Saturday, 25 June 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON ... HOPE FOR MR DARCY BY JEANNA ELLWORTH + GIVEAWAY


Jeanna Ellsworth Lake
Thank you for the chance to share with you my latest release! The Hope Series Trilogy is a series of love stories where each character has to endure the hopelessness of unrequited love.


But where there is love, there is always hopeI thought I would give you one of my favorite scenes in Hope for Mr. Darcy, the first in the Hope Series Trilogy. But I will have to give you a bit of background to help you understand the dynamics of the environment.  Darcy had been refused the day before. The first part of the excerpt is from Elizabeth’s perspective, while she is very ill and delusional. 

However, every word and touch between Darcy and Elizabeth are actually happening in the real world where Darcy is questionably sane himself. (LOL – I mean who has ever suffered unrequited love is truly in their right mind??). The second section is from Darcy’s perspective and what is actually happening in the Collins’ parsonage sitting room. I would apologize for the length of it . . . but I think you might thank me instead!   *wink wink




Read an excerpt  


Elizabeth had felt alone for a brief moment. But no sooner had she called out for Mr. Darcy, than he was right beside her again, his hand in hers again.
“Do not fret, Elizabeth,” he whispered. “I am here.”
Elizabeth opened her eyes and looked to her left, and sure enough, he was there. Her gaze returned to the sun. “This is such a beautiful place. I believe I could stay here forever. Do you ever stay here for long periods of time?”
“No, not usually. But I will stay if you wish.”
Elizabeth was sure she already knew that. This place seemed to effectively communicate things with accuracy; she felt privileged to partake of it. She could hear things without ears. She observed without seeing. Without speaking, she was able to say exactly what she meant. Her heart spoke for her, yet she never felt her lips move, although they might have out of habit. Her only limitation in communicating in this garden was her ability to describe it.


There were simply no words.
She had no explanation for how it was possible, but she didn’t doubt this knowledge. It was as if it was familiar, like a memory, and that she had always communicated with her heart and spirit but simply hadn’t done so for a very long time.
Yes, she knew he would stay if she wished it. “I think I would like that,” she confessed.
“Then I will stay. You have my word as a gentleman.”
Elizabeth gave his hand a squeeze, and he returned it with a gentle one of his own. His hand sent tingles up her arm. There was something different about him. She couldn’t quite say what it was. It tickled her brain, and she tried to remember what was so altered. She glanced at him. He was still handsome even though he hadn’t shaved. She had the strongest urge to touch his face. She stopped walking towards the sun for a moment, and so did he. She paused in hesitation. It certainly wasn’t proper to touch a man’s face, but this paradise had a different set of rules. For some reason, she knew he wouldn’t mind. There was some sort of unspoken language between them. She reached out her free hand and murmured, “May I touch your face?”
In a very hoarse voice, he replied, “You may.”
Her arm felt heavy in its attempt, and he seemed to know it, so he reached for her hand and placed it on his jaw. She could feel the strength of his constitution. She could feel his integrity. She could feel his compassion and devotion. And she could feel his love. All with a simple touch. If it wasn’t for the warmth of the sun on her back, she might have felt scared by these sensations, for surely they did not have that kind of relationship yet. But instead of feeling scared, she felt a renewal of her desire to continue walking towards the sun. She turned to go, but he held her hand to his face a little longer. In that small moment, she could feel a surge of his compassion for her. He was worried about her.
“Why are you worried, Mr. Darcy?”
“I want you to rest.”
“But I want to reach the sun. I must go there.”
“The sun will come up again tomorrow. Please rest, Miss Elizabeth.”
He was right. She was tired. She nodded and just then, the sun started to go down. All this time she had thought it was morning. But she realized the light had never moved above the horizon.
Even though the sun’s warmth was beginning to recede, she still felt warm and comfortable. She realized the warmth was coming from him now. He led her to a bench.
He gently said, “We can talk all day tomorrow if you would like.”
They sat down together on the bench. The stone should have felt cold, but it was warm to the touch. The peace of the garden washed over her again, and although she had never been here before, she instantly felt at home.
“Are you comfortable?” he asked.
“Yes. I feel safe with you. Somehow I know you will protect me. I am not sure how I know it, but I do.”
The silence was filled with the unspoken language that seemed to pass between them. She leaned into his shoulder slightly, and he placed his arm around her. It was as if they had known each other for decades.
“Why do you like lemon in your tea?” Elizabeth inquired after a few moments.
“How did you know I like lemon in my tea?” Mr. Darcy asked, surprised.
“You always smell of lemon. But it is more than that. Somehow I knew it as soon I as touched your face. I suppose a better hostess would have noticed how you take your tea, but this place communicates differently, or maybe it communicates more accurately, I do not know. It was like you told me all about yourself as soon as I touched your jaw.” Elizabeth looked up at him, and he smiled briefly.
“My father always put lemon in his tea,” he admitted. Her eyes started to drift closed, but she was fighting hard to stay awake. “I know you are weary, Elizabeth,” he murmured. “Please try to rest.”
“I am tired, so very tired. Do you promise we will walk to the sun tomorrow?”
“If you are feeling better, I promise we will. I would like nothing better than to walk in the sun with you.”
Elizabeth felt confused. Something he had said wasn’t right . . . “No, not in the sun. I want to walk to the sun. That light right there at the end of the path. The sun wants me.”
“What do you mean? Why does the sun want you?”
“I do not know. I feel its light and warmth and love. It makes me feel safe. But you make me feel all those things too.”
“Let us talk about the sun another time. For now, will you promise me something?”
She could hear his fear again. She closed her eyes. The sun was completely gone now, but she still felt warm with his arm around her. “Yes.”
“Do not go to the sun without me.”
“Why?”
“Trust me. I need you to stay with me.”
She was silent for a while. She contemplated what he was asking of her. The sun was a good thing. She knew it in her heart. “But the sun wants me.”
“I want you too,” he whispered into her ear, and then he gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze.
“I know.” She did not know how she knew, but she knew she was loved. She was desired. She was cherished. But she was so very, very tired. “Goodnight, Mr. Darcy.”
“I will be right here when you wake up. Do not go to the sun without me.”

*****

Elizabeth eyes closed, and her breathing became deep and slow. He could tell she had fallen asleep again. Darcy gently lowered her back down onto the chaise. He reluctantly looked up from Elizabeth’s face and saw, for the first time, the expressions of everyone else in the room. They had all just witnessed every word uttered between Elizabeth and himself. Not only that, but they had seen her touch his face. They had witnessed him putting his arm around her shoulders.
To say the room was shocked was an understatement. Mrs. Collins’s mouth hung open, and she had her hand on her lower abdomen. Mr. Osborn was seated at the desk, speechless, pen frozen in mid-sentence. Darcy willed himself not to, but he unconsciously looked to his cousin. Colonel Fitzwilliam was trying hard to adopt an appropriate look of disapproval to mask his obvious glee at the situation.
Darcy stood up and addressed the room briefly. “I realize my behavior just now was highly irregular. I do not make a habit of holding ladies in such a manner. But she was too weak sit up, and it seemed only gentlemanly to offer her my support.” The corners of Mrs. Collins’s mouth started to rise as he continued to try to explain away what just happened. “One must do what one can to assist the ill,” he added, clearing his throat.
“Yes, of course, Mr. Darcy,” Mrs. Collins agreed with a hint of a smile. “It is my understanding—and correct me if I am wrong, Mr. Osborn—that we should all do everything we can to support Elizabeth and make her comfortable, even if her requests may seem . . . irregular, as Mr. Darcy put it.”
Colonel Fitzwilliam quickly caught on and began nodding his approval.
“Lady Catherine would insist upon it, I believe,” Charlotte ventured. “Do you not think so, Mr. Osborn?”
The doctor lowered his pencil and notepad and seemed to gather his thoughts. “But are you not the nephew who is engaged to Lady Anne?”
Darcy could see the man’s loyalty slipping away. But he could not allow the moment to pass him by. “While I certainly admire Lady Anne, I have never offered for her. And I am not sure she has the constitution at present to marry and bear children.” When that seemed to offer only a small amount of satisfaction, he added, “Lady Catherine and I have discussed the need for an heir, and she fully understands.” It was true that they had discussed the issue two days ago. But Darcy had, once again, failed to mention the fact he held no plans to ever marry Anne.
Devil’s snare, Fitzwilliam. Darcy ignored the recollection and peered hopefully at the doctor. After a moment, Osborn leaned back in his chair, and nodded in satisfaction.
“I must admit I am relieved to hear it, Mr. Darcy,” the doctor conceded with a hint of relief. “I do not think Miss Anne has the physical stamina to withstand childbirth.”
Now it was Darcy who tried not to show his own relief too much. “Indeed not, and I would never risk her life in that way. But rest assured that she will always be well taken care of. I will manage her finances, and you, my good sir, will manage her health. And I feel very confident that you will do a fine job.” With all his years of business negotiations experience, Darcy knew how useful flattery could be. The doctor blushed and nodded.
Darcy felt it was safe to move on to another subject. “What can you tell me about Miss Elizabeth’s condition?” he asked. “Why does she think the sun wants her?”
Mr. Osborn opened his notepad again and studied his notes briefly. “It may just simply be the confusion from the fever. Or . . .”
Colonel Fitzwilliam had been content to silently observe what was happening, but now he stepped forward. “Or what?”
“Yes, or what?” Darcy echoed.
Mr. Osborn seemed to shift in his seat a little uncomfortably. “There are tales of people, patients very near death, who see things and hear things that cannot be explained. In fact, they all tell the same story, with remarkably few variations.”
“What happens to them?” all three said in unison.
“They speak to the sun . . .”
  

 I do hope you enjoyed the excerpt. If this does not whet your appetite for more, I do not know what will!
                
Thank you Maria Grazia for hosting me! I would love to  give away a kindle edition of Hope for Mr. Darcy for two winners. The giveaway is open internationally. Take your chances to win in the rafflecopter form below this post.

The next book in the series is Hope for Fitzwilliam, a love story between Colonel Fitzwilliam and the widowed Charlotte Collins, and will hopefully be released on August 1st and will be available for preorder within a week or two.


Jeanna Ellsworth Lake

Hope for Mr Darcy

Still shaken from his horrible proposal, Elizabeth Bennet falls ill at the Rosings Parsonage upon reading Fitzwilliam Darcy’s letter. In her increasingly delirious state, unfathomable influences inspire her to write an impulsive response. The letter gives Mr. Darcy hope in a way that nothing else could.

As her illness progresses, Darcy is there at her side, crossing boundaries he has never crossed, declaring things he has never declared. A unique experience bridges them over their earlier misunderstandings, and they start to work out their differences. That is, until Elizabeth begins to recover.

Suddenly, Elizabeth is left alone to wonder what exactly occurred between the two of them in her dreamlike state. And for the first time since meeting the man from Pemberley, she finds herself hoping for Mr. Darcy to return and rekindle what once was.



Hope for Mr. Darcy is the first volume of the Hope Series Trilogy, a Regency variation series based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  This trilogy promises hope will always light our way through the darkness of unrequited love, but eventually bringing tremendously gratifying outcomes for our three favorite characters: Mr. Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Georgiana Darcy.
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12 comments:

Vesper Meikle said...

The very proper Darcy behaving improperly for love

betsy hagan said...

Loved, loved, loved this book! A wonderful read!

lynn char said...

Very intriguing. I'm sure this will be a very good read

Julia Ergane said...

By and large this was a very good read; however, the ending was quite ponderous. I do think that it should have been labeled. I don't like being the unwitting victim of a certain religious viewpoint. Ms. Ellsworth should have researched the funeral service in the Book of Common Prayer. It is not chatty or informal in any way (I was brought up Lutheran, another liturgical church, so I should know). By the way, only upper class women did not usually attend services at this time. Lower class women did attend funerals. I guess they were not considered "delicate." Mrs. Collins lies in that in-between land where, I believe, she could have gone to the funeral. Priests' wives were made of sterner stuff. Even though I do not believe in the modern concept of "closure," not going to a funeral of a family member just seems awfully crass to me no matter what the mores that particular society had.

Kirsten said...

I love the sound of this book! Would really enjoy reading it, so please count me in thanks.

dstoutholcomb said...

this sounds like such a wonderful variation

denise

Emma Masterman said...

Love it , want to read the rest

BeckyC said...

Wonderful excerpt. I am intrigued!

Danielle said...

This sounds soooo interesting! I can't wait to read the rest!

Jeanna Ellsworth Lake said...

What awesome comments! So wonderful! Thank you all for those who have read it! Feedback is treasured! Good luck in the giveaway! I wish I could give away more!
Jeanna

Deborah Ann said...

I already have the ebook, but what a beautiful excerpt. It seems there has been a compromise...I love your stories. I am hoping this will be released as an audio book soon.

Deborah Ann said...

I already have the ebook, but what a beautiful excerpt. It seems there has been a compromise...I love your stories. I am hoping this will be released as an audio book soon.