I am excited to announce that the much-anticipated sequel to One Thread Pulled: The Dance with Mr. Darcy is nearing completion and is on a fast track for release. Constant as the Sun: The Courtship of Mr. Darcy will be available on Amazon (Kindle Format) on October 31, 2016, with the paperback edition available in mid-November. Watch the Austen Authors FaceBook Page and Group in the upcoming weeks for the cover reveal and other updates. The image below is a teaser – it is not the actual cover, which I think you’ll all love. I’m still posting the final draft chapters online for those who have been following my progress. I’ve included another teaser below in the form of an excerpt. I have my reasons for loving this scene. It’s been in my head, literally for years. What fun it was to finally write it!
Elizabeth sat between her Aunt Gardiner and Lady Matlock in the drawing room at the home of Lord and Lady Ashbridge. Having survived the introductions and enjoyed the meal, ladies hour was now upon her. She checked her posture and manifested a pleasant expression, determined that whether or not anyone liked her, they would find nothing in her behaviour or appearance to censure. Emilie had arranged and adorned her hair in the latest style, enhancing the dramatic effect of her jonquil gown. In her appearance at least, she could be confident. She was less certain of the perfection of her manners.
Elizabeth knew that Lady Matlock’s unceasing warmth toward her this evening was not a reliable indication of her success. Unlike her mother, Lady Matlock was not open with her feelings; she would remain gracious and unreadable regardless. A Fitzwilliam family trait, she decided. No wonder I had no idea that Mr Darcy liked me all that time. Perhaps this is true of all within this sphere. Must I learn to wear such a mask to fit in? A woman, whose name Elizabeth could not recall, approached and sat nearby, engaging her aunt in conversation.
“Mrs Gardiner, in which part of London do you live?” The pleasant tone of the woman belied any motive to embarrass or shame.
“Why we live in Gracechurch Street,” Mrs Gardiner replied cheerfully, “and you?”
The woman sighed and said, “We were forced to take a house in Berkeley Square this year. I had planned to return to Hanover Square, but the house we usually lease was unavailable. I am truly mortified! I am having my new cards printed, but worry what my friends will think.”
“You must have been very disappointed,” Mrs Gardiner sympathised, and any further questions of Gracechurch Street were abandoned in favour of the woman’s tale of woe. Another woman soon joined their circle, however, and addressed Elizabeth.
“Miss Bennet,” said she, “how very happy you must be to have captured our elusive Mr Darcy. Pray, do tell me, when are the nuptials to take place? I have inquired of all my friends, and nobody seems to have any idea.”
Elizabeth avoided looking at Lady Matlock, and replied with a hint of mischief, “I am no more able to answer you than all your friends together. In truth, there is no fixed date yet, Mrs Holloway, but when one is established, I daresay it shall be a Tuesday.”
Confusion reigned on Mrs Holloway’s features. “Tuesday?” She wrinkled her face in distaste. “That is a very odd day to choose. I could understand if you were to marry by accident on a Tuesday, but to do so by choice is nonsensical.”
Elizabeth held back a laugh. “My mother was married on a Tuesday, you see, and she has set her heart on the idea that I will do the same.” She turned and addressed her aunt. “Mama would be devastated if I were to marry on, say, a Wednesday, would she not?” Elizabeth did not wait for a reply. “A daughter ought to do what she can to oblige her mother’s wishes, I always say. Do you not agree, Mrs Holloway?”
“I very much agree with you Miss Bennet, on a daughter’s duty to her mother, but I still cannot approve of a Tuesday wedding,” Mrs Holloway frowned.
“Did you know that Tuesday is named for ‘Tiw,’ the ancient god of the sky?” Elizabeth asked gently. Mrs Holloway, baffled by the turn of the conversation, shook her head. “Well, it is.” Elizabeth raised her brows for emphasis and continued, “On the day Mr Darcy proposed to me, he made a vow of faithfulness, declaring that his constancy would be as that of the sun.”
“Well, that is certainly romantic,” Mrs Holloway said, “but would not Sunday serve as well?”
“For some, it may, but I have always thought that Sunday weddings were a distraction from the worship of our Lord, and ruled it out for myself long ago. I know that this opinion is not fashionable here in town, but I am from the country, and still consider such things important. Since you are not yet convinced, I will expand upon my reasons for you. In addition to what I said before, there is something deeper still. The root of ‘Tiw’ is ‘dyeu,’ which means ‘to shine.’ The day I become Mrs Darcy will be a shining day, a glorious day. It will be a Tuesday for me even if the calendar does not agree.”
A wide smile suddenly graced Mrs Holloway’s face. “I am persuaded, Miss Bennet, that Tuesday is a fine day for a wedding after all. You are, I think, a clever girl. Do not make it a habit to be too clever though. Men, you see, find it appalling.” She paused and leaned toward Elizabeth and in her under-voice said, “Do not allow many more Tuesdays to pass before you see it through, my dear. You shall have greater standing as Mrs Darcy then you ever will as Miss Bennet.”
I want to thank all of my readers for your patience and encouragement. The JAFF community is amazing.