How has your summer been? Mine has been busy-and eventful-and fun! I’d like to tell you what I’ve been up to and then give you an excerpt from one of my short stories.
As some of you know I recently published the third book in my Longbourn Unexpected series, An Unexpected Turn of Events.
This is the story that follows the life of Mr. Bennet when he unexpectedly outlives his wife and has a chance to become a better man. Now that the ebook version is out, I’ve been focusing on the paperback and audio versions.The book has received a warm response, and I am grateful! If you haven’t been able to read it yet, I hope you will soon.
The release timing was fortunate because just 36 hours after publishing I boarded a plane with my husband and headed out on vacation! It was great to take a little break from the process of revising, editing and formatting and be able to relax before I start my next story.
For our vacation my husband and I went to a worldwide karate expo in Little Rock, Arkansas, so that my husband could test for fourth degree black belt. He and I have studied martial arts together for ten years, so this was the trip of a lifetime. We saw amazing demonstration and competitions, and met several of our former teachers.
My hubby and me, posing outside the convention center where the expo was held.
At one point in the weekend we found ourselves in the same room with a ninth degree grand master, the head of our entire organization. Of course we had to get a picture!!!
What a trip! What wonderful memories! My husband’s testing went well, and now we just have to wait . . . and wait . . . and wait . . . to see if he gets to wear a new belt!
What does any of this have to do with Jane Austen? Nothing really, with the possible exception of Pride and Prejudice and Vampires. (Isn’t that fight scene during the first proposal amazing??) But my martial arts training did inspire one particular chapter in my short story And Then The Murders Started. In this rather . . . . um, unusual and light-hearted version of our favorite story :-), Wickham is on the receiving end of Darcy’s amazing fighting skills. I hope you enjoy it!
Warning: tongue in cheek tale straight ahead. Not to be taken too seriously!
The ball at Sir William Lucas’ home was in full swing when Wickham suddenly appeared before Elizabeth.
“Mr. Wickham! Where have you been? My sisters and I have been longing to see you for weeks. We thought you were never coming back.”
“I have been away on business, but I am returned now. I wonder if I might have a word with you. In private.”
“Certainly.” Elizabeth allowed Wickham to lead her to a balcony away from the crowd. There, he took her hands in his.
“Elizabeth, I want to marry you. Let us elope tonight.”
“Mr. Wickham! How can this possibly be true? I had no idea you felt this way about me!”
“I have felt this way for weeks, but I could no longer hold myself back. I had to address you tonight.”
“I really should not let you speak to me this way.”
Wickham’s immediate answer was to kiss her.
“And I should definitely not let you be so improper with me!”
“Oh, I have not yet begun to be improper.” He kissed her again, and this time Elizabeth had to step back to catch her breath.
“Mr. Wickham!” She pushed him away as hard as she could.
“Come, Elizabeth, there is no need to be so missish.” He began to pull on her arm to draw her to him again.
“Let go of me right now!”
“Yes, unhand her at once!” Darcy stepped out of the shadows of the balcony and into the light.
“Mr. Darcy, this is really no concern of yours. I can defend myself quite well.”
“You need me to protect you. You do not know what he is capable of.”
“I do not need you or any man! I can do this on my own.” She slapped Wickham as hard as she could.
“Ow!” cried Wickham.
“That was an impressive blow. But please, Miss Elizabeth, allow me.” Darcy punched Wickham in the stomach and Wickham doubled over, groaning in agony.
“Mr. Darcy, that was not necessary. I have the situation well in hand.” She pulled her fan out of her reticule and began to beat Wickham about the head with it.
Darcy gave Wickham a sharp knee strike to the abdomen. “This is not for you. This is for what he tried to do to my sister.”
Elizabeth continued her beating of the unhappy Wickham. “What did he try to do?”
Darcy switched knees and struck him again. “He tried to elope with her.”
Elizabeth was still beating Wickham’s ears. “That does not seem so bad.”
“But she was only sixteen years old!” Darcy backfisted Wickham on the side of the neck.
“That does seem somewhat indefensible. Mr. Wickham, what have you to say for yourself?”
“I– can’t—speak—“ Wickham gasped between punishing blows.
“And then,” Darcy went on, “then he tried to . . . . to . . . . “ he stopped for a moment.
“Tried to what, Mr. Darcy?”
“He tried to—“ Darcy whispered in Elizabeth’s ear. She turned bright red.
“You despicable beast!” she roared, and locked her hands around Wickham’s throat.
“No, no!” cried Wickham, backing up to get away from her.
“Elizabeth! Stay away from him!” Darcy tried to step between the two, and Wickham backed up even farther.
“Mr. Darcy, get out of my way!”
“Aaaagghh!” said Wickham, as he backed up onto the railing, lost his balance, and fell off onto the pavement below.
I’d like to think Darcy would be at least a fourth degree black, wouldn’t you? If this story tickles your fancy, you can read the whole thing from beginning to end here.
I’ll be back next month with a more serious post, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy this lighthearted tale. Have a great summer!