I promised an excerpt from my work-in-progress (WIP) titled, The Rights to Her Heart, when I posted in early May, but something happened between then and now. I found that I was stretching myself too thin. I was trying to tackle two high priority WIPs at the same time: the previously mentioned story which has an August/September target release date and Designed for Each Other which is targeted for June.
Something else happened. I started envisioning several other story ideas. So many, in fact, that I became completely overwhelmed. A couple of the storylines were rather compelling, so much so that I put everything else aside and designed their working covers, which meant I was really serious. The new stories were all I wanted to think about, especially Most Ardently, Most Unknowingly in Love.
My muse was in overdrive when it came to the sparking of new story ideas and creating exciting covers, but not so much when it came to the completion of the stories I had previously committed to releasing.
Something had to give. Deciding what was most important was easy considering the fast-approaching target release date of Designed for Each Other. I made a deal with myself. Everything else must wait and furthermore, muse, no more new story ideas. Just stop. And focus.
The new resolve is working. I wrote more than 20,000 words in a matter of days, half editing along the way which means they’re pretty good words.
Saying all that, here’s a snippet from Designed for Each Other for your reading pleasure. Mind you, though cleaned up, this is a still rough draft. It gives insight into Jane and Mr. Bingley’s courtship. I’m afraid it’s not very smooth sailing for the young lovers.
Designed for Each Other
After a lull in the conversation among the various members of their party, Charlotte said, “It is a perfectly fine day. Indeed, it is too nice of a day for everyone to be inside.”
Bingley quickly responded, “Oh yes, I agree.” He threw a quick glance about the room. “What say you all that we take a walk? I only arrived last night, and I am most anxious to view Lady Catherine’s gardens. Darcy always says his aunt’s gardens are some of the most beautiful in all of England.”
For her part, there was something in Charlotte’s voice that gave Jane to consider that her being at the parsonage at the same time that Mr. Bingley was a guest at Rosings might possibly be more than merely coincidental.
If that were so, she undoubtedly had her sister to credit for such a circumstance, but now she suspected that Charlotte may have had a part in the scheme as well.
Did my dearest sister speak to Charlotte of my heartbreak and pain as a consequence of Mr. Bingley’s defection? Did she tell Charlotte those things that I confided in her regarding my disappointment, my despair: feelings that I would only speak of with Lizzy alone?
Jane always knew Elizabeth and Charlotte were intimate friends. She liked Charlotte too, very much indeed. As much as she loved her eldest sister, Jane would be lying to herself if she did not admit to feeling a bit envious of Elizabeth and Charlotte’s closeness.
She sighed. Of course, I am too good to suffer such sentiments as Lizzy is wont to say. I am not quite so perfect as she supposes and yet she refuses to allow for such a possibility.
If I had my own intimate friend, someone like Charlotte, then my friend would see me as the person that I am. Not the person she needs me to be. Why would I not want that? Someone who would not judge me regardless of my flaws. Someone like Charlotte to call my very own.
Jane glanced at her sister who by now was standing directly beside Mr. Darcy. She looked at Charlotte, who was staring at Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy standing next to each other. Jane always considered Elizabeth and Charlotte to be as thick as thieves. Even Charlotte’s doing the unthinkable of accepting Mr. Collins’s proposal of marriage on the heel of Elizabeth’s rejection of the pompous man had not been enough to diminish the strength of their mutual affection.
Now, I must consider that the two of them asked for Mr. Darcy’s aid in throwing Mr. Bingley and me into each other’s paths. My question is why he would take the trouble of agreeing to such a scheme. I always knew him to be an honorable man, but this is going above and beyond the bounds of loyalty to his friend—that is unless.
Jane gasped. Did Lizzy share my most heartfelt secrets with Mr. Darcy too? How embarrassing! At that moment, her eyes met Elizabeth’s which were brightened with hope no doubt because of what she had done on Jane’s behalf.
I suppose my sister only has my best interests at heart. Indeed, I know she does, and thus I shall not be upset with her. However, if Lizzy supposes for one second that I can be so easily swayed to forgive the man who has been the means of breaking my heart and exposing me to ridicule by my friends and neighbors and even his pernicious sister whom I wish never to see ever again, then she does not know me at all.
It’s time for your share in the conversation. What if Jane and Bingley do not have their happily ever after?