Tag Archive | JAFF

Excerpt from My New Novel

 

Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter of my new P&P variation, Chaos Comes to Longbourn. It’s going to the editor today, so hopefully it’ll be out the beginning of June. The excerpt is a bit long, but it’s worth it. 🙂
It takes place the night of the Netherfield ball in the library.

“You came to be alone with my half-dressed sister in a dimly lit library by accident?” Elizabeth scoffed.  Darcy could not prevent a wince; of all the women at the ball, why was she the one to have discovered him in this ridiculous situation?

Darcy drew himself up and straightened his cravat.  “Well, yes.”  He was aware how absurd the claim sounded, but it was the truth.  “When I arrived, Miss Lydia was lying in the corner.  I wanted to help her, but I tripped and fell on top…” Darcy’s voice petered out.  Anything he details he might add at this point would only make the situation worse.

It did not help that Lydia chose that moment to burst into tears.

“I never thought very highly of you, Mr. Darcy—” Elizabeth intoned as she put a comforting arm around her sister’s shoulders.

Wait, she did not?

“—But I at least thought you too honorable to take advantage of girl who is but fifteen!”

Oh, Good Lord!  The girl was fifteen?  Georgiana was barely older.  Elizabeth’s family would think him scarcely better than Wickham.  No, it was intolerable!

Darcy rubbed his forehead with the palm of his hand.  “I do not molest children!” His voice sounded shrill and strained to his own ears.  “Another man was present.  He escaped through the door to the gardens!  Lydia was already dishabille when I arrived—”

“How convenient for you,” Elizabeth sneered.  Her words were punctuated by a sob from her sister.

“Ask her!”  Darcy demanded.  “Ask Miss Lydia.  No doubt she arrived her with the man.”

Just as the words left his mouth Darcy realized how badly he had miscalculated.  Lydia’s hands fell from her tear-streaked face, her eyes wide with horror.  She would never admit she had willingly accompanied a man into a darkened room.

Mrs. Bennet and Elizabeth stared at Lydia.  “Lydia, what happened?”  Elizabeth asked gently.

For a moment Darcy entertained the hope that Lydia would tell the truth, but then she shook her head vigorously.  “No!  There was never anyone else.  I am not that sort of girl!”  She dabbed her eyes theatrically with a handkerchief.

Some man had undoubtedly lured her away from the dance with promises and flattery she was too naïve to question.  If she were not seeking to tarnish his reputation, Darcy would feel more than a fleeting moment of sympathy.

Mrs. Bennet’s shrieks had brought a throng of guests crowding around the library’s doorway, including—much to Darcy’s horror—Bingley and Mr. Bennet.  Behind them stood that fool of a cleric, Elizabeth’s cousin.  Darcy’s stomach clenched and roiled at the sight of so many eyes observing and judging him.

Pushing his way into the room, Bingley shot Darcy a sympathetic glance.  “Mrs. Bennet, I am sure it is all a misunderstanding.”

“No!  No, there is no misunderstanding!”  Mrs. Bennet’s voice climbed into higher and higher registers.  “He has taken advantage of my poor girl!  He has ruined her reputation.  Everyone will know.”

Darcy refrained from observing that the situation could have been concealed were it not for Mrs. Bennet’s shrieks.

Mr. Bennet stepped into the room, his face a grim mask.  “I believe there is only one honorable course of action open to you, Mr. Darcy.”

A herd of horses was galloping through his stomach and his heart threatened to pound out of his chest.  Oh merciful heavens!  Lydia’s father expected him to offer marriage. Let this be some horrible dream!  Darcy paused.  Unfortunately he did not awaken.

Darcy stared at Lydia Bennet: silly, sobbing, foxed, and willing to leave a ball unchaperoned with some unknown man.  Without any family position, good understanding, or clever conversation, she met none of his criteria for a wife.  In fact, she was the exact opposite in almost every way.  If he had wanted a young, empty-headed chit, the ton could supply many with impeccable pedigrees.

His eyes brushed past Elizabeth, who was glaring at him implacably.  Asking her to dance was the least of his concerns now.  The thought struck him as darkly humorous.

However, he was troubled by the thought that she would think ill of him—she would see him as capable of seducing and abandoning her sister.  She had already declared her low opinion of him; he would hate to confirm it.

Mrs. Bennet wept noisily into her handkerchief while a scowling Mr. Bennet stalked toward Darcy. “Well, Darcy?  What will it be?”

If he failed to propose now, Elizabeth and the other onlookers would think him without honor.  But the thought of proposing was…profoundly distasteful.  Of course, a proposal was not a marriage.  If he proposed under duress now, Darcy might later find a way to escape the obligation.  The Bennet family might settle for a monetary settlement, but they could hardly discuss such a compromise here, in front of witnesses.

Yes, he would find the means to escape the situation later.  For now, he need only scrape together the remains of his dignity and live to fight another day. Devil take it!

He turned to the disheveled, red-faced, sobbing fifteen-year-old.  “Miss Lydia,” he said through gritted teeth.

“Y-yes?”  She granted him a quizzical smile and a hiccup.

“Would you do me the honor of being my wife?” Darcy was proud he did not choke on the words.  He did not have the slightest hope the chit would reject him; his fortune was too tempting.

“M-marry you?”  Lydia laughed.

Laughed!

Darcy failed to see any humor in the situation.  “W-why would I want to marry you?” She giggled, swaying a bit on her feet.

Was the girl touched in the head?

A frowning Mr. Bennet advanced on his daughter and took her arm.  “Lydia, you must accept him,” he explained in a low voice.  “Your reputation has been compromised.”

“But, look at him!”  She waved wildly at Darcy.  “He’s so stuffy and formal and dull.  And he does not even possess a red coat!”  A couple of onlookers tittered.  Even Mr. Bennet’s lips twitched.  However, Elizabeth’s glare did not relent.

Darcy rubbed the back of his neck.  This was a farce in every possible way.

“That may be true, my dear,” Mr. Bennet spoke gently to his daughter while staring daggers at Darcy.  “But you must accept him anyway.”

“I don’t want to!”  Lydia stamped her foot like a child denied a sweet.

“You must.” Mr. Bennet’s voice now held a hint of steel.  “You would not wish to experience a decrease in your allowance for hats and gloves.”

Lydia glared at her father.  “Papa, that is unfair!”  He crossed his arms and regarded her sternly. Finally she stepped backward and slumped into a chair with a huff.  “Very well!  Yes, Mr. Darcy, I accept.”  Her face arranged itself in a very unattractive pout.

Idly Darcy wondered if there had ever been a less romantic marriage proposal in the history of the world.  However, if Lydia possessed that little enthusiasm, perhaps they could reach some sort of agreement which would not leave him leg shackled.  Never before had he been grateful for being considered dull!  Of course, he had never before encountered a woman who thought ten thousand a year was dull.

Bingley began to direct guests—all chatting excitedly—toward the library door.   Lydia returned to sobbing into her hands.  With a scowl at Darcy, Mrs. Bennet swept across the floor to take the chair next to Lydia’s.  “It will not be so bad, my dear.  Mr. Darcy is very rich.”  Standing next to Lydia, Elizabeth colored at her mother’s tactlessness.

Darcy closed his eyes.  This could not possibly be happening.

“Rich?” Despite being muffled, Lydia’s tone was definitely interested.

“Yes!”  Mrs. Bennet trilled.  “You will have many fine dresses and carriages!”

Lydia peeked through her hands.  “More than my sisters?”

“I daresay.  They are not liable to find wealthier husbands!”

Lydia clapped in excitement.  “La!”  She squealed.  “How droll!”  She certainly has recovered from her mortification quickly.

Darcy could almost see the hope for an agreement with Lydia slipping further away.  Why would the girl accept a fraction of his fortune when she believed she was entitled to all of it?

But there was nothing he could accomplish tonight. Perhaps he could convince Lydia to break off their engagement tomorrow, once she had sobered.  Darcy spun on his heel and strode toward the hallway.

He needed a brandy. Or two. Or ten.

Mrs. Bennet’s shrill tones followed him as he hurried away.  “I daresay you will like being his wife.  Mrs. Darcy!  Oh, how well that sounds!”

“Yes, indeed!”  Lydia agreed with a giggle.

Lydia might like being Mrs. Darcy, but Darcy could not conceive how he would survive Lydia.

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Guest Blog and Giveaway at Diary of an Eccentric

I’m a guest today at Diary of an Eccentric where I talk about how I wove together elements of the plot for Romeo and Juliet with Pride and Prejudice–and an excerpt from the  Meryton assembly scene. There’s also a Giveaway of an ebook or paperback (winner’s choice)!

https://diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/guest-post-giveaway-darcy-vs-bennet-by-victoria-kincaid/

Double Giveaway! Darcy vs. Bennet and When Mary Met the Colonel!

From Pemberley to Milton is doing a double giveaway of my new novel, Darcy vs. Bennet, and my recent novella, When Mary Met the Colonel.  There’s also an interview – check it out.  Rita asked some very interesting questions.

https://frompemberleytomilton.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/victoria-kincaid-interview-giveaway/

Excerpt from My New Novel

Here is an excerpt from Darcy vs. Bennet, my upcoming P&P variation (a full length novel set in the Regency). It’s not available yet, but hopefully will be in a few weeks.  This excerpt is from near the beginning of the novel.  At a masquerade ball, Darcy and Elizabeth meet for the first time, but each is unaware of the other’s identity.

Darcy had barely taken three steps when he saw a vision.  Clad in a pale yellow gown, the woman’s figure was light and pleasing.  Lush curls of dark hair piled high on her head, intertwined with tiny flowers.  Instantly Darcy knew he had not encountered her before. She was not moving or conversing with anyone; in fact, she seemed a bit lost.

When Darcy stepped toward her, her eyes flashed up to his, and his breath caught.  Set off by the pale yellow mask, her eyes were a vibrant blue he had never seen before.  There was something about her…as if he knew her already…which was ridiculous since he had never met her before. Without a conscious decision, Darcy took several more steps toward the mystery woman.

She had turned her face away and was now scanning the crowd. Seeking another man?  He felt a twinge of unease, which was ridiculous.  He knew nothing about this woman.

A crease appeared between her eyes, and her mouth tightened.  Was she in distress? “May I be of service, miss?  You appear uneasy.”  What a ridiculous thing to say!  Surely he could think of a better way to introduce himself to this vision of loveliness.

Her eyes met his, and again he felt that thrill of recognition.  “I was looking for my friend.”  His surge of jealousy was instantly alleviated by her next words.  “She is blonde and wears a blue dress.”

“Ah, I believe she has accompanied my friend into the veranda for a dance.”

“Oh. So I have been abandoned.”  Her lips quirked into a half smile. She sees her friend’s abandonment as a cause for amusement rather than resentment, Darcy noted.

“As have I.  Perhaps we may be abandoned together.”  How did such flirtatious language emerge from his mouth?  Usually he had no facility with words.  Perhaps the mask offered him some kind of license?  But her clear blue eyes held his in a captive gaze.  No, it was her.  Something about this woman stirred feelings deep so all he saw—all he could see—was her.  The rest of the world simply fell away.

Her eyebrows tipped upward doubtfully.  Was he being too forward with a woman he had just met?  Darcy almost did not care.  He would do anything, break any rules of propriety, to stay with this enchanting creature. “Would you do me the honor of the next dance?”

She blinked rapidly and blushed, her gaze not meeting his.  Was the request such a surprise to her? Of course, they had not been introduced, but a masquerade should allow them to dispense with such formalities.  Then she gave him an arch look.  “A stranger in a mask has just asked me to dance.  What would my mother say I should do in this situation?”

Was she teasing him?  He has seen other men engage in such banter, but it never happened to him. He cleared his throat.  “I believe your mother would advise you to accept under the circumstances.”  He found himself smiling at her.  “I assure you, miss, I am not a highwayman, despite the mask.”

She tapped her lips thoughtfully with her forefinger.  “So you would have me believe you are a respectable gentleman?  I would expect a highwayman to say so.”

Darcy could not prevent a laugh from bursting forth.  At the beginning of their conversation he had suspected she might be unaware of his identity, but now he was sure of it.  No woman ever dared to banter with Fitzwilliam Darcy in such a way; they were too eager to compliment his figure, his features, his clothing, his horse…and anything else he possessed.  Every exchange with a marriageable woman was colored by awareness of his fortune—except this one—and it was delightful.  How had such a woman found her way into the Berwicks’ masquerade?

He restrained an impulse to take the woman’s hand; he did not know her.  “Very well, will you promise to dance with me if I promise not to purloin your reticule or jewelry?”   As he said this, he realized she possessed neither.  How odd.

She laughed, a bright, silvery sound.  He had made her laugh!  “Yes, I thank you.  But this set has just begun.”

Progress Report on New Works!

Okay, so when we last left our heroine, a struggling writer 🙂 , she was publishing a new novella and was finishing the first draft of a new, longer novel.  The novella, When Mary Met the Colonel, is published and doing well. It’s not selling as well as my novels,  but that may be because it’s a Mary/Colonel Fitzwilliam story.  Secondary character stories tend not to sell as well as Darcy/Elizabeth stories.  However, it has received some lovely reviews on Amazon and from various JAFF bloggers, so I am very please with it!

I also finished the latest draft of my new novel, Darcy vs. Bennet, a Elizabeth and Darcy P&P variation set during the Regency.  No, it’s not about a court case (or a lip sync contest, LOL).  The premise is that Darcy’s father (who is alive) and Mr. Bennet have a long-standing feud–which leads to many new complications for our heroes.  I’m working on an official blurb and will publish it when it’s ready.  The novel is now with the editor and the beta readers.  When I’ve completed the final edits from them, it will be ready to publish-hopefully in a couple weeks.

And…This has been a very productive, distraction-free weekend for me.  So, once I finished the draft of Darcy vs. Bennet, I started on my next novel.  This is also a P&P variation focused on D&E–although it will have scenes from other characters’ POVs as well (something I haven’t really done before), so it will be a bit more of an ensemble piece.  I’m having fun writing it.  In the past two days I’ve written nearly 11,500 words!  Unfortunately I’m now heading back to the land of distractions (although I love them dearly), so my pace will slow down.

Stay tuned for more…Same JAFF-time, Same JAFF-channel. 🙂

Giveaway and Guest Blog at Diary of an Eccentric

Today I’m a guest of Anna’s at the Diary of an Eccentric blog.  I talk about how my new novella, When Mary Met the Colonel, taught me something about myself.  There’s also an excerpt and a giveaway!

https://diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/guest-post-giveaway-when-mary-met-the-colonel-by-victoria-kincaid/

Wonderful Review and Giveaway Continues at Babblings of a Bookworm

Ceri at the Babblings of a Bookworm blog gave a lovely review to When Mary Met the Colonel. She writes, “… it’s a wonderfully romantic read. There is a lot of romance in the idea of two people who care for each other but who are divided, especially when neither has an indication that their affection is returned… sigh! I’d recommend this book …”

http://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/when-mary-met-colonel-by-victoria_17.html?m=1