Elaine Jeremiah back to the blog today. Elaine has joined us with her new Pride & Prejudice variation, Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again. She has an excerpt for us to enjoy, plus she’s also offering a giveaway for two lucky commenters on the post. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Elaine.
Little does Elizabeth Bennet think the journey across muddy fields from her home at Longbourn to Netherfield Park will change her life forever.
But an unexpected encounter with the proud and haughty Mr Darcy leaves her injured and vulnerable. Worse still, she is left alone with him for a significant amount of time. Her reputation at risk, she is forced to make a decision about her future. Now her life will never be the same again.
Can Elizabeth ever be happy? Or will she always loathe Mr Darcy?
Introduction by Author Elaine Jeremiah
Thank you to Ceri for featuring me on her blog today. I’m really pleased to share this excerpt with you from my ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation, ‘Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again’, which I’m publishing on the 2nd February. Although I’ve been writing a time travel romance trilogy, which is very much inspired by my love of Jane Austen’s novels, this is the first ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation I’ve written. So it can better be described as Jane Austen fan fiction than anything else I’ve written before.
I thought I’d share with you some brief thoughts about writing it. I had wanted to finish and publish this novel months ago, but it didn’t work out that way. I struggled with it for a while, because there were problems with the plot. To be honest, I got a bit discouraged with it and didn’t work on it that much for some time because I felt like I’d hit a brick wall and I wasn’t sure where to go from there.
But I carried on and eventually I was ready to send it to beta readers. I decided to take their advice and revamp the beginning of the story, adding bits and improving on what I’d written. I added an epilogue as suggested too. Then when I came to have it professionally edited, there were more changes to make.
Although it took a long while to finish it, I’m really happy with the end result because I think the plot is a lot tighter and the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth blossoms more slowly, which is more realistic.
I hope you enjoy it too.
Mr Darcy gently picked her up in his arms as though she weighed nothing at all. Elizabeth’s breath caught in her throat. It was unexpected; this strange, almost giddy feeling she had at the sensation of his strong arms around her as he crossed the field in fast, long strides. I had sworn never to dance with him, she thought ruefully. And now I am helpless in his arms. What would her father say? What would any of her acquaintances say?
Thankfully for her they were not here to tell her, which was as well, as in any case she could not have defended herself at the present moment. Soon they had reached the relative cover of the trees, but as Mr Darcy set her carefully down on the sodden ground, Elizabeth soon realised it was not enough. The rain, which had been moderate at first, was now falling heavily.
She had not immediately perceived that Mr Darcy still had her hand clasped in his own. As their eyes met, he let go of it abruptly and cleared his throat. She found herself perversely wishing he had not let go. What on earth was the matter with her?
‘I fear that we must find more adequate shelter,’ he told her. ‘This,’ he gestured to the trees around them, ‘will not do.’
‘I agree, sir,’ Elizabeth replied. ‘What do you propose we do?’
He shook his head. ‘There can be no we, madam. You are hurt and should you accompany me, the injury would only worsen. Therefore, the only solution is for me to leave you a short while and search for some human habitation we may take shelter in.’ He paused, giving her a direct look. Elizabeth swallowed. ‘It is true that you know this area far better than I,’ he said. ‘Are there any dwellings nearby, any people locally we may apply to for help?’
She frowned, trying to recall. ‘I am afraid I do not think there are any within a mile of here. But I think my father’s gamekeeper has a cottage or suchlike not far from here. I cannot be sure exactly where.’ She shivered as she spoke; the water was beginning to seep through her woollen pelisse into the thin muslin of her dress.
‘Very well.’ Mr Darcy’s expression became pensive. ‘You must rest your ankle, Miss Bennet. Allow me to assist you to be seated.’
She let him help her to sit down with her back resting against the thick tree trunk. It was hardly ideal, since the ground was now saturated. But it was preferable to increasing the pressure being placed on her injured foot by standing on it.
Once satisfied that she was as comfortable as could be under the circumstances, Mr Darcy left her. Elizabeth watched his retreating figure with misgiving, uncertain that he would find anywhere for them to shelter. For the moment she was alone.
As Darcy strode away from Elizabeth Bennet, he contemplated the situation they had found themselves in. Being unable to find help did not bode well. If or when they were discovered alone together, they would have difficulty explaining how it came to pass. He was unsure what he would say in his defence if they were.
He reflected too on his ambiguous feelings for the lady. It was true that she was the daughter of an inconsequential gentleman and her other relations… well vulgar did not begin to describe the mother. As for her sisters, excepting the eldest, Miss Jane Bennet who was perfectly amiable, he had never come across such boisterous, flirtatious misses in his life.
And yet he could not deny that Elizabeth intrigued him. She piqued his interest and those eyes of hers were most arresting. He shook his head as he thrashed his riding crop through the foliage of the woods, forcing a path through. Their meeting today was unaccountable. His very purpose for heading out from Netherfield on his horse, despite the indifferent weather, had been to clear his thoughts of her.
These nascent feelings for her simply would not do. She and her family were beneath him in every way.
Elaine lives in Bristol, South West England with her husband and their golden retriever, Dug. But she was privileged enough to grow up in Jane Austen country, in Hampshire.
She’s always loved writing, but it’s only been in recent years that she’s been able to devote more time to it. She decided to self-publish with the help of her wonderful husband who’s very tech-savvy! In 2013 she self-published her first novel, but it was only with her fourth, her novel ‘Love Without Time’, that she felt she finally found her niche: Jane Austen Fan Fiction!
She’s always loved Jane Austen’s writing and the Regency era, so this felt like a natural thing for her to do. ‘Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again’ is the first ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation she’s written.
Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again will be available to buy for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. It’s coming out on 2 February but it’s available to pre-order now.
Elaine is kindly giving away 2 ebooks of Darcy and Elizabeth: Beginning Again. To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day worldwide on Sunday 31 January.
If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)
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