What will you find in this week’s Music Monday post? Well, today, I have a musical selection from my Music to Write By playlist, news of a “new” book, and an excerpt (half of what is currently the first chapter) from a just started story. So, click play and while this beautiful song swells, read on to find out more.
ThePianoGuys. “The Cello Song – (Bach Is Back with 7 More Cellos) – The Piano Guys.”YouTube. YouTube, 14 June 2011. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.
<– This happened this week. I have compiled three of my stand-alone books into an anthology of stories focused on the theme of second chances. Included in this collection are For Peace of Mind, Through Every Storm, and Finally Mrs. Darcy. New Beginnings is available both in ebook (at a nearly 50% savings off the individual titles) and paperback. You can find it at this link: New Beginnings
In addition to publishing this anthology, I also began writing a new story this week. The plan is for this story to be a Dash of Darcy story, which means it should be about 20,000 words and will focus on a new way for Darcy and Elizabeth to get together. I have preliminary plot notes and a few thousand words written. I hope to have the first draft completed by the end of February so that this short novella will be available in March — perhaps in time for some March Break (Spring Break) reading! 😉
Here is a longish excerpt from the beginning of this story:
“Fitzwilliam,” Lady Catherine called to Colonel Fitzwilliam as he passed the door to her sitting room. “Your ride can wait,” she said in answer to the reply she knew was coming.
Colonel Fitzwilliam sighed and turned in to the room.
“Just Fitzwilliam.” Lady Catherine looked down her nose and made a brushing motion with her hand indicating that her other nephew, Fitzwilliam Darcy, should leave the room. “Close the door,” she called after him. She waited until it was latched, and she heard footsteps moving away from the room. Then, she took Colonel Fitzwilliam by the arm and pulled him further into the room.
“Sit.” She motioned to a chair in a grouping in front of a window that looked out onto the front garden of the house.
Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam rolled his eyes and did as instructed. It was pointless to do otherwise. Lady Catherine always had her way or there was a price to pay. It was far cheaper and easier to just listen. “To what might I ascribe the honor of this private conference?”
Lady Catherine’s eyes narrowed at his cheeky tone, but she did not reprimand him for it. He was always attempting to stir her ire, but today, she would allow no such distractions. She stood near the window. She tilted her head to peer out and around toward the door where Darcy was just exiting. “It is time he marries,” she said.
“Darcy?” Richard’s eyes grew wide in surprise.
She nodded and took a seat across from her nephew. “Yes, Darcy. Georgiana is not getting any younger and will need someone besides just her brother to guide her through her first season.”
“But Anne –“
“Not Anne. They would not suit.”
“But?” Richard was at a loss for words. His aunt had always insisted that Darcy would marry Anne. In fact, it was a supposed engagement that had kept Darcy from feeling a need to begin looking in earnest for a lady to help him secure his estate for future generations.
Lady Catherine picked at a small flower on the arm of her chair. “He was not ready to begin a family. I had to keep him from rushing forward into his duty somehow.”
Richard’s mouth dropped open and then snapped shut. There were still no coherent thoughts forming in his mind. What his aunt was currently saying was clashing with what she had always said previously. Had she not taunted Darcy about doing his duty by marrying Anne?
She shook her head as if reading his thoughts. “Darcy was never going to marry Anne, and Anne knew it.”
Richard’s brows furrowed, and his lips pursed into a perplexed scowl. “You will need to explain.”
Lady Catherine rose and walked to the window. Darcy was still pacing in the front garden. “I promised his mother that I would see him marry well and for love.” She raised a brow at Richard, causing his mouth to snap shut. “When his father died, he was not ready to take on the responsibilities of an estate and make a proper decision about a wife. He would have rushed pell-mell into an untenable marriage that would have perhaps resulted in a family, but not a happy one. He would have used some supposed list of qualifications of a proper wife and never thought once about the misery he would have faced as a result.” She tipped her head and gave Richard a firm look. “Do not tell me he would not have done so. You know as well as I that he puts duty before everything.” She shook her head. “I still think he has no idea what sort of wife he requires.”
Richard laughed. “And you do?”
Lady Catherine returned to her chair. “I do, and I have found her.” She chuckled at the way Richard’s mouth dropped open again. “A simple county miss with a keen mind.”
“And you found her?”
Lady Catherine raised one shoulder and let it drop slightly. “I believe, I have.” She leaned forward as she prepared to tell him how she had done it. “My parson is the heir to an estate that is entailed — a distant cousin or some such thing. It is difficult at times to follow his meandering.”
Richard raised a brow and smirked, earning a rap on the knee.
“I am not meandering.”
Richard inclined his head in acceptance although the smirk did not fade from his lips.
“Anyway, this cousin has five daughters — three of a good marriageable age and two just reaching it.” She smiled as the smirk dropped from Richard’s face and was replaced with amazement. “I sent him to find a wife from among them because I reasoned that if he could marry one, then the others might be asked to visit on occasion, and I might be able to select one for Darcy.”
Richard shook his head. “How did you know these ladies would be simple country misses with intelligence?”
Lady Catherine shrugged. “Collins had said their father eschewed town and spent the chief portion of his time in his study. I thought it likely that at least one daughter might have inherited her father’s love of books and learning.”
Richard nodded. That made sense. It was unlikely that all five daughters would be completely unlike their father. “Was he successful?”
Lady Catherine laughed. “No, he was not, and I really should have known he would go about it wrong. He tends to bungle things, but in his bungling, he has made my task of selection most easy.” She laughed again. “She refused him — soundly, and she is not taken with Darcy. Quite the contrary. She thinks him proud.” Her eyes fairly danced with mirth. “Collins did secure a wife, however, and Mrs. Collins happens to be Mrs. Darcy’s particular friend. That is how I know so much about my choice. Mrs. Collins is a lovely lady, very sensible — quite the opposite of her husband.”
Richard’s head tilted to the side. “Your parson has a guest.”
A smile split Lady Catherine’s face. “Upon my urging, he does.”
“The lady you have selected?”
Lady Catherine’s brows flicked up quickly. “Clever is it not?”