Waking to Mr. Darcy, excerpt

Waking to Mr. Darcy, excerpt

Time stretched on, one long, quiet minute after another. Elizabeth shifted in her bed, attempting to get comfortable. The pain in her head and leg made the task somewhat difficult, but her mind made it nearly impossible. Mrs. Darcy. The words echoed in her mind over and over. She was to be married to the man she despised. There was no hope of avoidance of the fact. She was alone with him in a cabin somewhere near Netherfield, dressed only in his shirt — she closed her eyes in mortification — which he had put on her. How was she to accept such a fate? How was she to accept such a man? She drew in a deep breath and released it slowly. Perhaps after a good rest, her head would not hurt as much, and the spinning would stop. Then, possibly then, she would be able to reconcile herself to her fate.  (chapter 4)

Waking to Mr. Darcy is set just before the succession of rain that leads up to the Netherfield Ball.  Mr. Wickham has arrived in Hertfordshire, as has Mr. Collins.  Aunt Phillips has hosted her card party, giving Wickham time to discuss Darcy with Elizabeth.  Nothing that has happened in the story has done a bit of good in convincing Elizabeth that Darcy is anything less than an arrogant, disdainful man.  In fact, Wickham has begun to do a credible job of strengthening this opinion.  

There is a law in science that says an object in motion will tend to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. I would dare to say that this principle is not only true of objects but of attitudes and opinions as well. Often, the attitude or opinion of a person about something or someone will continue on its path of either approving or disapproving of that thing or person unless something happens which causes the person to reevaluate his or her attitude or opinion.  Sometimes that outward force will strengthen the opinion held, while other times it will weaken it or even completely reverse it.

At the beginning of Waking to Mr. Darcy, Darcy is considering leaving Netherfield to restore a sense of peace to his life — a sense of peace that the presence of the lovely Miss Elizabeth Bennet threatens to destroy — and Elizabeth is set on her path of continued disapproval of Darcy.  However, fate will intervene in the form of a clap of thunder and a patch of slippery mud, throwing them together and causing each to reevaluate the other in an attempt to gain a happily ever after.

That is the focus of this short novella.  It is a journey of acceptance and approval that both Darcy and Elizabeth must take.  Darcy’s reversal of opinion comes rather quickly since he has already begun to suspect he is in danger of falling irreversibly in love with Elizabeth, but Elizabeth’s journey will take a bit longer. She must travel from dislike to acceptance to love.

In writing this story, I chose to keep that focus narrow. I evaluated each option of where this story could progress and cut the things that drew focus away from the inner workings of our dearly loved couple.  That’s not an easy task! There were many tangents that could have been explored. A furious Aunt Catherine could arrive.  Caroline or Wickham could attempt an interference. Mr. Bennet could have disapproved of the match and forced an alternative.  Mr. Collins could have…well, he does try something, but he’s really too ridiculous to be a real threat (as is Mrs. Bennet).  I could have explored more of Jane and Bingley’s relationship or the lives of any of the other Bennet sisters.  All of these things would have been entertaining, but they would not have kept the focus where I wanted it.  This story is not an external journey of events.  It is an internal journey. It is an awakening to what is true and best.  And so, every outward event had to have a purpose in relation to the inward journey without cluttering and obscuring the view.  



The results of this careful plotting of scenes is a short and sweet story of discovery…

from acceptance

“Mr. Darcy,” she called after him.

He turned toward her.

“Do you forgive me for my foolishness in listening to Mr. Wickham?”

He smiled.  “Can you forgive me my words from our first meeting?”

Her brows furrowed, but a smile played at her lips.  “I believe I can.”

“Then we shall begin anew — wiser for our foibles.”

Elizabeth watched him leave.  He appeared different to her.  His shoulders were not so rigid, and there was a certain softness to his movements that had not been there before.  Mr. Wickham’s words came once again to her mind. “Among those who are at all his equals in consequence, he is a very different man from what he is to the less prosperous.” She shook her head.  She had not changed in consequence. She was now as she always was, the daughter of a gentleman who, though of good standing in Hertfordshire, was far less prosperous than Mr. Darcy.  Her mother had not changed nor had her aunts and uncles.  They were still from trade, and yet, Mr. Darcy seemed at ease with her now.  She had, she assumed, breached the wall and entered the circle of those with whom he felt comfortable.  She smiled and shook her head again. To think that being the friend of Mr. Darcy suddenly pleased her so!  It was, she knew, due to her growing understanding of him.  He was not as she had contrived.  It was on his character and reviewing his actions in this new light of understanding that she was still thinking when he returned. (chapter 5)

to approval

Mr. Bennet coughed, and Elizabeth was nearly certain it was an attempt to cover a chuckle.  He knew what she did — she and Mr. Collins were a most ill-matched pairing.

“Quarreling and debate are not the same things,” muttered Darcy.

“Quite right, Mr. Darcy,” said Elizabeth with a smile.  She paused for a moment and tilted her head as she looked at him.  A rather pleasant fluttering of excitement started in her stomach and spread through her chest and arms before causing her head to spin slightly. (chapter 7)


There was something deliciously sweet in his chiding, concerned tone as it wrapped itself around her heart.  How had she been so blind to what she wanted — to what she truly felt?   “I will not sit in the house with that man when the man I wish with all my heart to be with stands in the garden thinking I care for another.” (chapter 9)

As it turns out, this story was not only a journey of discovery for Darcy and Elizabeth, for along the way, I met Mary — a fascinating Mary who will be getting her own short and sweet tale.  For those who have not read the chapter that is included in the back of Waking to Mr. Darcy, you can read it on the Writer’s Block Forum. (<– click the link, it will take you there) I hope to have that novella completed and ready for Christmas reading.


Now, we can’t have a book begin it’s published life without a giveaway, can we? (Well, I guess, we could, but what fun would there be in that?) Waking to Mr. Darcy is published as a stand-alone novella and also as a part of a book pair called A Dash of Darcy Duo 1 (the other book in that pair is Finally Mrs. Darcy).  To be entered to win your choice of an ebook copy of A Dash or Darcy Duo 1 or Waking to Mrs. Darcy, leave a comment below and include your preference.  Contest closes at midnight EST on Friday, September 30, 2016. 



60 Responses to Waking to Mr. Darcy, excerpt

  1. Congratulations on the new release, I always enjoy your writing. Put me in for A Dash of Darcy please-I just love that title!!!

    • Thank you! I will put you down for that one…I am glad you like it. I hope to get another duo written over the next year…one duo a year is the minimum goal…we’ll see how that pans out. I really enjoyed writing these two short ones, so I might have to indulge in the pleasure more often than once a year 🙂

  2. Novellas are difficult to write as the construction must be very tight, as you found out. Thank you for the excerpt! I would love to win A Dash of Darcy Duo 1 and thank you for the giveaway.

    • Yes, they are not easy! I know they are short so it seems they must be easier, but they are not. I love writing them, however (and reading them). I actually listened to a podcast between two authors (not this genre) where one writes short stories and the other writes very long novels. They were discussing just how difficult it is to write short, and the novel writer said the she could not do it (at least not yet) because it was so challenging. And the other compared the short story and novella to a marathon runner that needs to be lean and fast and a novel to the body builder that needs bulk. I liked that imagery.
      Thank you for your comments and good luck in the giveaway!

  3. Enjoyable start..now need to read the rest. Always enjoy adding new titles/authors to my TBR list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    • Thank you. I did try to stay true to what I interpret their characters to be even though I am putting them in a more self-reflective position. I am pleased with the result, so hopefully, readers will be as well.

  4. My order of Finally Mrs Darcy just arrived; now I’m looking forward to reading and finishing it so I can move on to Waking to Mr Darcy. Many thanks for the tantalizing excerpt and the giveaway, and please enter me for this book. Many thanks!

  5. Please do not include me in the drawing as I have both books [Finally Mrs. Darcy and Waking to Mr. Darcy] and loved them. I just wanted to reply so I could say thank you for such delightful books.

  6. Congratulations on the release. Would love to win a copy. Great teaser and cannot wait to read more. Always love to add new books the TBR list.

    • Awesome! One should always have a well-stocked TBR list. However, in case you ever need to know when deciding on what book to pull out of the pile. This one is short….a couple hours to read. So, if time is limited, this would be a great choice. 😉 Good luck in the giveaway!

  7. This looks soooo good. Also, I’m pleased for you that you’ve discovered Mary. I discovered her when I wrote Elizabeth, Darcy, and Me, both books 1 and 2, and I grew to love her more every day.

    • I LOVE writing stories for secondary characters! I wrote my first Mary-centered story (No Other Choice) last year. I loved her in that story and her love interest, Lord Rycroft, is still one of my favourite characters that I have written. He was just so much fun. Although, I have to say that I am also enjoying Mr. Marcus Dobney in my current WIP blog story — it is just so hard to pick a favourite sometimes. 🙂 Oh, and that story is a Lydia story, and believe it or not (I know it is hard to believe but it is true) I am LOVING this Lydia (She’s not what anyone expects)and keep liking her more and more as the story goes on, so I get what you mean about that! Such a great part of writing the secondary characters is getting to know and love them.

    • Thank you, Jen! Getting close to done with my first editing pass through The Tenant’s Guest…once that one is done, I can focus on Mary’s story. I am feeling a little impatient to get started. 🙂

  8. Leenie, Congrats on your release of Waking to Mr. Darcy! I would enjoy an e-copy of A Dash of Darcy Duo. Thank you for the chance. 🙂

    • Well, if you don’t already have Finally Mrs. Darcy, then I would definitely choose the Dash of Darcy Duo since that book and Waking to Mr. Darcy are both in it. 🙂 Good luck!

  9. Please leave me out of the drawing as I already own both but I just wanted to say that I love this story! I am rather fond of this Mr. Darcy. 🙂

  10. Very intriguing! You have my attention! I have read many of your stories but these two are not yet among them. I would be thrilled to win either one.

  11. This is intriguing. It seems like a mellow read but interesting all the same, and deep. Thank you for the giveaway

  12. This sounds like a sweet story instead of one with a lot of acrimony and nail-biting. Thank you for sharing – and for the giveaway! either book is fine for me.

  13. The excerpts sound intriguing. We get to see Elizabeth go through all the stages of finally accepting her fate of being Mrs. Darcy.(Not a bad fate at all.) Since both books are on my wishlist, I would like an ebook of A Dash of Darcy Duo. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. I’m so looking forward to reading this book. I am curious as to why he had to dress her in his shirt???? (and also envious!!!) anyway I would love to win a copy of Waking to Mr Darcy as I already have Finally Mrs Darcy.

  15. Reading this is akin to having someone massage my back. Differing emphasis on differing places,, sometimes with cat kneading motion, sometimes heavier work on more demanding concepts/consequences. Nicely done! I am looking forward to the total picture.

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