During the month of July, and for part of June, on my Facebook Author Page I shared teeny excerpts every day. The endeavor was for promotion, of course, and included a giveaway. As for the giveaway winners, I will be selecting those and announcing the winners next week as part of the release celebration events. For this week, I am sharing the snippets here on the blog for the enjoyment of my wonderful readers.
The release date is AUGUST 8
and the Kindle version can be secured on Amazon for pre-order.
Here are the first nine—
DAILY SNIPPET #1
Just a kiss. A simple kiss. But the first she would deliver of her own initiation. Lizzy did not count her precipitous kiss in his office three days ago. Now, unlike then, she was clear thinking—as much as possible, that is, when held in his arms—and while completely likely her control would be fast overwhelmed, she intended to prove she could be bold and take the lead.
Smiling, she slowly lifted onto her tiptoes, hands gliding to encircle his neck and twine into his hair. Perhaps comprehending her purpose, or maybe out of amazement, she was not sure, he held still, not even lowering his head. For a fraction of a second uncertainty sliced through her. Playing the seductress sounded easy, until put to the test!
“Just one kiss,” she murmured encouragingly, not aware she spoke aloud until he released his held breath and nodded.
DAILY SNIPPET #2
He stopped talking when she pressed two fingers against his lips. “William, I am honored to wear this on our wedding day. Whatever it is. To please you, and express my incredible happiness in becoming your wife, I… would do anything.”
Slowly grinning, he asked, “What if it is hideous?”
Laughing aloud, she shook her head. “Somehow I doubt that is possible.”
“I wouldn’t be too sure,” he warned with mock severity. “There is a certain brooch I recall in one case that should have earned the jewelry maker a trip to the gallows. Or maybe my taste in jewelry is frightfully bad.”
“Just open the box! The suspense is now killing me!”
DAILY SNIPPET #3
“I see,” Elizabeth stressed, the teasing tone disappearing in favor of the acrimonious. “The error is in my assumptions, obviously. You are intimately familiar with the mall then? Perhaps your superior knowledge of where to obtain feminine products will benefit us as well, Mr. Darcy, if it isn’t too much trouble to share your accumulated wealth of information?”
Elizabeth’s smile remained but with a stiffness to her lips that corresponded with the sharp undertone of her outwardly cordial words. Her eyes, Darcy noted with increasing mystification, had taken on a hard glint. Confused, he looked to Jane and Mrs. Gardiner for some kind of a clue. Each woman wore an expression of suppressed amusement. Mrs. Gardiner shook her head slightly and swiveled her eyes pointedly toward a cluster of attractive young women standing not too far away who were quite blatantly admiring his figure. Darcy frowned, then looked back at a pursed lipped Elizabeth. Abruptly the pieces fell into place.
She is jealous! Positively green with it!
DAILY SNIPPET #4
Returning to the window, Lady Catherine reached for the latch, but paused before twisting open. Anne had shifted position on the swing and tilted her face purposefully to bathe in the sunlight. A hint of pink colored Anne’s cheeks and moisture sparkled prettily across her brow, but the brightness accentuated the sharp bones under her translucent skin. The picture was a tragic mixture of delicate loveliness and infirm fragility.
“Oh! My poor darling girl! Who will care for you when I am gone?”
Trembling fingertips pressed against her lips, and for a moment—only a moment—she was nothing more than a mother filled with despondency for her child. As swiftly as it came, the despondency disappeared to be replaced in a heartbeat with fury directed solely at her nephew, Fitzwilliam Darcy.
How could he behave so heartlessly? How could he ignore his duty? How could he choose that woman over Anne?
DAILY SNIPPET #5
Elizabeth appeared to be of the same mind. For want of a better phrase, she looked as if she had been kissed quite thoroughly and thrilled in the experience. Apparently, he must have presented a similar picture, based on the smugly satisfied smile curving her plump lips as she studied his face.
“I needed that,” she blurted, dropping her eyes for an embarrassed second before joining Darcy in soft laughter.
“As did I, my love.”
DAILY SNIPPET #6
“You are fortunate to have a gifted, and willing, relative living near you, Miss Darcy. Her influence shows.”
“Indeed Jane is correct.” Lizzy patted her sister’s hand. Then she cocked her head and smiled archly at Georgiana. “On the other hand, Miss Darcy, think how improved the fortune of your education if you lived closer to Lady Catherine de Bourgh. She is prodigiously knowledgeable on every subject, you know, and by her own admission greatly accomplished. Oh! To be frequently exposed to a grand house decorated with imposing sophistication and refined style! Rosings Park, where quality is visible even in the windows and glazings. Just imagine how improved your manners as hostess and stimulating our conversation if she were the aunt fate settled nearer to you.”
“Lizzy,” Jane softly admonished.
Georgiana, however, had pressed the back of her hand against her mouth and her shoulders were shaking in silent laughter.
DAILY SNIPPET #7
“Ha!” Lizzy exclaimed from deep inside the wardrobe. “When have you ever torn or stained a dress?”
“I have… a few times… I am sure of it…” Jane stammered to a halt, rosiness highlighting her cheeks as three pairs of dubious eyes swiveled her way. “Well, if you didn’t run across dirt fields and help feed the barn animals, your clothes might stay cleaner and in better repair, Lizzy.”
Content that her wedding gown was safely stowed, Lizzy backed away from the wardrobe. “Guilty as charged,” she sang. “I suspect the Pemberley gardeners and groomsmen would frown at their mistress treading into their designated areas, so shall necessarily forego digging in the dirt or helping care for the rabbits. If they even have rabbits!”
“Who cares what the outdoor staff think, Lizzy. Mr. Darcy enjoys your outside activities, that is for sure. He stares at you with an intense expression when your cheeks are flushed from the brisk air. And if tendrils of hair have escaped your bonnet, well, he becomes especially animated!”
“Kitty! My word!”
“Well, he does, Mama. I’m not an idiot. I know what he is thinking. So does Mary.”
Mary pressed her lips primly together and continued to fold Jane’s shawls into precision squares, but her cheeks pinked and eyes faintly twinkled. Lizzy had again busied herself inside the wardrobe, hiding her dreamy smile and trembling hands. If any of them knew just how animated and intense Mr. Darcy truly was…
“Men are always thinking about… that.” Mrs. Bennet stumbled on the last word and fluttered her hand nervously in the air. “This is part of the problem with the male gender, if you ask me.”
“Doesn’t seem like a problem to me,” Kitty objected.
DAILY SNIPPET #8
Mr. Bennet clapped Darcy on the shoulder, and started to turn away. Then he paused, adding almost as if an afterthought, “The foyer is fine, if you wish, but you might consider the terrace. Lizzy has a fondness for starry skies and fresh air. You may have learned that already.”
Mr. Bennet winked, then, with grin in place, he moved to join the others, leaving Darcy practically gaping. All throughout dinner he felt as if Mr. Bennet was secretly laughing at him. About the time he concluded it was his overworked imagination, he’d catch Elizabeth staring at her father speculatively.
Did the older gentleman know of the liberties Darcy had taken with his daughter?
DAILY SNIPPET #9
“Oh yes! A guessing game! What a fabulous idea, Jane! We shall see how well Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley can keep secrets and maintain the suspense. Who shall break first? Can we successfully read their thoughts, or will they slip? Who will win the prizes, us or them?”
“If one or both of you win for a correct guess, what do you want your prize to be?”
“A kiss!” Georgiana’s blurted suggestion elicited universal laughter, and a few blushes, although not enough to quell the gaiety.
“A fair prize indeed, dear sister. That way both parties win, no matter what.”
Return on Wednesday for another set of the DAILY SNIPPETS.