Thursday’s Three Hundred: With the Colonel’s Help, Part 15

Previous parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14,

A/N: Just to keep us on track as far as the timeline goes, this is the morning after Elizabeth’s arrival in town with Lydia and the morning after both Darcy and Elizabeth have learned of Mr. Bennet cutting ties with Darcy.  I know the time has been spread out over many words and weeks of posts, so thought it feels like this break between families has been ongoing for some time, it is fresh for our characters.

Chapter 8A

Richard rode up Gracechurch Street and then down.  In front of the Gardiner’s home, there was a carriage being made ready for travel, but he had not seen more than one small truck and a bag being loaded.  Surely, if the Bennets were travelling, there would be more luggage than that.  He took one more tour of Gracechurch Street before determining that he was not going to be able to speak to Mr. Bennet on the road as he thought he might be able to.  He would have to knock and ask for a conference despite the early hour. So, that is what he did.  He knocked; he requested; and now, he waited.

There was scurrying to and fro above him.  Doors opened and closed.  Heavy feet hurried up the stairs and down a hall, while at least one other set of feet descended the stairs and passed through the hall just outside the closed door to the room in which Richard paced.

Richard took one more turn around the small sitting room, pausing at the window long enough to see Sir William and Maria entering the carriage.  Sir William agreed to something Mr. Bennet was saying, and then the door was closed and the carriage moved away. As Mr. Bennet turned to enter the house, Richard took a seat and waited for the man to enter the sitting room, which he did.

“Colonel Fitzwilliam, I had not thought to see you again,” Mr. Bennet began, giving only a small tip of his head in greeting.  He lowered himself into a chair slowly as if he were a man twice his age and weary to the bone.

Richard imagined Mr. Bennet was exhausted.  Worry could do that.  If Richard were to pause and recall his own concern for his cousin, he would likely yawn and scrub his face.  He had slept very ill, and he suspected the same was true of the man sitting across from him.

“I told you yesterday that I would see the matter regarding Mr. Wickham through.  I will not go back on my word, no matter how you have treated my family.”  He pitied the man’s having to worry for his daughter, but he was not going to take a gentle approach.  Mr. Bennet needed to feel the weight of his responsibility in this matter.

“Your family?” Mr. Bennet’s eyes grew wide as his face reddened.  “It is your family, who has endangered mine.”

Colonel Fitzwilliam raised a brow.  “I disagree,” he said before adding, “How is Miss Lydia this morning?” Continue reading Thursday’s Three Hundred: With the Colonel’s Help, Part 15

Music Monday: Wind, Brian Crain

When I write, I like to have instrumental music playing. This is not news to those who have been following my blog for any length of time. 🙂  I have several playlists of music that I can choose from when I sit down to write. Often, I pick randomly.  However, for this last story — the one I just finished the first draft of this week — I couldn’t pick a random piece of music. This story demanded I listen to Brian Crain.

29briancrain. “Brian Crain – Wind.” YouTube, YouTube, 26 July 2016,

There were two albums my brain favoured for this story.  One was Piano and Light. The other, which contains the above song, was Piano Opus. A few minutes of closing my eyes and listening to either of these albums seemed just the thing to let my brain know it was time to write. Even when I sat down to write this blog post, I put on “Wind” and before the song was half over, my brain had calmed and was focused on writing. I think it is amazing how our bodies can learn to react to signals like that!

Now that you know why I am sharing this particular piece of music, let’s move on to the writing news for the week and then enjoy a story excerpt.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 15 from 3-5 pm EST, Zoe Burton, Rose Fairbanks, and I are hosting an Austen in August Garden Party on Facebook. There will be opportunities to share some favourites, test your knowledge of Jane Austen’s novels in a scavenger hunt, and (hopefully) pick up one of our books in a giveaway. Giveaways (7 of them) will be scattered throughout the time, and you will have to be present to claim a book. You can join the party here:

Austen in August Garden Party.

Henry: To Prove Himself Worthy is now available for pre-orders with a release day scheduled for August 29.  You can pre-order that book at this link:

Henry: to Prove Himself Worthy.  

(Oh, by the way, this is one of the books I will be giving away at the party tomorrow.)

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have completed the first draft of Unravelling Mr. Darcy.  I have let it sit for a couple of days, and will begin working my way through the first round of edits this week.

While it was sitting, I started writing what will be the next Thursday’s Three Hundred story which is called Confounding Caroline and is excerpted below.

AN EXCERPT from Confounding Caroline Continue reading Music Monday: Wind, Brian Crain

Thursday’s Three Hundred: With the Colonel’s Help, Part 14

Previous parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13,

A/N: This part is a bit shorter this week. As I said at the beginning of the story, I am posting these in the segments in which this story was written. My aim each day is a minimum of one thousand words.  Some days I exceed that amount, but this day, I fell just a few words short.

Chapter 7B

“We are leaving in the morning?” Jane whispered after Lydia had fallen asleep.

Elizabeth nodded.  “Papa says Lydia needs Mama.”

Jane raised a brow.

Elizabeth smiled wryly and nodded her agreement.  Mama was not good in a sick room.  Having her fluttering about — and loudly — was never conducive to recovery.  However, Lydia and Mama had a special relationship so it might not be all bad.

“I am sorry,” she said to Jane.  “I know you had hoped to see Mr. Bingley.”  She stopped talking and drew a breath to keep the tears that were gathering once again from falling.

Jane gave her a sad smile.  “I was, but perhaps he will come to Netherfield.”

It was so like Jane to attempt to remain positive even when things were dire.

“And perhaps Mr. Darcy will join him.” Jane smiled as she came to stand next to Elizabeth and placed a hand on her shoulder reassuringly.

“Perhaps,” Elizabeth said weakly.  He would not.  But it would do little good to discuss that detail with Jane right now. It would only start the flood of tears once again, and her head already hurt from crying earlier. She did not need to increase her pain.

“You do not think he will?” Jane asked, sitting down on the edge of the bed. Continue reading Thursday’s Three Hundred: With the Colonel’s Help, Part 14

Music Monday: Saint-Saëns ~ The Swan

I’m sharing two stumbled upon videos today — one is a music video and the other is a talk about music. I know you may not have time for both videos, so go ahead and listen to the music video as you read my writing news and the story excerpt. Then, when you have time (about 21 minutes of time) come back and listen to the second video. The speaker has some very good points that he presents in an entertaining fashion.

Brooklyn Duo. “Saint-Saëns: The Swan (Cello and Piano) – Brooklyn Duo.” YouTube, YouTube, 29 May 2015.
TEDtalksDirector. “The Transformative Power of Classical Music | Benjamin Zander.”YouTube, YouTube, 27 June 2008.

I feel like I have a lot of “disjointed” material to cover today, so I think I will use sections and headers instead of attempting to make to flow together cohesively. Up first…


Let me tell you how I came upon the first video since that is one that has been added to my Music to Write By Playlist.  I went out with a friend this week. We did some shopping and had lunch.  One of the places we stopped at was a thrift store. I always peruse the CD rack when I go into thrift shops. I have found lots of good music that way.  This time was no exception. I came out with five CDs — four for when I am writing and one for my husband — and they only cost me $2.50 total! (I know, that’s a great bargain!)

One of those CDs is called “Provence: A Romantic Journey” which is comprised of fifteen French classical pieces of music.  The first song on that CD is the one in today’s music video.

(By the way for those who do listen to the second video, which was a YouTube suggestion to me this week, track 5 on my CD is the piano piece he plays in the video.)


Writing News

I had a good writing week this last week. I did not get as many words written as I wanted to. However, I did get a good number of words added to Dash of Darcy #4 (which has a title now…see below), and I managed to get half way through final edits for Henry: To Prove Himself Worthy.  I call that a good productive week!

August is scheduled to be a busy month of Tuesdays for me.  It started with the release of His Beautiful Bea and an Austen Authors post last Tuesday and will continue with a couple of book sales, a Facebook Austen in August Garden Party (August 15th from 3 PM ET to 5 PM ET), and a book release on August 22nd before finishing up with another Austen Authors post on August 29th.

The first book sale will be this Tuesday. It will be a TWO-DAY Kindle sale (or just about a two-day sale as it does take a bit of time before and after to get prices adjusted). Watch for details about this sale on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well as in your inbox if you are on my mailing list.

And now…

A STORY EXCERPT FROM Unravelling Mr. Darcy:   Continue reading Music Monday: Saint-Saëns ~ The Swan

Thursday’s Three Hundred: With the Colonel’s Help, Part 13

Previous parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12,

A/N: We will spend two weeks with Elizabeth as she comes to realize her feelings for Mr. Darcy in the face of what she has lost.

Chapter 7A

“Papa, what do you mean we are leaving in the morning?”  Elizabeth stood in the hall outside Lydia’s room and kept her voice soft so as not to disturb Lydia if, indeed, Lydia could hear what was being said.

“She needs her mother.” Mr. Bennet drew a hand across his brow as if he his head was sore.  “It is best if she is at home.”

“But Papa, Mr. Darcy has promised his physician.  Surely, his care would be superior to the apothecary or surgeon in Hertfordshire.”  Her brows furrowed as her father’s features seemed to darken.

“We have no need of that man’s help.” His words were stern and determined further furrowing Elizabeth’s brow. “If he had not interfered or if he had told us of Wickham…” Her father shook his head.

“Or if Lydia had thought!” refuted Elizabeth.

“She would not have needed to think.”

Elizabeth recoiled at his sharp tone.

“We leave in the morning. Prepare accordingly.  I will not discuss this any further.”

“But what of Jane, Papa?”

Mr. Bennet closed his eyes as he drew and released a breath.  “Mr. Bingley still holds the lease to Netherfield and can call on Jane at home if he chooses. We are not staying in town. Lydia needs her mother.”

“But Mr. Darcy was to call tomorrow.”

“We have seen the last of him,” said her father.

Elizabeth gasped, and her hand grasped the neckline of her dress just above her aching heart.  “Why?” The question was barely a whisper.

“I have severed our acquaintance,” Mr. Bennet explained, “I do not wish my daughters to be further endangered by such an arrogant man.”

Elizabeth opened her mouth to protest but closed it again as no words would form.  Severed their acquaintance?  Was she truly to never see Mr. Darcy again?  She wished to ask, but her voice failed her.

Had her father not turned and walked away, he might have seen the pain his words had caused his favourite daughter.  Had he not descended the stairs without a glance backward, he might have seen Elizabeth slip to the floor and drop her head to her knees. If he had not been in the drawing room, he might have heard her shuddering breaths and small gasping sobs.  But he was in the drawing room.  He had not looked back, and so he was unaware that he had caused great harm to his daughter.

While Elizabeth cried, Lydia stirred momentarily, Jane wiped her sister’s brow, Mrs. Gardiner sat on the end of the bed, rubbing Lydia’s feet, and Mr. Bennet settled into a chair across from Sir William and next to Mr. Gardiner with a glass of port and his thoughts for company.

Elizabeth was likewise left with just her thoughts for company — thoughts about a man, whom she had come to know better and admire, thoughts about never seeing that man again, and thoughts about how bleak and dreary life would be without that man.

Finally, after some minutes of tearful self-indulgence, Elizabeth rose and went to her room to wash her face.  The tear-stained face with puffy eyes and red nose that stared back at her brought to mind the image of Jane when Mr. Bingley had left Netherfield.  It was the face of a broken heart.  Elizabeth’s shoulders drooped, and her eyes filled once again with tears.

“Lizzy,” Jane peeked her head around the door to their room.  “Lydia opened her eyes and asked for you.”

Elizabeth splashed water on her face and then dried it with a towel.  “I will be there directly,” she said from behind her towel.

She drew a steadying breath.  Thoughts of Mr. Darcy must be put away for the present.  Lydia had to be her immediate concern.  And so with her resolve formed she went to see Lydia.

Lydia’s smile was weak and her voice soft when she greeted Elizabeth.  “I am ever so glad you found me,” she said as she held Elizabeth’s hand.

“Shhhh,” said Elizabeth. “You must rest.  We are going home to Mama in the morning.”

“We cannot,” Lydia attempted to push up in the bed.

“We must,” Elizabeth assured her.  “Papa has said we must.”

“But I have not seen Mr. Bingley,” Lydia protested.

Elizabeth nodded and smoothed Lydia’s hair back from her forehead.  “Mr. Darcy will tell him you were here.”

She hoped it was true; however, with her father having severed his ties with Mr. Darcy, Mr. Darcy might not speak to his friend on Jane’s behalf. She paused.  No, he would.  He had said he would tell Mr. Bingley of Jane’s being in town, and he was the sort of man that kept his word.  Was he not?

Although the comment had started a flurry of unsettling thoughts for Elizabeth, it seemed to be just what Lydia needed to hear because she smiled and nestled down into her blankets.

“Rest,” said Elizabeth. “Jane, Aunt Gardiner, and I will be here if you need anything.  Sleep, so tomorrow, when you see Mama, she will not worry because you look wane.” She smoothed her sister’s hair again. “You would not wish to worry Mama, would you?”

Lydia shook her head and then, as Elizabeth continued stroking her hair, fell into a restful slumber.


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