Heather Moll back to the blog. Heather has a new Pride & Prejudice variation out! Nine Ladies is a variation featuring time travel. I’ll share the blurb with you and then hand over to Heather for an excerpt from the book. There’s also the opportunity to win an ebook. Read on for more details.
The Darcy family has grudgingly kept the secret about the power contained within a nearby stone circle called Nine Ladies. Fitzwilliam Darcy is forced to contend with this secret when a young woman from the future appears at Pemberley. Until the opinionated stranger can return to when she belongs, Darcy is responsible not only for her safety, but also for ensuring that nothing she does threatens Pemberley’s well-being.
Elizabeth Bennet has returned to England to take care of her estranged father, and her life was off track long before she walked into that stone circle at sunset. She quickly discovers that, as a poor and single woman, she’ll have to rely on the arrogant Mr. Darcy. She tries her best to survive in the nineteenth-century until she can return home but, as she and Darcy grow closer, the truth she knows about his and Pemberley’s bleak future becomes harder to keep.
How can Darcy and Elizabeth overcome 200 years of differences in this era-spanning love story?
Excerpt from Nine Ladies, introduced by author Heather Moll
Hi Ceri and thanks so much for welcoming me back to Babblings of a Bookworm to kickstart the Nine Ladies blog tour. I’m excited to share a little bit about my new time travel variation with all of your readers. Some of you might be thinking, “Time travel? Really?” Yes, really. There’s an element of fantasy in order to get modern Elizabeth and regency Darcy together but, at its core, Nine Ladies is a love story about our favorite couple and how they overcome differences and misunderstandings to be stronger together than they were apart.
This excerpt is from when modern Elizabeth has accidentally gone back in time on the equinox and has just met regency Darcy. Neither of them is happy about the situation they find themselves in. His family has to keep her safe until she can return home through the Nine Ladies stone circle on the summer solstice, but Darcy knows his reputation will be destroyed if this single woman stays at Pemberley. He’d rather she stay hidden in a far-flung building on the grounds. In this scene, Elizabeth is making her case to be allowed to stay at Pemberley and come and go as she pleases. She’s willing to tolerate being around the arrogant man if it means she doesn’t have to hide alone while she waits until she can return home.
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Excerpt from Nine Ladies by Heather Moll
Excerpt from Nine Ladies by Heather Moll
What does—Oh! An unmarried woman in your house automatically means you’re sleeping with her? And that idea insults you? Then bring someone else in on the secret and have them be my chaperone.” The woman bent and straightened her first two fingers on each hand in an incomprehensible gesture. Darcy shook his head. “Do you have a cousin, or sisters? Would a female relative have friends sleep over?”
Automatically? Sleep over? Parsing her language was taxing. “I am the guardian of one sister, but she lives in London with a woman who superintends her education. She is fifteen, and only an older or married woman can protect the vulnerability of an unmarried young lady.”
“So, she has a chaperone?”
He saw a small smile at the corner of Miss Bennet’s lips as she tilted her head and raised an eyebrow.
“My sister knows nothing about Nine Ladies, and no, I shall not divulge it to her or her companion!”
“You don’t have to. Ask her to host your poor relation, or ward, or whatever you want to call me. Say I have nowhere else to go for some reason and I need to stay at Pemberley until June because you’re too kind to throw me on the street. Then tell the companion to make sure I don’t get seduced because I’m a defenseless female.” Miss Bennet laughed, although Darcy found nothing amusing.
“Even if I agreed, you have neglected the most incriminatory aspect of your outlandish plan.”
“What? It’s perfect.” She held out her fingers to count on them. “I get a proper chaperone, I get to interact with people, no one learns the truth, no one will accuse you of having a mistress, and I can stay in a house rather than in a shed alone.”
Darcy kept his gaze fixed on the top of her head. “None who see you would credit the notion that you are a woman of this time.”
She looked down at herself. “I’ll wear skirts if it means I don’t have to be isolated and lonely.”
“It is more appalling than that. In your voice, your words, your manner, there is nothing suitable about you as a woman.” She was odd, argumentative. She was not pretty, not elegant, not amiable, not well-informed.
“If that’s the way you talk to women, it’s no wonder you’re single.”
“I beg your—”
“Just arrange for your sister and her keeper to come, and I’ll do what I have to do to be the model of a perfect woman in 1811. How long can I stay here without someone to make sure I don’t get seduced?”
He was losing control of this situation. “If Reynolds will vouch for your credibility, perhaps a fortnight if it is understood my sister and her companion are on their way.”
“Then you and Reynolds get the fun job of turning me into a submissive, powerless nineteenth-century woman before they get here.”
Darcy shrugged and rolled his eyes. She was willful, and she would certainly not hide quietly for three months. If he forced her to remain isolated, he would be faced with her outbursts and attempts to escape. Perhaps keeping her under close watch would be the lesser of two evils.
“Let us assume it were possible to present you as a lady of my own time. My remaining reservation is this: I have no guarantee that you would act in the manner of a genteel woman at all times and tell no one the truth of your origins.”
Miss Bennet walked toward him with a hand outstretched. “I promise to fit in if you don’t lock me up.”
Darcy was distressed by her forwardness and clasped his hands behind his back. “I know nothing of your character or even the general character of a twenty-first century woman.”
“There is such a thing as integrity and honor, even in the twenty-first century,” she said softly. She reached her hand out again with an earnest smile. “Please?”
Her circumstance provoked his pity. She did not, at this moment, appear to be trying to anger him. Darcy slowly raised his hand to clasp hers. He was surprised by her firm grip, and he marveled at the sensation of touching an unrelated woman’s hand without a layer of gloves between them.
“What’s first? A dress?”
It took Darcy a moment to realize she meant a gown and not her manner of speaking. “I must speak with Reynolds and decide how to announce your presence at Pemberley. If you pass yourself off credibly, I will write to my sister to come.”
“You, Reynolds, and the gamekeeper are the only ones who know the truth? I don’t want to ask for help from the wrong people. See, I want to hold up my end of the deal.”
Darcy paused with his hand on the knob. “There is one other who I hope will aid us. I will write to him at once and beg him to come. Good day.”
Her reply to his courtesies was to say “bye.”
This will not be easy.
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Heather Moll is an avid reader of mysteries and biographies with a masters in information science. She found Jane Austen later than she should have and made up for lost time by devouring her letters and unpublished works, joining JASNA, and spending too much time researching the Regency era. She is the author of Nine Ladies, Two More Days at Netherfield, His Choice of a Wife, and the short story The Gentlemen Are Detained. She lives with her husband and son and struggles to balance all of the important things, like whether or not to buy groceries or stay home and write. Visit her and subscribe to her for a freebie and monthly updates.
Nine Ladies is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Heather has some books available in audio so fingers crossed for you audio lovers that at some point it will be available in that format too.
Heather is kindly giving away an ebook of Nine Ladies for 6 lucky winners across her blog tour, open to international entrants. To enter, please use the rafflecopter. Giveaway closes on 13 February.
Note about comments: If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)
Blog Tour Schedule
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