Saturday 27 October 2018

Unwrapping Mr Darcy by L L Diamond - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Unwrapping Mr Darcy by L L Diamond
I'm very pleased to be welcoming L L Diamond back to the blog. As Hallowe'en is nearly upon us, she has brought us a seasonal book... about Christmas! She's here with a post about Unwrapping Mr Darcy, and has also brought us a wonderful giveaway. Let's start with the blurb:

Book Description

Elizabeth Bennet’s first day at Darcy Holdings was turning out to be everything she'd imagined—that is until she met her new boss William Darcy. True, he’s hotter than Hades but he's also rude, abrupt, and stares at her as though she’s committed some grievous sin. If only she could avoid him, but her friends’ not so brilliant ideas keep throwing them together.

William Darcy put his foot in his mouth when he met Elizabeth Bennet! Now, he’s head over heels for her and needs to apologize, but how? The dreaded office Secret Santa draw is a possibility, but would that help or would it only make things worse?

Twenty-five days of gifts? It's creepy and overzealous if you ask Elizabeth. And what’s with this weird reaction she has to Mr. Darcy? He's an ogre, isn't he? But what if her friends are correct and he isn't? Could there be more to him than she assumes? What would happen if she were to take a stab at unwrapping Mr. Darcy?

Guest Post and Excerpt of Unwrapping Mr Darcy from L L Diamond

Hi there! Thanks to Ceri for having me! I’m so excited to introduce some of the characters from Unwrapping Mr. Darcy. If you’ve read some of the beginning chapters I’ve posted, you know that Lizzy has a cat named Grunt. I thought I’d write a little excerpt on how Grunt came to adopt Lizzy ;) Yes, I know that technically Lizzy would adopt Grunt, but let’s face it, cats tend to rule the roost! I know mine do. I hope you like it!

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Full Book cover: Unwrapping Mr Darcy by L L Diamond
The little bell hanging from the handle rang when Elizabeth opened the door. As she walked inside, Charlotte followed behind, startling Elizabeth when she turned to find her friend’s chin by her shoulder. “This is your last chance to back out,” said Charlotte in a low tone. “Once you’ve done it, you can’t go back.”

She rolled her eyes. “Please, it’s just a cat. Not some life-altering decision like getting a boob job or butt implants—and even those are reversible. I just want someone to come home to in the evenings. You know, someone to cuddle.”

“A man would be perfect for that,” said Charlotte sarcastically.

“True, but they’re more work.”

Charlotte chuckled. “Ain’t that the truth.”

“Hello!” They both jumped at the overly cheerful voice and turned to the smiling girl in front of them. How much coffee had she mainlined that morning? “Welcome to the ASPCA. Were you hoping to adopt or volunteer? We’re always in need of forever homes and animal lovers for our furry friends.” The girl’s tone was like something out of a cartoon. Yikes! How did someone maintain that level of cheer day in and day out?

Elizabeth cleared her throat. “Adopt. A work colleague mentioned that you have a lot of kittens at the moment, and I hoped to take one home.” She clasped her hands in front of her, trying to stop the slight shake. She’d wanted a kitten since she was a girl but had never had one. Her mother claimed her nerves couldn’t handle a pet—not that her mother’s nerves handled much of anything. Now, Elizabeth hoped she’d like one of the tiny candidates they had somewhere in the building. Why would that make her nervous?

“Wonderful! My name is Brenna and I’ll be glad to help you. First, I need you to fill out some paperwork. I’ll also need an I.D. The adoption fees are $100 for kittens and $75 for adult cats, but that fee does cover microchipping, some vaccinations, and the spay or neuter.”

Elizabeth pulled her purse from her side and dug out her driver’s license. “I have my I.D. and I looked up your fees on your website. I have everything ready to go.”

Charlotte laughed. “She’s been planning this for a while. I don’t think she’s missed a thing.”

Somehow, Brenna’s smile became wider. “We’re always happy to hear that. A prepared owner is always a good sign of a permanent placement.” She pulled out a clipboard and handed it to Elizabeth. “There are some seats in the corner where you can fill these out. When you’re done, I’ll check things over and take you back to where we keep the cats.”

Elizabeth took the paperwork. “Thanks.”

When she sat in one of the seats, Charlotte sat across from her and started to fiddle on her phone. Elizabeth looked down at the stack of papers in front of her. No matter where you went or what you did, if paperwork was involved, it always seemed like you signed your life away. She understood the whys of it all, but it didn’t mean it wasn’t a pain. One section at a time, Elizabeth filled in every blank until it was finished and glanced around for Brenna. She’d just hung up the phone and happened to catch Elizabeth’s eye.

“Have you finished?”

Elizabeth made her way to the counter and handed over the clipboard. “Yes, I believe I’ve signed and dated it all correctly.”

The woman didn’t need much time to go over everything as well as document Elizabeth’s driver’s license. Once Brenna set down her pen, she grinned widely. “Are you ready to meet some kittens?”

After Elizabeth’s nod, Brenna waved them through a gate at the side of the counter. “If you and your friend will follow me, we’ll see if we have that special furry friend you’ve been looking for.”

Elizabeth’s heartbeat quickened when she stepped into the large room lined with metal cages. Meows came from all directions, little paws poked through bars looking for something to bat, and in some, cats slept through the racket of everything going on around them.

What caught her eye wasn’t the little Siamese trying to catch a lock of her hair as she passed, or the little calico that kept attacking its own tail. Instead, she was drawn to a nearly empty cubicle at the end—nearly empty with the exception of this tiny black furball who made this pitiful mewing sound.

“Poor little thing! She’s all alone,” said Elizabeth, poking her finger through the bars.

“That’s because her two littermates have already been adopted. Her sister left a few days ago. Would you like to play with her? See if she fits?”

See if she fits? She wasn’t trying on a shirt or a pair of shoes. It was a kitten, for crying out loud. Elizabeth nodded, and when Brenna opened the cage, she took the kitten from her and clutched her to her chest. “Are you lonely?”

“Is this her toy?” asked Charlotte, who held up a little white mouse on an elastic string.
“She loves it.” Brenna opened a door to a small room littered with cat toys. “Why don’t the two of you spend some time with her in here, and I’ll leave you to it for a little while. Okay?”

She heard Charlotte thank the girl, but she was too busy cuddling the tiny little thing in her arms. Suddenly, a purr worthy of a full-grown cat came from the small bundle, and even Charlotte, who was not a cat person, laughed. Charlotte handed her the mouse, and Elizabeth sat on the floor and bounced it in front of the kitten while she batted at it and made them giggle at her attempts to pounce on it.

“I once read that black cats are less likely to be adopted because of superstition,” said Charlotte. “Have you ever heard that?”

“No, but she’s perfect. I wanted a female kitten. She’s adorable with those little grey eyes, and she’s so sweet. I want her.”

That was all it took for her to decide, so when the girl returned ten minutes later, Elizabeth finalized the paperwork, paid, and was given vouchers for certain services since the shelter was currently without a vet. Brenna even waved them off as they left through the front door.

During the next week, Elizabeth learned a lot about her new kitten, including her little moans and groans when being picked up and petted which was why Elizabeth called her Grunt. Then, during the second visit to the veterinarian, the vet furrowed her brow while she felt around under Grunt’s tail. She looked at the chart and then felt again.

“Miss Bennet, did you know your kitten is a boy?”

Elizabeth startled and ran a hand down Grunt’s fluffy back. “A boy? The ASPCA assured me she was a girl, and the vet who saw her last time didn’t say anything.”

“Well, there is an awful lot of hair back there. I would imagine his little family jewels were just well hidden in all the fluff.” The vet laughed while she said it, obviously finding it funnier than Elizabeth did at that moment.

Elizabeth stared down at the little black monster who’d been cuddling with her every night and followed her from room to room. Did it matter if she was a he? No, because he was still her perfect little Grunt.

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My Harry <3
I love this excerpt, and I especially love that L L Diamond gave it to me to post because I have a black cat of my own. We rehomed two cats at the same time, and ended up with a mum and one of her kittens. The charity said we could have our pick of the kittens but they hoped we would consider the black one because they are harder to rehome than 'prettier' cats with more variation in their fur. Just before we met the cats to see if we took to each other I'd read a post online which said something along the lines of 'cats don't care what colour YOUR hair is' which I thought was a good point. So this is my lovely Harry, also known as Haribo, because he is so sweet. He is such a character, and very loving. I would certainly get another black cat, although they are harder to see in the dark so you have to be careful where you're stepping if you get up in the night! When he was a kitten he had a very loud purr like the cat in the excerpt :)

About the Author

Author L L Diamond
L.L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans before following her husband all over as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and now England have all been called home along the way. After watching Sense and Sensibility with her mother, Leslie became a fan of Jane Austen, reading her collected works over the next few years. Pride and Prejudice stood out as a favourite and has dominated her writing since finding Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art, but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. Her most recent endeavours have included certifications to coach swimming as well as a fitness instructor. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolour is her medium of choice with one of her watercolours featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Leslie also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!

Leslie’s books include Rain and Retribution, A Matter of Chance, An Unwavering Trust, The Earl’s Conquest, Particular Intentions, and Particular Attachments. She is currently editing Unwrapping Mr. Darcy due out October 31st, 2018, and has an original modern that has some Austen inspiration, hopefully releasing Spring 2019.

Book cover: Unwrapping Mr Darcy by L L Diamond
Buy Links

This book is due out on 31 October, but you can pre-order now!

Amazon USAmazon UK •  Add to Goodreads Shelf

If you'd like to read further excerpts from this story, you can find the prologue and first three chapters over at Austen Variations.

Giveaway Time

This is a big ole giveaway, so I will list you the things included, as modelled by the beautiful real-life Grunt:

Prize bundle for Unwrapping Mr Darcy by L L Diamond
Prize bundle as modelled by Grunt
Unwrapping Mr. Darcy tote bag
Pride and Prejudice quote temporary tattoos
Jane Austen Quote Gift Cards
Pride and Prejudice large postcard
Black cat wine glass
4 Lavender mini bath bombs
1 floral large bath bomb (has lavender buds)
Lavender shower bomb
Lavender bubble bar
Yankee Candle Lemon Lavender Candle
Black cat silhouette coaster
Black cat thermos with spoon
Jane Austen quote postcard
Black cat wine topper (just like Elizabeth’s!)

To enter, just use the rafflecopter.

Blog Tour Stops

As this is a tour, there are more chances to read posts about the book and more chances to win the prize! See below for details.

Blog Tour Stops for Unwrapping Mr Darcy by L L Diamond

And here are links to all the blogs to save you Googling :)

26 Oct - My Jane Austen Book Club
27 Oct - Babbings of a Bookworm - You are here!
29 Oct - Just Jane 1813
30 Oct - More Agreeably Engaged
31 Oct - Austen Variations
1 Nov - From Pemberley to Milton
2 Nov - Austenesque Reviews
5 Nov - Just Jane 1813
7 Nov - My Vices and Weaknesses
12 Nov - Margie's Must Reads
14 Nov - Obsessed with Mr Darcy
29 Nov - So Little Time
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  1. Oh goodness. I'm not sure but it seemed more like Grunt choosing Elizabeth. So pathetic until she picked him up (and hiding the fact that he was a 'he' until she was too attached to be annoyed.)
    I love these outtakes Leslie thank you :)

    1. Well, #therealGrunt was supposed to be a girl until we took him for the second vet appointment :) The vet really did comment about his bits getting lost in the fluff back there. I'm glad you liked it! thank you!

    2. Hi Glynis. I think there's definitely an element of the cat choosing you as much as you choosing them. When we adopted our cats, while I was already predisposed towards the black kitten rather than the tabby one that we could have had he completely sold himself by being so great at interacting with the kids :)

  2. We got a pair of kittens once and thought one was a boy and the other was a girl. A week or so later, and it became obvious that they had been sexed backwards. Grunt is so cute, as is Harry. I love all kittehs! Best of luck on the blog tour, Leslie, and thanks for hosting, Ceri!

    1. Thanks, Suzan! Grunt was definitely not a girl, but my daughter wouldn't trade him for a million other girl kitties. He's such a character!

    2. Hi Suzan, thanks for stopping by. So funny that yours were sexed the wrong way round. Did you rename them?

  3. Thanks Ceri for hosting today. Congratulations, Leslie, for your new book. I grabbed it as soon as the pre-order came out. I can't wait until the download on the 31st. Blessings on its success. I hope it earns a 'Best Seller' tag for you. I loved this excerpt and the photos are adorable.

    Unfortunately, my mother didn't like cats and I never bonded with them. Sigh!! After hearing all your comments about cats, I feel like I have missed something very special in my life.

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate the well wishes! My mom wasn't a cat fan either. She thought they were funny but didn't want them in her house. They're fun, but sometimes work. I will say that. We're always yelling at Shadow to stop sharpening his claws on the recliner. It's the one piece of furniture in the house he tries to demolish. Other than that, he uses the scratching posts.

    2. I hope you enjoy the story Jeanne! Although I have cats, I'm actually a bit more of a dog person, because their hearts are so pure, they are like little angels. Cats are more like us. I do love my kitties though, and cats are a more practical pet when you have to work, as dogs need more time.

  4. I loved this tale by Leslie, but I love all her books. Grunt stole this book from our dear couple! And I love him. I have four grunts of my own. :)

    1. Thanks so much, Brenda! I love Flora, but she's not nearly as entertaining as #therealGrunt. :)

    2. Wow, Brenda, 4 cats! Although, I can see how you could end up with 4 cats, I've been sorely tempted to get more on quite a few occasions!

  5. Very cute! I love the story of how Elizabeth adopted Grunt. Thanks so much for featuring that little mischief maker here. I already have the book on pre-order, so no need to enter me in the giveaway. Jen Red

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the outtake! Thanks, Jen!!

    2. Wasn't this a cute vignette, Jen! I hope you enjoy the book when you read it.

  6. A lovely beginning. My first kitty was a (female) black cat, and a few years ago DH rescued a (male) black kitten from a parking lot. The only bad luck about a black cat is not having one! Can't wait to see what the rest of the story brings. And gotta see if Darcy likes black cats too.

    1. All my daughter had to know was that most black cats don't get adopted because of supersition. She was hooked! Thanks, The Cat!

    2. Everybody I know who has had a black cat has said how loving they are. I would definitely have one again, though I hope to have my black cat for many years more :)

  7. I love Grunt. So happy they found one another.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Darcybennett!

  8. I have had my fair share of surprises when comes to the sex of an animal. It makes for some pretty funny stories.


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