On Sunday, at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon, I typed those words which every author yearns to do. THE END. Even though we know that a ton of work is ahead of us, the satisfaction of typing THE END is deeply felt. It is a milestone! For me, it has been over three years since I last completed a novel. Typing THE END to Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future was especially sweet. In fact, I cried. Like a baby!
At this moment, the manuscript is in the hands of my editor, the amazing Gretchen Stelter. If all goes according to plan, the release will be by the end of this month, or very early in August. I should know for sure in the next few days on precise dates. I DO know that my official celebration here on Austen Authors will be on my next scheduled blog date, which is August 8. That is when I will be popping the champagne, tossing the confetti, and hosting a giveaway! As noted above, it has been a while since I celebrated a new release with all of you here on the blog, so I am really looking forward to it!
So, today is not the “official release celebration” but rather a pre-release celebration. How about that? Plus, to be honest, I did not have time to write a blog on something historical or Austen-ish. LOL! I’ve been gearing up for the release of Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future for weeks, in all sorts of special ways. I want to make sure as many people as possible know Sharon Lathan has a new book coming…FINALLY! Below are random bits of information, and then at the bottom, an excerpt.
As a bit of fun, I have been posting a DAILY SNIPPET over on my Sharon Lathan, Novelist Facebook Page.
Every morning at 7AM EST, a new DAILY SNIPPET posts, and I have them scheduled all the way through to the last day of July. Reading the comments and interacting with my excited fans has been fabulous! What a joy and encouragement it has been! Please keep the comments coming!
Today the 17th tasty excerpt will post, but no worries if you missed the others! Simply search Facebook for the hashtag #HOTFdailysnippet to read past snippets, or scroll down my Facebook Page.
Adding to the fun, I am holding a GIVEAWAY as part of the DAILY SNIPPET extravaganza. All you have to do is “share” the snippet on your Facebook profile! Share as often as you can for more chances to win! Giveaway Prize: an ebook to FIVE (5) WINNERS!
Note** When sharing on Facebook, be sure to either “tag” me in the share OR note that you shared in the comment section. Privacy settings on Facebook do not always allow me to see who shared to enter your name into the Giveaway.
Also, Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship is ON SALE for the month of July!
Ebook is now $2.99 (down from $5.99) and print is $9.99 (down from $12.95 list price).
And now, the moment you have ALL been waiting for…. drum roll, please…. a tantalizing excerpt from Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future, by Sharon Lathan.
“Once we are married, I will have other activities to bring me pleasure.” The salacious grin now on his face, while raising a blush to her cheeks, was preferable to the grimly pressed lips of a moment ago. “And that brings me to the reason I am making all these annoying journeys. I want our beginning months as husband and wife to be as carefree as possible, Elizabeth. Not that I have tended to travel to London often in the winter, but I am looking even beyond that. With Mr. Daniels’ assistance, I am arranging my various affairs so that he will not have to bother me unduly. Unfortunately, just about everything in this era of complicated legalities requires piles of documents to be drafted, signed, notarized, distributed and registered, and on and on. My solicitor and his team are working over time!”
“And being paid well, I presume.”
“Oh yes!” He laughed, leaning back into the sofa for the first time. Relief and happiness shone in his countenance. Hand dropped to her knee, he caressed lazily. “Every penny is being earned and willingly paid in order to be alone with you and unfettered from all pressing matters. To state it another way, my love, as terrible as it is to be separated from you during this special period of betrothal, the sacrifice will benefit us both later on.”
“I cannot argue on any point. And perhaps it will ease your terrible feelings about our being separated if I remind you that you shall fortuitously miss out on the grand ball the Lucases are holding next Saturday.”
“I realized this morning, and did send a note of explanation to Sir William. I promised to try completing my business in time to drive back, although it is unlikely.” Pausing for a moment, the eyes resting on her face penetrating, he then asked, “You will attend the ball, then?”
She was startled at the question, and the odd discord in his voice. “I planned to, with my family and you and Mr. Bingley. Indeed, I was only teasing. I know you like Sir William. We will miss your presence tremendously, of course. Worst of all, I shall be losing my favorite dancing partner. You never miss a step or trample upon my toes. Imagine how mangled I may be when you next see me!”
“So, you shall dance. I see.”
Her failed efforts to jest, indicative by his words and flat inflection, finally penetrated. Holding in her giggles, she smiled serenely. “Only with decrepit old gentlemen, like my father, if I can drag him onto the floor. And Mr. Bingley, if I can tear him away from Jane for one dance.” She held up her left hand, wiggling her fingers so that the sunlight sparkled off her engagement ring. “I am an engaged woman. No unattached male wants to dance with a lady he cannot flirt with.”
Her attempt to placate with truth spoken humorously was ineffective. Darcy narrowed his eyes further and the muscles in his jaw visibly tightened. Still more amused than concerned, she softened her tone. “You have been to enough Meryton assemblies by now to surely know that none of the men can possibly compete with you. Not a one stirred my interest before meeting you, so how could they now? Rest easy, my love, as you have no cause for jealousy.”
“I believe we establish several weeks ago that I am a possessive man, Elizabeth. Jealousy is a natural reaction I shan’t apologize for. Nor do I see it as a weakness, but as a trait any sane man should have when he loves passionately. Additionally, when the woman he loves is beautiful, witty, physically desirable, and near perfection, a sensible man will anticipate jealousy arising frequently.”
Vividly she remembered their heated argument in the garden after he observed her playful antics with Matty Beller. That incident brought to mind her raging jealousy over Caroline Bingley, a woman Lizzy had done her best for the time being to pretend didn’t exist.
Closing her eyes at the uncomfortable memories, she rested her head onto his shoulder and curled against his body. Momentarily mystified by the unexpected action, Darcy stiffened slightly, but quickly recovered and wrapped his arms around her.
“Forgive me,” she whispered. “I know better than to tease about that. You have nothing to fear, my love. You are the only man I want, now and forever. However, if it distresses you to think of it, I shall not attend the ball. I would miss you too much to enjoy it anyway.”
After a brief silence, he relaxed fully and kissed the top of her head. “It distresses me that I shall miss an opportunity to be at your side, proudly squiring the most beautiful woman in Hertfordshire. My peevishness is from that more than actual jealousy. I want you to go and enjoy yourself, Elizabeth. Just not too much, how about that?”
Answering with a hushed chuckle, she snaked her arms about his waist and nestled deeper into his warm embrace. Tranquil sensations of peace and harmony drifted over and through her. Desire, never far away when even in the same room with William, simmered under her skin. Yet, for the moment, she was content to bask in the love between them. In contented quiet they held each other, the marvelous lulling interlude abruptly shattered when the mantel clock loudly struck the eleven o’clock hour. Darcy jolt into a half rise, which might have toppled Lizzy onto the floor if she hadn’t jumped out of his arms and briskly scooted to the other end of the sofa.
“Good God! For a moment I thought sure it was your father barging in with a cocked shotgun!”
Giggling a tad shakily from being startled as much as his exclamation, Lizzy assured, “You are safe. Papa is off on some sort of estate business, or so that was the claim for escaping the house today.”
This belated news seemed to cheer Darcy considerably. “Now you tell me! Alas, another missed opportunity for inappropriate behavior as I must be on my way.”
Pausing, his eyes drifted from her mouth downward to the tops of her breasts, which were, she just then realized, exposed to barely an inch above her nipples, thanks to her loose morning dress slipping lower while slumped against his body. Moreover, the recent fright had caused her to breathe hard. With each deep inhale the pale mounds rose, an effect not likely to stop anytime soon with his darkening gaze staring directly at them!
“Of course, arriving at my destination later than planned is not an unpardonable transgression.”
Naughty Mr. Darcy! Tell me what you think!