I’ve been at it again. Creating book covers when I know I ought to be writing. For me, it’s the perfect escape. While creating new covers, I am working, but it doesn’t feel like work. I’m planning too. I’m just not writing.
Here is my latest cover design—a rebranding, if you will.
In truth, I have wanted a new cover for ‘Tis the Season for Matchmaking for years. My new Holidays with Mr. Darcy Pinterest board provided the perfect excuse to design a cover that’s in keeping with my two most recent Christmas stories. I’m really a fan of this new cover. I think I’ll keep it for a good long while.
As for the planning aspect I cited earlier, here are covers for a few of my planned 2020 releases.
Where Most Ardently, Most Unknowingly in Love is concerned, the story was largely written as part of my 2019 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project. As for Crossed a little in Love, I have a vague notion of how the story will unfold based on the title alone. The same must be said for Something to Think Of. I plan to release all of these stories by mid-2020, including my current work-in-progress, A Favorite Daughter. Yes, I have my work cut out for me. Wish me luck!
Speaking of A Favorite Daughter, I’m posting the story as it unfolds on my Patreon page. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1.
Hertfordshire, England ~ Spring 1812
The son her father never had, indeed. Miss Elizabeth Bennet bore this depiction of herself with pride. Being her late father’s favorite daughter, she had shouldered all his estate-related responsibilities, for all intents and purposes. Not that she had not met with more than her share of resistance over the past year, what with the estate’s solicitors being hesitant to work with a lowly female. Her uncle, Mr. Phillips, a local attorney who lived in the nearby town of Meryton, had thereby served as her proxy, but it was Elizabeth who made all the decisions.
On that particular day, she met her friend, Charlotte Lucas, from the neighboring estate, in the lane and decided to turn and walk with her. Despite having four sisters of her own, Elizabeth relished time spent with Charlotte. Though she was Charlotte’s junior by at least six years, theirs was the most intimate of friendships.
For the most part, Charlotte was a peaceful, easy-going person. She was also practical—too practical at times from Elizabeth’s viewpoint. Charlotte sought comfort even if it meant setting aside her own personal desires. Bent on avoiding conflict and discomfort, she could be accommodating and complacent in a relationship. Elizabeth always felt a particular calm and peacefulness in Charlotte’s presence—a much-needed respite of late what with the never-ending chaos at Longbourn.
“How is Jane getting along this morning?” Charlotte asked.
“She does very well,” replied Elizabeth. Jane was the eldest Bennet daughter. Owing to a debilitating illness at childhood, she seldom left Longbourn Village. To that day, it pained Elizabeth witnessing her dearest sister’s affliction, knowing the limitations inherent in such a state, but Jane bore it with grace and dignity.
“Do give her my best and tell her I look forward to seeing her soon.”
“I shall, indeed. And you must extend my felicitations to your family as well.”
The other young woman nodded, signaling she would. “Has there been any progress toward locating the heir of Longbourn?” Charlotte continued.
Elizabeth shrugged. “So far as I know, the gentleman’s identity and hence his whereabouts remain a mystery.”
“That is a shame. I know how heavily the uncertainty must be weighing on all of you.”
The situation of the entail on her father’s estate had long cast a pall on her family’s equanimity, especially that of Elizabeth’s mother, Mrs. Fanny Bennet, who fancied herself as being of a nervous constitution. Not a day had passed since Mr. Bennet’s death that his widow did not bemoan the helplessness, the injustice, and the cruelty of their fate.
The matter of the missing heir heightened everyone’s distress. The gentleman’s name was Mr. Robert Cotton. An exhaustive effort to let him know what had happened had been undertaken. He was said to be living on the continent in Spain. Indeed, he had lived there for years, but he had since removed himself to the Americas.
The search, therefore, continued. Some months later, evidence was uncovered that Mr. Cotton had lived in Canada, but he died, leaving no known children. Thus, the next male in line to inherit Longbourn needed to be notified, but first said person needed to be identified and located.
Elizabeth would have been perfectly satisfied if such a person’s identity was never uncovered. The nagging thought that a stranger might arrive on Longbourn’s doorstep any day, with a wife and children in tow, prepared to toss her own family into the hedgerows had been her constant companion for the past long months.
“It is such a shame to find oneself always at the mercy of the dictates of the opposite sex,” Elizabeth opined.
“Whoever said it is a man’s world knew exactly of what they spoke,” Charlotte said.
“I should like to think it will not always be this way.”
Charlotte shrugged a little. “Perhaps in generations to come, when our daughters’ daughters have daughters,” she waxed poetic. “But, then again, we must rely upon the opposite sex to have daughters. Must we not?”
Both ladies laughed at this conjecture.
“As much as I am loath to confess it,” Charlotte continued, “the odds are not exactly in our favor in that regard as we are both on the wrong side of twenty with nary a prospect in sight. I dare say, however, your chances are not nearly so dire as mine with my being seven and twenty.”
“I prefer to think all is not quite lost,” Elizabeth said. “Netherfield has remained unoccupied for far too long. Perhaps a wealthy gentleman from town will decide to purchase it, and when he takes possession he will be accompanied by enough wealthy gentlemen friends that we may have a surfeit of suitors from which to choose.”
“No doubt our mothers would be thrilled by such a prospect,” Charlotte cried.
“As would we all, I am sure,” said Elizabeth, her spirits rising to playfulness. “Who among us is not in want of a single man of a large fortune?”
A single gentleman of a large fortune is on the way to Hertfordshire. Is this the answer to the Bennets’ dilemma?
As a patron, you may read A Favorite Daughter on my Patreon as the story unfolds. Click here for the next chapter.
Have you read Gravity: Shades of Mr. Darcy? If the story is on your wish list, comment below for a chance to win an eBook edition. One copy is up for grabs. If selected as the winner and you already own Gravity, the P. O. Dixon title of your choosing may be awarded instead. The contest ends on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
The rebranded eBook edition of ‘Tis the Season for Matchmaking is available now.
Buy direct from my Payhip store and save 25% off the price when you enter SEASON25 at checkout. For a limited time, add Which that Season Brings at checkout and get it for free with your purchase of ‘Tis the Season for Matchmaking. Hurry!
‘Tis the Season for Matchmaking is also available at other fine online bookstores! Click here and grab your copy today!