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.
On Monday I shared the DAILY SNIPPETS #1 to #9, which can be read HERE.
The release date is AUGUST 8
and the Kindle version can be secured on Amazon for pre-order.
Now for the mini-excerpts #10 to #17—
DAILY SNIPPET #10
“I may regret confessing this, but, as you are aware, I attended a meeting at the Jockey Club last week. It seems that in the excitement over our engagement, it completely slipped my mind that one of the horses bred at Pemberley is competing at Newmarket. I really should not miss… Must you laugh? Have you no pity for my predicament, Miss Elizabeth?”
“Forgive me, but I am imagining the consternation amongst your Jockey Club peers at having anything horse related ‘slip the mind’ of Mr. Darcy. Were they searching the sky for flying pigs?”
“Not that I noticed. Although, now that you mention it, Lord Westingcote did stare out the window for a long while, but I thought that the result of Mr. Shelley’s riveting dissertation on the benefits of blue banners over red. What do you think?”
“Of Lord Westingcote’s inattentiveness, or the banners?”
DAILY SNIPPET #11
Meeting dignitaries of various kinds was not unusual for a man of Darcy’s station in society, but being introduced to luminaries of the London stage in the middle of a shopping mall was an entirely new experience. He was quite overwhelmed!
“Mrs. Siddons,” he greeted the eldest of the three before turning to the youngest of the renowned actress trio, “Mrs. Davison. Indeed my great fortune has multiplied exponentially. I am overwhelmed.”
“We view it as a service to humanity, Mr. Darcy,” Sarah Siddons assured in her famed voice. “Teach a gentleman the critical importance of costly trinkets to spoil his lovers, sisters, aunts, etcetera—of which he shall profit in unmentionable ways—and he will pass the information to his male friends. Rumors spread and our sex reaps the bounty for generations.”
Mrs. Davison bobbed her head in agreement, and verily before Darcy blinked his eyes the three prima donnas of the London stage had “taken him under their wings” as they put it. For the better part of an hour they personally escorted him to the best merchandise in Harding and Howell, and with such illustrious women at his side, attention was inevitable.
DAILY SNIPPET #12
The speaking up option would, of course, prove that she had been spying on him. Being a private, reserved man, Lizzy honestly was unsure how he would react to such an intrusion, even from her. In the end of the flashing seconds these thoughts raced through her mind as she observed him in unguarded repose, it was the returned yearning to be alone with him that impelled her to action.
Dwelling on the possible outcomes no longer, she slipped behind him, squeezed a hand on each shoulder, and whispered close to his left ear, “Any guess who this is?”
Perhaps she should have given the matter a tad more thought, she later confessed.
Mr. Darcy jerked violently, the book tumbling to the carpeted floor with a dull thunk and the wooden ball shooting off the desk. She was fairly sure he swore too, but the precise curse was lost amid her instant laughter and gasping attempts to apologize. Adding to the ridiculousness, he precipitously swiveled around, chair and all! Lizzy emitted a squeal along with the gasping giggles, caught utterly off guard by a chair that moved. Still in a bent posture, her jolt of surprise pitched her forward until their noses bumped together, falling into his lap prevented only when she locked her elbows with hands splayed on his chest.
A dozen exclamations, curious questions, and justifications for her behavior skipped across her tongue. None of them were uttered or involved what she impulsively did instead.
She kissed him. Hard.
DAILY SNIPPET #13
A smiling Darcy crossed the threshold, ascended the stairs, and headed directly to the booth next to a south-facing window.
“You are late,” Colonel Fitzwilliam noted.
“You are fortunate to have me here at all. A servant had to hunt me down at Meyer’s. Next time send your order of appearance earlier. Now, scoot over and remove your dusty boots from my bench.”
“I will scoot,” Richard drawled, “but I am terribly comfortable stretched out, so you will have to suffer the boots. I wiped the muck off and a little dust will not kill you.”
“If it does, I vow to haunt you.” Darcy slid into the bench across the table from the colonel, then motioned to a passing waiter. Once his order was placed, he bobbed his chin Richard’s direction. “No uniform today. Did they finally discover your limitations and toss you out of the army?”
“I am incognito. Actually, I am a notorious spy blending in with the common folk for an ultra-secret mission for the Crown. Quite heroic and dangerous. Are you impressed?”
“Exorbitantly. I always suspected York’s a hideout knee-deep in traitors of the King.”
“The world is a strange place, Darcy.”
“Is this drivel practice for captivating women? Or is your ‘news’ that you are fully delusional?”
“Neither, although the women angle has potential. Thanks, Cousin!”
DAILY SNIPPET #14
Georgiana bit her lip. “I know very well I should not be nervous, yet I am. Please do not lecture.”
Darcy feigned astonishment and pointed at his chest while mouthing Me? Lecture? His drama worked. Georgiana smiled, if a bit wanly.
“I have never hosted a tea party all on my own and admit that doing so unnerves me. Why I initiated the idea is unfathomable! What if I spill hot tea on Miss Elizabeth? What if I drop a blob of jam onto Miss Bennet’s dress? What if I embarrass us by saying something inappropriate? Or what if my tongue refuses to move at all and I stare dumbly for hours? What if I—”
“At the present I have difficulty giving credence to your worry over a tongue refusing to move,” Darcy interrupted. Georgiana clamped her lips tight. “As for your other concerns, you are far too graceful to spill anything on anyone, and I can assure that any embarrassing utterances by you will never trump the ones already delivered by me. Have no fear, Georgie. If I were to wager, my money would be on the three of you laughing away the afternoon with gossip and whatever else females blather on about.”
DAILY SNIPPET #15
What was he doing, right now? Sleeping? Changing his clothes? Bathing? Any of those possibilities involved some degree of nakedness and were a bit too intimate for her to imagine without worsening her jitters.
Sighing rather pathetically, Lizzy leaned her forehead against the glass. The cold was soothing to her skin. She closed her eyes, and ever so slowly forced the coiled energy to ease out of her muscles. Relaxation taking hold, the prospect of falling asleep for the hour remaining until needing to dress for dinner finally felt possible. Opening her eyes, she released a second sigh before lifting her head from the glass and starting to turn away.
Just then, the light down below flickered and a tall shadow waved over the stones. Instantly she was alert, eyes wide and face pressed into the cold glass.
Please, let it be him!
Seconds later he walked out the door. Between the distance, shadows, and thick vines twining over a trellis, her view of him was partially obstructed. Thankfully not completely, Lizzy able to note a tumbler in his right hand, and that he wore only his shirt and trousers.
This time her sigh was closer to a whine of longing.
Grasping onto the window latch, a crazed vision of throwing the window wide and shouting his name, as if a whimsical Juliet to his Romeo, whipped through her mind. This was followed by the insane vision of scaling the wall, climbing down the conveniently located trellis, and dropping half-dressed onto his patio! Covering her mouth to stay the giggles threatening to burst forth at such ridiculousness, rationality slowly reasserted itself and she removed her hand from the latch.
DAILY SNIPPET #16
Bobbing her chin toward the approaching end of the lane, Elizabeth asked, “We are to visit the bluffs?”
Snickering, Darcy nodded. “We are, although I cannot help but laugh at the local moniker for what barely constitutes a hill being ‘the bluffs.’ I’ve seen fairy mounds that were higher.”
“Allow us deprived flat landers our delusions, please. We aren’t blessed to have the majestic Peaks in our backyard, rising to uncharted elevations. Why, I heard intrepid climbers are giving up on scaling the Himalayan heights in lieu of challenging the Derbyshire Peaks!”
“Ha, ha, very funny. But, the point is valid. It is a matter of perspective in the end. I will concede the view from your revered bluff is an impressive panorama. Bingley and I thought that with the snow, the view should be lovelier still.”
“Ah, yes. The view. Obviously that is why this destination was chosen. What other reason could there be?”
DAILY SNIPPET #17
“She has been in a mood since we departed Darcy House, and refuses to confess the truth of it, or the cause. I believe it has something to do with the private audience Lizzy had with Mr. Darcy while at his townhouse today. A long audience, I must add—“
“Must you, really?” Lizzy interrupted her sister. She wasn’t sure whether to laugh, snap irritably, or roll her eyes at the merciless teasing at her expense!
“I am glad to hear of it, Lizzy. Long private audiences during one’s betrothal period are necessary for a happy, fulfilled marriage. A new bride should not be totally surprised upon her wedding night. A bit of prior knowledge and practice is most beneficial for early, and lasting, pleasure with your husband in the bedchamber. Make sure you arrange a few private interludes with Mr. Bingley, Jane dear.” Mrs. Gardiner had resumed her own needlepoint, speaking matter-of-factly, and outwardly oblivious to the dropped jaws and flushed cheeks of her nieces. Then she peered at them over the top edge of her glasses, a sly smile spreading. “Now, I wonder, what has you two the most shocked? That I would approve of such scandalous behavior before marriage? That an old woman like me still engages in and enjoys bedroom antics? Or that I would openly broach the topic in the first place?”
Return Friday for the final set of DAILY SNIPPETS.