subtle????
    Well I certainly look forward to finding out if she can. Thanks so much for this excerpt.

    • Yeah, subtlety is not exactly Mrs. Bennet’s strong point, which Lady Catherine will discover. Lady Catherine herself is changed mostly in that her sandpaper personality is different. She can still be domineering, but she’s a bit less in your face about it.

Your thoughts are precious!