November always has a way of being my most productive writing month of the year. November also being National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) most likely has something to do with that. I often go weeks, sometimes months, finding myself unable to write a single word, and then along comes November. The words just seem to flow—really good words too.
Happy news! With nearly 33,000 out of 50,000 words written as of today, another successful NaNoWriMo is within my grasp. This will make seven years in a row. Fingers crossed.
I have other happy news. I am releasing a new story in a matter of weeks. I know I’ve said this before, so soon as a few weeks ago, but this time it is really happening. Hooray!
This particular story, albeit rather short, has been years in the making. At least, it seems that way. It is titled, A Night with Mr. Darcy to Remember. Of course, you may recall that Together in Perfect Felicity (working title) was intended to be the next release. The former insisted on altering my planned new release schedule and won out.
The good news is Together in Perfect Felicity is but a couple of missing scenes away from the start of the editing phase and ultimately the pre-launch planning stage.
In the interim, if you enjoy short stories, I hope you will enjoy A Night with Mr. Darcy to Remember. Here’s an excerpt.
The golden glow from the flickering candlelight in the room otherwise filled with darkness aroused Elizabeth from her light slumber and caused her to bolt upright in bed. She was no longer alone.
She drew her linen nightgown over her shoulder—too late she supposed, for the intruder could not have missed catching a healthy glimpse of her breast. All too conscious that the gentleman’s gaze lingered on her partly revealed bosom, she folded her arm over her chest.
She suspected rather than knew she was in no real danger from the stranger who stood beside her bed, holding a candle in his right hand allowing a view of his face. There was something pleasant about his countenance, albeit undoubtedly questioning, that gave an indication of his goodness.
Silent teardrops had accompanied her to sleep at some point that night, the evidence of which lingered on her cheeks. Lifting a hand to her face, she wiped away any remaining traces.
“Sir?” Elizabeth exclaimed, more startled than frightened by his presence.
“I beg your pardon, madam,” he uttered, his voice heavy with contrition. “I was led to believe this room was unoccupied.”
Her eyes now fairly accustomed to the dimness in the room, Elizabeth discerned just how handsome this man was. What a sight to behold during the late-night hour.
Is not the most beautiful man my eyes have ever beheld standing before me or is this merely a dream?
Try as she might, her attempt to ignore his increasingly aroused state proved futile. Oddly enough, his discomfort fascinated her. Nevertheless, modesty needed to exceed impertinence. Divert her eyes, she must.
“No, sir,” Elizabeth heard herself say. “It is not.”
By way of an apology, the gentleman held up his hand. “Pray, go back to sleep. I shall find someplace else to retire for the night.”
“No, sir. That is to say, I am familiar with the house. I shall seek sleeping accommodations elsewhere.”
“I would not have you wandering these empty halls in search of another place to rest your head merely because I arrived late in the night after the household retired.”
“No,” said Elizabeth, “I insist.” Satisfied her gown was intact, she tossed the covers aside and sat on the edge of the bed, mere inches from where he stood.
Elizabeth supposed the tall, handsome stranger was the friend whom her brother-in-law had been expecting to see all that day, a Mr. Darcy from Derbyshire. Finally, her brother reasoned he had been mistaken about the precise day of his friend’s arrival.
An amiable young man, Charles Bingley was not the most fastidious person whom she knew. But how he loved her eldest sister, Jane. That alone had assured his place in Elizabeth’s good graces.
Jane and Bingley were perfect for each other. They were so much alike in temperament. Most notably, they made each other happy.
If only Elizabeth might stand a chance to know such happiness. She knew she never would, although she too had married — a young gentleman whose name was Mr. John Tilman.
Her purpose in agreeing to wed Mr. Tilman, a distant cousin and the heir to her father’s estate, had been altruistic, indeed, for she had acted on behalf of her mother and her unwed younger sisters.
That and her deathbed promise to her dear father, Mr. Thomas Bennet, to do everything in her power to see an end to the entail of his beloved home, Longbourn Village, away from his immediate descendants. Truth be told, Elizabeth loved Longbourn as much if not more than her late father had. Her sentiments were born out of Longbourn being the only home she had ever known and the source of all of her earliest as well as her fondest memories. She really could not imagine life on Earth were her connection to Longbourn severed because of her father’s death.
Although her elder sister Jane had recently married Mr. Bingley who had arrived in Hertfordshire as little as a few months prior to their nuptials and who had let the neighboring estate, Netherfield Park, Elizabeth had willingly taken on the task of saving her family.
She could not, in good conscience, allow her sister’s new husband to take on the heavy burden of providing for a nervous mother-in-law and four unwed sisters-in-law. Not when all her family’s woes were just as conveniently solved by her marrying the heir to her father’s estate. Elizabeth really considered marrying her cousin as more of a duty than sacrifice, for she would have done anything to secure her beloved Longbourn. Anything, including marrying a man whom she barely knew. Although, Mr. Tilman had not been a complete stranger to her family. By virtue of his being Longbourn’s heir, he had extended an olive branch to his Bennet relations so soon as he became of age.
Besides, Netherfield Park despite all its grandeur was not Longbourn Village. Elizabeth believed that she was the only one who must secure her family’s home, the one place on earth which meant so much to her, for herself.
At least with Mr. Tilman, there existed a good measure of respect on her part. He was a decent, honorable man whose misgivings over his birthright were evidenced by his compassion toward the Bennet ladies during their greatest hour of need in the aftermath of Mr. Bennet’s death and the offering of his hand to Elizabeth: the eldest unwed daughter.
How unfortunate that she would never have a chance to find out if the respect she felt toward Mr. Tilman might have grown into something more meaningful—something similar to affection, even love. How unfortunate indeed, for mere hours after boarding the carriage for the wedding journey, there was an accident—an utter devastation from which only one of the newlyweds walked away.
Comment below for a chance to win a $10 Gift Card. One prize is up for grabs. Because the gift card will be sent directly from Amazon.com, the winner must be able to redeem the gift card on Amazon.com. Alternatively, the winner may claim an ebook edition of an eligible P.O. Dixon story. Hurry! The giveaway contest ends on Tuesday, November 20th. Best of luck!
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