By Jennifer Redlarczyk
(It is my pleasure to welcome Jennifer Redlarczyk today to Darcyholic Diversions. I first met her on the forums, and found her delightful. I am happy to let you know about her latest book. Be sure to read through to the end as you need to comment to win one of 2 copies of her book. Post your comment by October 16th by 9 pm est. BTCole...)
Greetings! I am pleased to here on Darcyholic Diversions today with my new release, Darcy’s Melody, inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In the year 1811 the war with France continues to rage, sending many injured men home to England where accommodations are limited. Raising funds to build an additional structure at the London Hospital for the wounded has become a top priority for Lady Eleanor Fitzwilliam, Countess of Matlock. She has not only enlisted members of the ton to assist with her committee, but women who are well-known throughout the trade community. It is within this endeavour that Elizabeth Bennet and Georgiana Darcy first meet through a mutual love of music. In this particular scene, however, Darcy and Elizabeth encounter each other under very different circumstances.
FROM CHAPTER ONE
Tuesday, 21 May 1811
Ballard’s was an eclectic treasure trove of rare first editions and unusual books located on the thoroughfare of Piccadilly. Although it appeared somewhat dingy and dimly lit from the outside, inside the ageing building the atmosphere was inviting, and a vast array of literature beckoned lovers of the written word.
Promptly at one o’clock, Fitzwilliam Darcy entered the bookshop and walked directly towards his favoured section. While paging through a military war journal, he instinctively glanced toward the back of the shop. Even with several patrons milling about the establishment today, Darcy’s eyes were drawn to a young lady who appeared to be examining a small book in the poetry section.
Closing the journal, Darcy ambled over to where the woman stood and began perusing the titles on a nearby shelf. After taking a book in hand, he purposely turned his head towards the young lady. Captivated by her large, dark emerald-green eyes sparkling with mischief, he felt his lips curve into a half smile when she spoke.
“Pray, sir, may I trouble you to hand me the book of Cowper poetry on the upper shelf?”
Darcy nodded. “With pleasure. Cowper is an excellent choice.”
As he reached for the book, she continued, “One poem in particular reminds me of Oakham Mount in Hertfordshire. I find I am rather desirous of its solace today if only through the eyes of the poet.”
Handing her the book, he answered in kind. “I understand your sentiments for I, too, am from the country and have longed to return to Derbyshire.”
Arching an eyebrow in his direction, she inclined her head and said, “I thank you, sir.”
“You are most welcome.”
As she turned the pages of her selection in search of the poem, Darcy heard the young lady gasp when both of her books slid out of her hands and onto the floor. “Oh dear,” she sighed, stooping down to retrieve them.
“Allow me,” he immediately offered. Both reaching for the books, Darcy felt her small, warm hand carefully slip a folded piece of paper into the palm of his own. The young lady had not replaced her glove after perusing her own book, and her skin was soft to the touch. Leaning closer, the faint scent of lavender seemed to strengthen, causing his chest to tighten and his heart to quicken in response.
Feigning innocence, she looked up at him and said, “Again, sir, I am in your debt. Perhaps I should make my purchases before I have another mishap.”
“Permit me to carry these to the desk for you.”
Acknowledging his offer with a slight curtsey, the young lady whispered, “Sir, I think we are being observed.” Then speaking louder, she added, “Thank you again. You are most kind.”
“Your servant.” He bowed. With his senses heightened from being forewarned of impending danger, Darcy spoke softly in return, “How did you come? I would not have you leave here unescorted.”
“There is a carriage waiting, sir. A manservant is nearby and a maid is within.”
“Then leave now and be careful.”
As you can tell from this opening scene, there is a bit of intrigue, not to mention Darcy feels an immediate attraction to Elizabeth when they first meet. Not long after, Darcy is made aware of Elizabeth’s identity, and because of her standing in society is resolved to keep his desires under good regulation. In this scene, however, we see that our hero’s subconscious is equally determined. Enjoy!
FROM CHAPTER SIX
Darcy’s Bed Chamber
The curtains fluttered back and forth as a cool, soothing breeze blew in through the open window. Darcy rolled over and reached for her soft, warm body, but she was not there. The mellow sound of her lovely voice humming a simple tune brought a smile to his lips.
Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he asked, “Where are you, my love?”
“I am here,” she answered from the balcony of their bedchamber.
Bathed in moonlight, he could see every curve of her silhouette beneath the thin sheath of her nightgown. Tempted by the sight, he stole out of bed and hurried to where she stood gazing at the stars.
“William, is it not beautiful?”
“Beautiful,” he whispered although his eyes were fixed solely on her. Gently wrapping his arms around the one he loved, Darcy inhaled the scent of lavender as he burrowed his face in her long tresses. Then, ever so softly, he placed tender kisses on the side of her neck, continuing down to her exposed shoulder. She willingly turned in his arms and began sliding her hands up his chest until her fingers slipped into his hair, clasping him firmly behind the neck. Her eyes were inviting, and his breath quickened as he lowered his head to claim her lips. In one swift motion, he picked her up and carried her to their bed.
“My darling, I love you.”
“I am yours,” she whispered.
To his dismay, a sudden gust of wind sent a shiver through his body, causing him to feel something was terribly wrong. Studying her face in the dim light, he wondered if the shadows were playing tricks on his vision. Pulling back in fear, he gasped when the woman in his arms leaned forward, allowing him to clearly see she was not his Elizabeth. She was....
“NO!” Darcy sat up in bed, drenched in perspiration. Struggling to be free of the sheets and regain his senses, he exclaimed, “Merciful Heaven, what is happening to me?”
Rising, he groaned while pushing the tangled mess aside and donning his robe. Immediately calling for a bath, he ordered his valet to have the water tepid for, at present, the heat radiating from his body was unbearable. Needing a few minutes, he walked over to a window, gripped the sashes, and breathed deeply. Every night since she was last in his home, he had dreamed of Elizabeth Bennet, and each and every night, the dream had become more vivid. “This has to stop. I shall not give in to this madness!”
Thanks so much to Barbara Tiller Cole for having me as her guest today. I hope all of you have enjoyed these short excerpts from my new book and will let me know how well you think Darcy is controlling his desires in your comments. Feel free to speculate about the other woman who was brazen enough to interrupt his dream. I look forward to hearing from you, and from those who comment, two winners will be chosen in my giveaway to receive a Darcy’s Melody eBook. (International) Good luck! Jen Red ♫
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am a private music instructor living in Crown Point, Indiana where I teach voice, violin and piano and work as an adjunct music professor at Purdue University Northwest. As a teen, I was introduced to Jane Austen by my mother who loved old books, old movies and old songs. In the summer of 2011, I stumbled upon Jane Austen Fanfiction at a Barnes and Noble store and became obsessed with this genre. From there, I met several talented JAFF authors and devoted readers who were active on social media and eventually became a moderator for the private JAFF forum, DarcyandLizzy.com. It was there that I first tried my hand at writing short stories. I have the greatest appreciation for the creative world of Jane Austen Fanfiction and am thrilled to be a part of the JAFF community.
You can find me at: DarcyandLizzy.com, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on YouTube. On my Pinterest page you will find inspiration pictures for each chapter of Darcy’s Melody as well as my other books, and on my YouTube channel you can listen to my recordings of all of Lizzy’s songs. ~ Jennifer Redlarczyk (Jen Red) ♫
Thanks again Barbara for hosting me today! It's a pleasure to be your guest and I look forward to hearing from your readers. Enjoy! Jennifer Redlarczyk ♫ReplyDelete
So glad to have you here Jen! It was a great post and I am enjoying the book as well!Delete
Thank you for the excerpt from the book.ReplyDelete
Thanks Rabbit Mary! Good luck in the giveaway which ends Tuesday night. Jen ♫Delete
I am most definitely intrigued! Two great excerpts! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book and find out what Darcy and Lizzy are up to. Spies? I want to know!ReplyDelete
Thanks Pamela Hunter for stopping by. There are a lot of fun scenes in my tale. Good luck on the giveaway. Jen ♫Delete
Thanks for the great post Barbara and Jen. It’s such a great, heartwarming story about kindness, sisterly devotion and music. Darcy and Elizabeth are our main romantic couple, but there is a lot of going on apart from romance. I loved this a bit softer, genuinely kind Lizzy. And Jen’s recording of the songs is a heavenly treat.ReplyDelete
Congratulations Jen. I already own the book, so please don’t count me for the giveaway.
Thanks so much KateB for stopping by and giving my book the thumbs up. I appreciate your support. Jen ♫ReplyDelete
Delightful excerpts and I hope you been having fun with 'the book tours" You write so well the characters and their relationships. I am glad to have the time to visit here as it had been a long time since I visited Darcyholics Diversions.ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by. I was thrilled when Barbara asked me to be her guest. Yes, the blog tours have been fun and I'm pleased that so many folks have read my book. Thanks again, Jen Red ♫ReplyDelete
If Darcy was having a nightmare I would suggest that the other woman is Caroline BingleyReplyDelete
Hi Vesper, some nightmare! In my story there are two possible candidates: Caroline Bingley and Lady Clarissa. Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway. Jen ♫Delete
fun excerpt and I found a new JAFF blog!ReplyDelete
Thanks Theresa! I agree, it's always nice to find more JAFF buddies, and Barbara has lots of fun posts here on her blog. Good luck on my giveaway. Jen Red ♫Delete
Glad to have you here at Darcyholic Diversions, Theresa! Welcome!Delete
I loved this story and you will too. If you haven't read it yet, here's your chance to win a copy! Looking forward to your next story, Jen. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Brenda! I appreciate your support and "A Holiday to Remember" is just around the corner. Jen ♫Delete
I was lucky enough to win this book on an earlier post and am a third of the way through. Loving it and I really enjoyed Darcy's dream, poor man wasn't too happy with the ending so I hope the reality surpasses this when if it happens. Thank you Jen and obviously don't include me in this drawing :)ReplyDelete
Glynis, I'm so happy to hear that you are enjoying my book. Thanks for saying! Jen Red ♫Delete
Enjoyed the excerpts. I wonder if it was Miss Bingley who interrupted him.ReplyDelete
HI darcybennett, Well in my story there are two women who are vying for Darcy's attention. Miss Bingley and Lady Clarissa, so it could be either of them. Not telling. At any rate, the man has it bad for Lizzy and it's only the 6th chapter. Thanks for stopping by. Jen Red ♫Delete
How interesting! Love the premise. Will definitely be adding the book to me "to be read" list.ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will enjoy my book down the road and good luck in the giveaway. Jen Red ♫Delete
Thank you for the excerpt. I love her books/stories, especially this one. This story is full of music, kindness/softness of Our Dear Couple (Darcy and Elizabeth), and a good relationship between Georgiana and Elizabeth. Thank you for writing it. BludpoisonReplyDelete
Thank you so much Bludpoison. Your kind words mean much to me. Good luck in the giveaway! Jen Red ♫Delete
Bludpoison! Thanks for visiting us here! More posts planned soon. Hope you will join the blog so you will know when posts are posted!Delete
Congrats on publishing! Loved the excerpt! <3ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm happy you enjoyed my excerpt! Jen Red ♫Delete
Very tempting excerpt that you shared, Jennifer. I think Darcy isn't doing very well in controlling his desires and most likely will make a faux pas in front of Elizabeth. Hm... the other woman could be a society lady like Caroline but I would hope not.ReplyDelete
Hi Lúthien84, Well speculation about the woman's identity is revealed as the chapter goes on but it's between Caroline and Lady Clarissa as both would to make their move on poor Darcy. Ha Ha! Thanks for stopping by. Jen ♫Delete