The Finishing Touches

The Finishing Touches

After nearly four months and frequent starts and stops along the way, I’m finally set to add the finishing touches to my upcoming release, Christmas, Love and Mr. Darcy.

I know it is way past the Christmas season, but after considering the timing of this release long and hard, I decided not to wait up to seven months or so before sharing the story with everyone.

The target release timeframe is the end of March. Here’s the story’s (working) blurb:

Mr. Darcy is tired of being alone for the holidays and he is determined to do something about it. Miss Elizabeth Bennet has never desired Mr. Darcy’s good opinion and yet she arrives in London for the Twelfth Night ball and soon learns he is bestowing it, most ardently. In this charming Pride and Prejudice holiday escape, Elizabeth was not looking for love, but what happens when love comes looking for her?

The last time I shared an excerpt from Christmas, Love and Mr. Darcy here at Austen Authors, I left you with this:

Chapter 6 (snippet)

Here she was with undoubtedly one of the most handsome gentlemen of her acquaintance. Even if he was not her favorite, she had no reason to suppose he might never be. Already, the ill will she felt toward him at the start of the evening was melting like icicle-ladened tree branches under the bright sun on a winter’s day. His ardent avowal of his intentions could only encourage.

Added to that, Mr. Darcy smelled as good as he looked. The essence of sandalwood and spices flooded her senses. What on earth had she ever done to earn this man’s good opinion? Whatever it was, surely it had been most unconsciously done. The very thought of being alone with Mr. Darcy in that instance made Elizabeth tremble. This he must have regarded as her being chilled. He was not entirely wrong.

“It’s cold,” she said.

Mr. Darcy removed his coat with haste and placed it about her shoulders. His hands resting on either lapel, he drew them together a little. “Does this feel better?”

Their gazes locked.

As if against her will, Elizabeth moistened her lower lip. Her heartbeat thumping in her chest drowned out every possible thought. She said nothing.

Mr. Darcy leaned closer. He whispered in her ear. “Would you repeat that, Miss Elizabeth? I seem to be hard of hearing.”

His warm breath caressed her skin. Before Elizabeth could fashion a response to his teasing, his soft lips brushed along her chin, the corner of her mouth, her lips. Her first kiss ever! If ever there was a perfect night for a first kiss, this assuredly was it. And oh, what a kiss it was, especially as it dawned on her that she was kissing him right back.

 

Here’s what happens next:

 

Chapter 7 (snippet)

 

Owing to their aunt Mrs. Gardiner’s keen understanding, Elizabeth and Jane did not awaken before midday. They never would have enjoyed such liberty if they were at Longbourn. Their mother would have rallied them from their beds with inquiries of how the previous night had unfolded. What a relief indeed for Elizabeth especially, for she had yet to fathom how she could have spent the better part of the evening being wooed by Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. She could hardly countenance, much less explain, such an inexplicable prospect.

Making matters worse, Elizabeth had the audacity to dream of the haughty gentleman, no doubt a consequence of having drifted off to sleep remembering the lingering touch of his lips upon hers.

My utter dislike of Mr. Darcy has been months in the making, has it not? Pray, what on earth was I thinking in allowing him such liberties?

Not once during our time in Hertfordshire did Mr. Darcy venture beyond the bounds of propriety. Indeed, I was absolutely persuaded he only ever looked at me to find fault. And yet, last night found the two of us in each other’s arms.

* Add Christmas, Love and Mr. Darcy to your Goodreads shelf today!

Elizabeth threw the bedcovers over her head and flailed her arms and legs in silent protest.

“Dearest, Lizzy,” Jane said, sitting up in her own bed across from her sister’s.

Elizabeth peeked from under the covers. “You are awake? I hope I did not disturb your slumber.”

“Oh, no! I have been awake for a while. I have been waiting for you to open your eyes. Did you sleep well?” Jane asked.

“As well as one might expect after such a night.” The younger sister sat up in bed and, resting her head on her hand, gave Jane her full attention. “No doubt, you are eager to regale me with tales of the handsome Mr. Bingley.”

Jane’s countenance overspread with the brightest, most angelic glow. “I do not know when I have ever had so much fun at a ball.” Jane started speaking at length of all she had enjoyed the night before, much to Elizabeth’s delight.

Oh, to see her sister so happy after the general discontent she had suffered since the Netherfield party left Hertfordshire. Surely it is merely a matter of weeks, if not days, before Jane’s happiness is complete.

All talk on the subject of Jane and her Mr. Bingley once exhausted, Jane said, “Now that I think of it, I recall our being apart for quite some time. I supposed you were with Mr. Darcy, were you not?”

Elizabeth merely half-smiled. She said nothing.

Jane threw her sister a curious glance. “What was that look? Pray the two of you did not have crossed words.”

“Not exactly.”

“I suppose that is a consolation of sorts. I know how much you dislike him.”

Elizabeth stared off into the distance. Hence my dilemma, she silently considered.

“Well, do not keep me in suspense,” Jane said.

“What would you have me say?”

“You must tell me how things unfolded between the two of you. Are your feelings toward Mr. Darcy the same as they ever were, or perchance something has changed between the two of you?”

“I am afraid there is not much to tell. We danced. We talked.”

We walked, Elizabeth did not say aloud. We… we ki—

Elizabeth swallowed hard. “As I said, there was not much to entertain.”

“Why do I feel as though you are being evasive?”

“Oh, Jane! Have you never heard the saying, what happens at a Twelfth Night ball, stays at a Twelfth Night ball?” Elizabeth asked, desirous of changing the subject.

The elder sister frowned. “I am quite certain I never have. Is that really such a saying?”

Elizabeth half laughed. “If not, I posit it ought to be.”

 

I know the saying goes: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But after Darcy and Elizabeth’s scandalous behavior, I’m just saying…


Giveaway Time!

Comment below for a chance to win a release date eBook edition of Christmas, Love and Mr. Darcy. One winner will be selected. The giveaway contest ends on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

58 Responses to The Finishing Touches

  1. This is a fabulous excerpt, Pam. I can see she is beginning to love Darcy but she is still conflicted about her own feelings towards him. Another one of your beautiful covers to look at too.

  2. Best wishes with your new release. Thanks for sharing the excerpts here and for a chance to win. Stay safe. I will put it on my pile TBR if I don’t win.

  3. Congratulations on your newest release and thank you for the giveaway, this sounds like another really interesting book!

    Hope everyone is staying safe.

  4. Intrigued what really happened in that Twelfth Night ball.What led them both to act such… eager to read more about the stiry. Thankyou for the chance to win a copy

  5. Oh my does this sound entertaining! I’m loving the imagery…her ill will melting from her….his hands bringing his jacket lapels closer around her. Can’t wait!!!

  6. I’m so glad you decided not to wait to share this story with us. It sounds fantastic and I look forward to reading!

    (It looks like my initial comment has not gone through so I am trying again)

  7. I love that Elizabeth and Darcys first kiss was at the Twelfth Night Ball.I can’t wait to read some more.

  8. A first kiss? Lovely! Surely Elizabeth is questioning her feelings for Darcy? Hopefully she’ll see him again soon and her regard will vastly improve? I assume he took his coat back before she left or he could have come to retrieve it, it’s a shame I wasn’t there to advise him of such! 🙂

    • Thanks, Glynis. I think you’d be an excellent love coach for Mr. Darcy. Great points about Elizabeth. I hope you’ll love the story. 🙂

  9. Oh my, that was quute a tease! Thanks for not waiting till the end of the year to release this.

  10. I always love it when Darcy kisses Lizzie when it is most unexpected. Can’t wait to read this early Christmas story.

  11. Excellent snippets, oh, yes! That was well done, indeed. Whew! Elizabeth and Darcy at a Twelfth Night Ball. I need my fan. Good luck to all in the drawing. Blessings, I wish you much success on this launch. Stay safe and healthy.

  12. I love it – “…what happens at a Twelfth Night ball, stays at a Twelfth Night ball.” That should definitely be given meme treatment! Thank you for sharing an excerpt with us, and congrats on the release!

    • It’s my pleasure, Robin. Meme treatment for this quote is a great idea. I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks for your kind wishes. I hope you’ll love the story. 🙂

  13. The snippets are absolutely delightful! Cannot wait for the release date. My favourite is the meme concerning Miss Bingley writing a note under duress. You gave me my first laugh of the day. Thank you.

    • It’s my pleasure, Sue. I’m glad you enjoyed the snippets as well as the Caroline Bingley meme. What a visual. 🙂 I hope you’ll love the story!

  14. Loved these excerpts, Pam. I laughed at Elizabeth’s reactions. Glad to know she was losing her antipathy for Mr. Darcy…Quickly. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • It’s my pleasure, Gianna. I’m glad you loved the excerpts. I hope you’ll love the story just as much. Great point about Elizabeth’s feelings. 🙂

  15. Wow! What a teasing excerpt! I always enjoy your books and am looking forward to this one, also. Wishing you success.

  16. Oh, goodness! How scandalous — a kiss!

    Congratulations on the new book. Thank you for sharing!

  17. I sent a comment a moment ago but it seems to have disappeared! Let’s try this again …

    You are mistaken, Pam: It’s early for the Christmas season, and those of us who like to get an early start are delighted that this is being released now! Best wishes for a successful launch.

  18. You’re mistaken, Pam: it’s *early* for the Christmas season! Those of us who like to plan ahead are delighted about the timing of this book. Wishing you a successful launch – JPB

    • “Early” for the Christmas season. I love how you put that, Janis. Now I feel so much better about the timing. Thanks so much for your kind wishes. I hope you’ll love the story. 🙂

  19. Oh I love it. “ Oh, Jane! Have you never heard the saying, what happens at a Twelfth Night ball, stays at a Twelfth Night ball?” I can’t wait to read it.

  20. Haha, I love it. “Oh, Jane! Have you never heard the saying, what happens at a Twelfth Night ball, stays at a Twelfth Night ball?” .
    I love getting excited over a book after just reading a just a small bit of it.

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