Monday, 7 June 2021

For the Deepest Love by Mary Anne Mushatt - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: For the Deepest Love by Mary Anne Mushatt
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Mary Anne Mushatt to Babblings of a Bookworm. Mary Anne has just released For the Deepest Love, which is a Pride & Prejudice variation and she joins us today with an excerpt of the novel. Publishers Quills and Quartos are offering an ebook giveaway too. I’ll share the book description and then hand over to Mary Ann.

Book Description

“After thinking long and hard, I have come to the conclusion that—although it may not be the kind of love my sister and I once had in mind—marrying Mr Darcy would be marrying for a love of the deepest kind.”

Recovering from their parents’ deaths, Elizabeth and Jane Bennet have held their family together, leaning on the support of their uncle, Edward Gardiner, to help them survive.  Thus, when Mr Gardiner is threatened with scandal and ruin, Elizabeth vows to help him.  Hearing of her distress, the scandalous Fitzwilliam Darcy enters her life—offering his aid in exchange for her hand.  Accepting his proposal upends her life in unimaginable ways as she learns of the treachery of the peer courting her, the betrayal and violence committed by her childhood friend, and the threat to her country as it faces another war. 

As Elizabeth and Darcy face the turmoil and trials swirling around them, they risk opening their hearts to unexpected passion.  In order to survive challenges from without and fears within, they must summon unknown strengths and forge new bonds to solidify a love of the deepest kind.

Excerpt from For the Deepest Love by Mary Ann Mushatt

Hi Ceri,

Thank you for hosting me and For The Deepest Love.

What I like the most in these paragraphs is we see how Elizabeth struggles with herself, her perhaps naïve constructs of love and romance and even marriage to embrace a more encompassing understanding. She doesn’t deny any part of herself, but reasons through, examining each facet of her feelings and beliefs to find the solution that is right for her. Only then does she feel confident in meeting Fitzwilliam Darcy head on and retaining her core sense of self.

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Book cover: For the Deepest Love by Mary Anne Mushatt
Elizabeth paced the confines of her room, pondering her future, long after the household was abed. How can I even contemplate accepting this proposal? But then, how can I not save my family from ruin? I can only imagine how much this entails, if my uncle is unwilling to even discuss it with me. Though her questions were legion, answers were nonexistent.

I have always promised Jane I would marry for love. And here I am, considering marriage to a complete stranger—and one whose reputation does not bode well for my domestic felicity. She took another lap around her chamber.

What do I know of him, beyond his sisters near elopement when she was but fifteen? My friends were certainly set against him. Elizabeth slid her hands up and down her arms. They say he might keep a mistress, though many men of his station do. But can I live with it? To know, before even entering the marital state, that this value, which I consider fundamental to a felicitous marriage, is not shared between us?   

She sent a plaintive gaze to her chamber door. If only I could confide in Aunt Gardiner. She would know how to advise me. And Uncle—he is always there for me, listening, urging me to see the bright side when I tend to dwell on the worst. He was there to help purchase Longbourn outright from that fool, Mr Collins, after Father's death. 

She flopped onto the window bench. Regardless of Mr Darcys character, how can I leave my aunt and uncle to suffer for the misdeeds of Mr Whitecastle when I have the opportunity to save them? I love them too much.

She sat bolt upright as realisation dawned. That is it! I shall marry for a love of the deepest kind.

 

As Elizabeth entered the park, Mr Darcy rose from the bench. Seeing him sitting there, a wave of nerves crashed over her. His unnerving presence almost buckled her knees, and she nibbled her lower lip as she regained her composure. He is overbearingly tall, those broad shoulders… He must be incredibly strong. And that face...those eyes...

Forcing herself to steady her step, she continued to approach, focusing on an errant, dark curl falling across his forehead. What it must feel like to run ones fingers through that jolly curl, to brush it away and kiss his cheek. Heat flared on her cheeks. Oh my, this will not do at all. Elizabeth, you must keep your wits about you or you shall be undone.

Good morning, Miss Bennet.” He bowed.

Good morning, Mr Darcy.”

Would you care to sit or continue walking?”

For now, I should prefer to sit.” She did so, leaving ample space for him. He returned to the bench, and she fancied that she felt his eyes rake over her. She blushed and turned her head, her racing heart warming her skin.

Have you come to a decision?” His voice was so soft she had to lean towards him.

Yes, I have. But first, let me explain that many years ago, my sister Jane and I promised each other to marry only for the deepest love. Indeed, I have refused an offer or two in order to keep my promise.” She looked him directly in the eye. As I have in the past, I intend to continue.”  

You do not mean to refuse me?”

She laughed lightly. Pray, is the great Fitzwilliam Darcy unaccustomed to being refused? You will find, sir, I am no ordinary country lass.”

That is an understatement if ever I heard one.”

Elizabeth rubbed her gloved hands along her knees. After thinking long and hard throughout the night, I have come to the conclusion that, although it may not be the kind of love my sister and I once had in mind, marrying you would be for a love of the deepest kind.”

His eyes sprang wide open.

Feeling mischievous, she said, “After all, I do love—”

Your uncle!” he blurted out.

Exactly.” She gave him a wide smile. I cannot let him come to harm, not if it is within my power to prevent his humiliation.”

He smiled, revealing two dimples, then took her hand and kissed it. Excellent, Miss Bennet, well done. I respect your loyalty. Once we speak with your uncle, I shall obtain the licence. Do you have a preference as to in which church we should wed?”

Mr Darcy, before we proceed with the details of the ceremony, I must ask you something.” Elizabeth gathered her courage. What I mean to say is…how do you envision this marriage?”

I assume you will have your say in this?”

It would be best, Mr Darcy, for I am known to possess a temper when crossed.”  

As am I.”  

She looked at him with an arched brow. The mirth in his eyes reassured her, and her fear dissipated. I believe that honesty saves time and trouble. Shall I be first to lay out my thoughts and state that I expect them to hold for the both of us?”

Visibly taken aback, he replied, Pray, continue.

My parents were not blessed with marital felicity, due to the dichotomy in their understanding. We, that is to say, you and I, are practically strangers, are we not?”  

He nodded.

I should like for us to attempt a friendship first, before proceeding to the more...intimate particulars of marriage.”

For how long?”

As long as required,” she shot back immediately.

I do not think I can…um…” 

She levelled a steely gaze upon him. You would take me against my will?”

He looked at her, then away, then back again, a flush appearing on his cheeks.

Surely you, of all men, realise the advantages of a woman who is willing to enter the marital bed, no, Mr Darcy?”

He chuckled, which lightened the mood, and shook his head. You are absolutely right, Miss Bennet. I should never want any woman in my bed who was unwilling to be there.” His eyes darkened, and he took her hand to his lips, kissing it slowly. He kept hold of it, drawing circles on its back with his thumb. As I mentioned previously, people I esteem are greatly impressed with your wit, your intelligence, and your character. You caught me in your web before my hungry eyes ever laid hold of you. I shall wait until you call me to your bed.”  

Thank you,” she said. Then, drawing a breath against the distractions of his lips on her gloved hand, she asked, And your notions of fidelity?”

Of course, I expect fidelity,” he said with a grin.

For both of us?”

He stopped his ministrations to her hand, looked hard into her eyes, and spoke with utter confidence. Yes. For both of us.”

As the park began to fill with nursemaids and their charges, Mr Darcy and Elizabeths conversation turned to the more practical matter of arranging a wedding in less than a week. When they had sketched a rough outline of events, he stood, offering his arm.

Shall we go and speak to your uncle?”

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Author Bio

A lifelong writer, Mary Anne Mushatt relocated to New Orleans last century, where she earned an MFA and created a documentary of oral histories in the African-American and Native American communities along Louisiana’s River Road.  When the levees failed, exiling her family from their home, she discovered the community of Jane Austen acolytes and began writing novels placing the beloved characters of Pride & Prejudice in innovative situations. Taken is her second published novel.  As a result of one of her earlier novels, she works with a multi-disciplinary team aiding victims of human trafficking become survivors.

Mary Anne lives in New Orleans with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.


Book cover: For the Deepest Love by Mary Anne Mushatt
Buy Links

For the Deepest Love is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Mary Anne Mushatt's previous book Taken is available in audio so fingers crossed that this one makes it to audio too! 

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

 

Giveaway Time

 

Quills and Quartos are giving away an ebook of For the Deepest Love to a commenter on this blog post. To enter, just leave a comment below - a winner will be chosen by Q&Q on 11 June, and announced on their Facebook and Instagram.

If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

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43 comments:

  1. I love the dress on the cover. I also love early marriage scenarios, so I am looking forward to reading this.

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    1. Once they marry -- that's when the fun begins!

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    2. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it, Cyndy :)

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  2. This sounds like a great book. Loved the excerpt and hope this new publication does well. Thank you for featuring here.

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  3. I have a comment to add from Glynis

    Still unable to comment on site 😢. I love this conversation between Darcy and Elizabeth 🥰 and can’t wait to read this book! I believe any angst is caused by others and isn’t between ODC so that’s good! Thank you for sharing this wonderful excerpt 💐🥰

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    1. My pleasure. I have always loved stories where E&D are united against external threats.

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    2. Hope you enjoy, Glynis! I am sorry that you have trouble commenting. I keep saying that I am going to switch to wordpress but I always seem to be too busy to sort it out :(

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  4. Read this book on KU and it is certainly a five star rating for me. My favorite trope is when E&D unite as a team from the beginning of their acquaintance and face the villains together. Thank you for entering me in the drawing.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, and I'm with you in loving watching E&D work things out between themselves so they present a united front against those who would rend them asunder.

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    2. So glad to hear you enjoyed it, foreverHis.

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  5. Great cover and excerpt. Congratulations on the release of your new book.

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  6. Thank you. It's a thrill to have an actual copy in my hands.

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  7. Congratulations. I am excited to read this version of Pride and Prejudice.

    Both are going into this marriage with their eyes open. So how long until a HEA?

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  8. Well ... not so long, it's just to get there it's as Bette Davis once said 'a bumpy ride.' But I hope you enjoy it anyway.

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  9. I need this cover as a picture so I can hang on my wall....lol I am also interested in the story I swear, it's just that the cover really stands out. :-)

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. Fingers crossed the story keeps up with it Though I will say the look they exchange on the cover IS what I envisioned for this E&D

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    2. Maybe you should treat yourself to the paperback! I don't mind reading ebooks but when it's a book with a cover you really like it seems a shame not to be able to enjoy it!

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  10. Well that sounds thrilling and that excerpt left me wanting more.

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  11. Awesome! Thank you for your kind words, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

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  12. I've heard wonderful things about this book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

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    1. I hope it exceeds your expectations. And thanks!

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    2. Thanks for commenting, darcybennett. Hope you enjoy it when you read it.

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  13. Thank you for the excerpt. Such a captivating cover and excited to read the life they'll have

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  14. You're welcome. There's not a dull moment in store for these 2. Enjoy the ride.

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  15. I’ve got this on my TBR. I loved it online (years ago) and know I’ll enjoy it all over again. Congrats, Mary Anne!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely thoughts, and for keeping with me.

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    2. It's great when you realise that something you enjoyed online is being made available to a wider audience. I'm glad that authors like you and Mary Anne make the leap to publishing :)

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  16. I'm sorry for being late for the giveaway, but I did want to comment that this was quite... breathtaking. I'm melting to my couch a little. Thank you for posting this.

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    1. I'm glad you like it. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

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    2. What a lovely comment. So glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

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  17. Quills and Quartos selected ebook winners from the blog tour. They were Xena Anne, Kate C, Jennifer Redlarczyk, Sophia Rose and Michelle H. Please contact Kristi at books@quillsandquartospub.com to claim your prize if you haven't already. Congratulations to all the winners and the best of luck to Mary Anne Mushatt on her new book :)

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    1. Thank you, and congratulations to all the winners. I hope you enjoy the read.

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