Friday, 15 October 2021

In Essentials by Helen Williams - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour: In Essentials by Helen Williams
Today I’m happy to be welcoming a new visitor to Babblings of a Bookworm. The blog tour for Helen WilliamsPride & Prejudice variation In Essentials stops by here today. Helen has brought us a really lovely excerpt, and Meryton Press are also offering an ebook giveaway to accompany the blog tour. Read on for more details!

Book Cover: In Essentials by Helen Williams
Book Description

Five months after Darcy’s disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet,

he discovers that the woman he ardently loves is suffering from a grave illness.

Despite an affliction that has left her altered, Elizabeth Bennet is still the same person in essentials: witty, sanguine, and obstinate. However, her future is uncertain, and she struggles to maintain her equanimity—especially when Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to Netherfield and seems determined to improve her opinion of him. Now she must decide whether she is brave enough to trust him and embrace happiness, however fleeting it might prove to be.

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Excerpt from In Essentials, Introduced by Author Helen Williams

In this Pride and Prejudice variation, a strange and unforeseen twist of fate complicates the lives of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

On her way home to Longbourn from Rosings – Mr Darcy’s proposal still fresh in her mind – Elizabeth begins to experience the initial symptoms of an unknown and incapacitating illness. Months pass, and her doctors give her little reason to hope for recovery. But Elizabeth is not so easily intimidated, and faces the prospect of spending the rest of her life as an invalid with characteristic courage.

By the time news of her illness reaches him at Pemberley, Fitzwilliam Darcy has forgiven Elizabeth Bennet all her intemperate words and is as much in love with her as ever. Determined to prove he has attended to her reproofs – and wishing only to be of comfort to Elizabeth in her time of need – Darcy returns to Netherfield and is undeterred by the changes she has undergone. Because Darcy sees that Elizabeth is, in essentials, very much still the woman he fell in love with.

Book Cover: In Essentials by Helen Williams
Excerpt - Chapter 8

In this excerpt, Elizabeth and Mrs Gardiner discuss the former’s hesitations to accept Mr Darcy.

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Mrs Gardiner sat on the bedside and began. “I owe you an apology, my dear. That was badly done of me. I did not mean to make you uncomfortable.”

“Oh, do not think of it. I made myself uncomfortable. I wished to make light of it but found that I could not and then felt very silly as a consequence. But I had hoped to ask your advice.”

“Then let us make a new beginning. I shall start: I confess I was not wholly surprised by your father’s intelligence, having seen for myself how anxious Mr Darcy was for news of you when we met him at Pemberley. But I must surmise that there is much I do not know, for you will own that your prior opinion of Mr Darcy was not conducive to forming an attachment.”

“I was far too free with my opinions, Aunt. It would have served me better had I kept my own counsel. If I had, I would not feel and appear such a fool now. In short, I am a veritable goose—worse, indeed, as I had prided myself on my perspicacity. I could not have been more wrongheaded had I tried.”

“By this admission, am I to understand that you no longer think ill of Mr Darcy?” Mrs Gardiner said with a loving smile.

“Quite the opposite, in fact.” Elizabeth blushed and smiled ruefully. “I think him the best of men.”

“I shall not ask you to explain yourself. The matter is too close to your heart. But you spoke of needing my advice?”

After a long pause, Elizabeth revealed her difficulty. “Mr Darcy has proposed.”

Mrs Gardiner stifled her expression of delight, realising there was more intelligence to come.

Elizabeth laughingly continued. “Yes, you are right to suspect it. I have not accepted him.”

“And do you mean to?”

“I would like to, but I cannot help wondering whether I should.”

“On account of your health?” Elizabeth nodded. “What is Mr Darcy’s opinion of the matter?”

“He says he will be happy, but I cannot so easily dismiss the fact that I cannot give him children, nor that I might not live to see my thirtieth year.”

“Elizabeth”—Mrs Gardiner sighed, taking her niece’s hand—“when have you ever wasted a moment’s concern on what may or may not come to pass? When have you ever let happiness pass you by? My darling, your fortitude and resilience this year has been truly admirable. Do not let it fail you now! You must not let a possibility of unhappiness ruin the guarantee of happiness, for I perceive very clearly that you care a good deal for Mr Darcy.”

“I do,” Elizabeth confessed tearfully. “These past weeks, he has been my almost constant companion. And I love him so dearly. But it would break my heart to bring him pain, as I am sure to do in time. Might it not be the lesser evil to turn him away now?”

“No, for he will continue to love you, and if you are taken from us, he will not have had the consolation of years of your devotion and companionship. You will hurt him more—not less—if you do this, Lizzy. I am certain of it.”

Elizabeth was much struck by this representation. Mrs Gardiner, perceiving this, continued.

“I do understand your doubts, and they do you credit as they stem from the desire to avoid hurting those you love—” Elizabeth began to say something but then closed her mouth. “What is it, dear?” Mrs Gardiner asked gently.

“I am afraid that I am not so selfless—not entirely.”

“What do you mean?”

“I suppose…I am worried that I shall make a poor Mrs Darcy—not to Mr Darcy, but to the wider world. In marrying him, I shall be exposing myself to the judgement of society. And if I am being honest, I do not savour the thought of being made to feel—perhaps justifiably— inadequate. My dear aunt, it has been hard enough to withstand Lydia’s impatience and insensitivity. I shudder at the thought of what others will say of me. And I am sure it will upset Mr Darcy as well, as he would feel any slight to me very deeply.”

Mrs Gardiner sat up straight. “As would any man who cared a whit for his wife! But I think him far too sensible to concern himself with the opinion of those who would fail to make allowances for your illness, and you know you need have no fears on account of your behaviour. And if your health fails you from time to time, it will be nothing to those who really care for you. I can certainly sympathise with your reluctance to expose yourself to unpleasantries, but I do not think you will be troubled unduly. Furthermore, on the occasions that someone is unkind, a loving, supportive husband would be just the remedy!”

“He has been very good to me.” Elizabeth smiled at the remembrance. “He has a very delicate touch—solicitous and considerate, whilst treating me much as he ever did. There have been many instances when I am with him that I quite forget I am ill.”

“Most likely because he still sees you for who you are, my dear.”

“They do say love is blind,” Elizabeth quipped with a self-deprecating smile that hid much insecurity.

“On the contrary, I think him very clear-sighted. In essentials, Elizabeth, you are still the young lady he fell in love with, and he clearly knows you well enough to perceive it. You are very privileged to have found such a man.”

Elizabeth smiled tremulously, and Mrs Gardiner drew her niece into her arms for a reassuring embrace.

“Be happy, my dear girl,” her aunt whispered in her ear. After kissing the top of her head, Mrs Gardiner released her.

“Thank you. You have helped me to make much better sense of my feelings.”

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Author Helen Williams
Author Bio

Helen Williams lives in Cambridge, UK where she works for the University of Cambridge. She has been writing as a hobby for around 15 years and has written several novel length stories based on the work of Jane Austen. Helen has Welsh roots so her stories will often include a couple of references to the land of her fathers, in addition to her two other loves – dogs and rugby. In addition to writing, Helen’s hobbies include cooking, hiking, cycling and campaigning for green initiatives. Having been diagnosed with pituitary growths in 2015 and 2020, Helen is also an active member of the Pituitary Foundation and her experiences with chronic illness inspired her latest story.

Facebook Author Page

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Buy Links 

In Essentials is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. 

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

Giveaway Time!


Meryton Press is giving away 6 ebooks of In Essentials by Helen Williams to accompany the blog tour. To enter, please use the rafflecopter linked below.




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 

Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Blog Tour Graphic - In Essentials by Helen Williams

October 11 From Pemberley to Milton

October 12 Savvy Verse & Wit

October 13 My Jane Austen Book Club

October 14 My Vices and Weaknesses

October 15 Babblings of a Bookworm

October 16 Donadee’s Corner


  1. I borrowed this book from KU but have not yet started reading it. The idea of Elizabeth having such a condition is depressing. But such is life in reality. Good luck with the release and thanks for sharing here.

    1. I hope you don't find the book itself depressing; that was exactly what I was trying to avoid!

    2. I'm about 45% of the way through and so far I am not depressed but we will see.

    3. I find it a melancholy concept, but I am glad to hear that it's not intended to be a sad story.

  2. Thank you for hosting, Ceri! I loved this scene when I was reading the book. I still do. Aunt Gardiner is a wise woman! Thank you, Helen, and best wishes with your release!

    1. Thank you, Janet. I hope you enjoyed the book (sounds like you've finished it already!).

    2. Thanks for organising the tour Janet!

  3. Thanks goodness for Mrs. Gardiner.

  4. What sage advice, and how moving the scene is! Thanks for such a good excerpt, Helen, and thanks for hosting, Ceri!

    1. Mrs Gardiner is so often the voice of reason for Lizzy, isn't she! Glad you enjoyed the scene.

  5. I'm glad you liked it, Suzan. I think the love for Mrs Gardiner is universal in the JAFF world!

  6. It is a five star book in my opinion.
    I read it on KU and would love a permanent copy.
    Thanks for the giveaway. I do appreciate it, but I struggle with Rafflecopter.

    1. So glad to hear how highly you rate this book!

  7. Loved this excerpt. Love Mrs Gardiner...such poweful words to convince even an obstinate lady. Tahnk you for sharing and the chance to win a copy

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  9. Congratulations on this release. I sincerely appreciate the wisdom Mrs. Gardiner gave to Elizabeth. Now my hop is she takes it.


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