Saturday, 24 November 2018

ELIZABETH IN THE NEW WORLD BY MAGGIE MOOHA: SPOTLIGHT POST & GIVEAWAY


Book Blurb 




Darcy's sudden, passionate kiss sweeps Elizabeth into a bliss she has never known...but their love is short-lived. On a field of honor, Wickham, once again, engages in an irresponsible act, which leaves Darcy mortally wounded and Elizabeth broken. Refusing to leave Darcy's side, the last vestiges of her reputation are shattered, and when Elizabeth sees Darcy in his coffin, she is ruined in more ways than one. Devastated and without hope, reluctantly she agrees to accompany friends to Grenada, a Caribbean island on the brink of revolution.

Things are not what they seem. Darcy hasn't died, but Elizabeth is gone and he fears it is too late to recapture what he has lost. As he struggles to recuperate, he must put aside his pride and his heritage in order to find the only woman he will ever love. Never before has Darcy sacrificed so much for a passion he fought against so vehemently. And never before has Elizabeth’s strength of character been stronger - it is the only thing standing between her and an end that doesn't include Darcy.

Read and excerpt


Darcy arrived at the Gardiners’ the following day as the sun’s pink and golden rays began to colour the clouds. Although a servant opened the door, Mr. Bennet stood ready in the hall. He looked exceedingly agitated. Darcy made a slight bow.

“Thank goodness you have come, Mr. Darcy,” Mr. Bennet said, his voice shaking. “I apologize for involving you, but you are the only gentleman of our acquaintance whom I trust…”
“Anything I can do to alleviate you or your family’s suffering,” he said gallantly. Mr. Bennet did not smile. He looked as if he would go apoplectic at a moment’s notice.
“Did you bring the pistols, Mr. Darcy?” Mr. Bennet asked, his voice quavering.
“Indeed, I did,” replied Mr. Darcy. “Have you ever handled a pistol before?”   
“No, never,” Mr. Bennet squeaked.
Darcy put a comforting hand on Mr. Bennet’s arm. “Do not concern yourself, Mr. Bennet. I will teach you what you need to know, but I must speak with you first, as I think we may circumvent these proceedings altogether.”
“What are you saying, Mr. Darcy?” Mr. Bennet asked, hope shining in his eyes.
“I do believe that we can make this situation come out to our satisfaction,” said Darcy confidently. Mr. Bennet smiled.
“I will rely upon you,” he said as they entered the study.
***
“Papa, are you in there? I would like to speak to you before you go,” Elizabeth called through the study door.
Mr. Bennet was already at the door, opening it. Elizabeth entered and began to speak but stopped short when she saw Darcy. For a moment, she was speechless.
Mr. Bennet looked from one to the other. It was Darcy who spoke firs
He cleared his throat. “Good morning, Miss Bennet. I am sorry that we are not meeting under happier circumstances. I will take my leave, so that you may speak to your father alone.” He made his way toward her to the door.
As if awakened from a dream, she suddenly cried, “No,” before he reached the door. He stopped, a surprised look on his face. They both looked at Mr. Bennet.
 “Lizzy,” Mr. Bennet offered. “I think perhaps you might want to have a word with Mr. Darcy. I will go and have my breakfast.” He tried to sound lighthearted, but Elizabeth knew he was hiding his dread from her.
As soon as they were alone, Elizabeth went to the window. She could not look in Darcy’s face. She was afraid her countenance would reveal all the tumult of emotions she was feeling.
“Mr. Darcy, why are you here?” she asked finally.
“Your father asked me to be his second in his duel with Mr. Wickham. He felt that I, being a gentleman, would possess the necessary knowledge and…” he groped for the word, “authority, to see that all proceeded fairly with adherence to the rules.”
 “Rules?” she cried and turned upon him. “Rules. Mr. Darcy, what good can come of this? Can you not do something to stop it? My father—” Her voice broke and she turned away from him once more, burying her face in her handkerchief. “My father is an elderly man, a country gentleman. What does he know of dueling?” The tears welled in her eyes, and then broke free and ran down her cheeks. She wished he would rush to her and throw his arms around her and hold her to his breast. Instead, he stood apart and spoke calmly.
 “I do think that some accord can be reached without resorting to violence,” he said.
 Elizabeth ceased crying at once and turned toward him. “Oh, do you think so?”
 “I have made some arrangements.” He stopped. She looked at him expectantly. When she saw that he was not forthcoming, she pressed the matter further.
 “You are very vexing. You shall not leave this room until you have revealed all your plans to me. My father’s life, nay, all our lives, hang in the balance today. If you are to be our savior, you must tell me what you propose to do. If not, I think I shall go mad.” Tears sprang to her eyes again, and she turned from him. She was angry at herself for crying so much. But my dear father, my dear, my papa.
Darcy crossed the room and stood so close to Elizabeth that she could hear him breathing.         
“Miss Bennet. Please. Do not cry. I will tell you,” he said softly. His words acted on Elizabeth almost like a caress. She turned to look at him. His dark eyes bored into her. She audibly caught her breath. He offered his hand to her and she obediently took it. He led her to the sofa, where they sat facing each other.
 “I was going to reveal all once everything was accomplished. I see now that that is impossible.” His intent look suddenly softened into sympathy Did he understand her torment? Perhaps all was not lost between them.
“Please. There is so little time,” she said.
“I considered all the facts and was led to one conclusion. Wickham will want money in order to make things right with your sister. I am prepared to offer a generous endowment to him for the rest of his life, and with provisions for your sister and any children they may have.”
“Oh, Mr. Darcy. I do not know how any of us will ever repay you.”
“Rest assured that I do not do any of this for your family. I do it only for you.”
His words struck her like a blow. He does still care for her. Oh, why does all this have to happen now? They have no time.  She forced herself to think.
“But the duel? Surely Mr. Wickham will have to go through with it. He will be attended, I presume, by at least one man from his regiment. He will have to go through with it to preserve his reputation.”
“I expect so,” said Darcy. Elizabeth’s face fell. Wickham could still kill her beloved pap
Darcy, gingerly covering her hand with his, continued. “I am his second. It is in my prerogative to finish the duel if your father is unable. I can and will insist on that point. If anything happens to your father, Wickham will have me to deal with, and he knows that I am a very good shot.”
He got up to take his leave. “I must be going now. Do not worry. Wickham is a coward. He will not go so far as to fire even one shot. You can rely on it.”
Elizabeth looked up into his face and smiled for the first time. He smiled in return.
She was grateful for all he was doing for her, and for her family despite its low connections and its unseemly behavior. Gratitude, however, was not her overwhelming emotion at that moment. She wanted him to take her in his arms. She wanted to kiss him good-bye, again and again. He turned to look at her once more.
She swallowed hard. His eyes. They bore into her like a dagger. It was now or never. What if he were killed? What if he lay in his grave never knowing that she loved him? He was prepared to sacrifice everything for her, his position, his reputation, his wealth, and now he was prepared to sacrifice his life. Could she hold her reputation above that?
He turned away from her and headed to the door. She could not let him go without telling him of her feelings. What if he was mistaken? What if Wickham killed her father and killed him too?
 As he opened the door and exited, she said in a barely audible tone, “I love you.” She waited for the click of the door. It did not come. 
The door opened again, and Darcy entered the room once more.
 “What did you say?” he asked.
She faltered for a moment, then repeated, “I love you,” louder this time. It all happened in an instant. She did not move and yet she was in his arms. He strode across the room with such force that he lifted her off the ground. The touch of his body was intoxicating. Suddenly, a dark cloud crossed his face, and he let her down. He still had not kissed her.
“Perhaps you are only grateful to me,” he said, pulling away slightly, but not letting go of her. Oh no, no, he would know. She reached up and caressed his cheek.
 “How can you doubt me?” she said. “Do you think I do not know my own mind?”
She watched his face. His eyes searched hers as if he would find in them the truth he wanted to know. She touched his face again. He kissed her.
It was not the polite kiss she had seen exchanged so many times among the married people she had known. No, this was something more. His mouth touched hers, parted her lips, embraced her. She felt her body yield to him. He kissed her again and again and then began to kiss her beneath her ear and down her neck. Pulses of a heretofore undiscovered energy radiated from her heart throughout her body. She felt urges from her nether regions that both excited and alarmed her.
When he reached her mouth again, she opened it to his and felt him enter her there with his tongue. She became weak with desire and he held her to him, whispering her name, “Elizabeth
A knock at the door parted them suddenly. She tried her best to recover herself and called out, “Come in.”
 By the time the door opened, Darcy had turned from her and was standing at the window, his back to them. Her father entered.
 “It is time, Mr. Darcy.”
Tears welled in her eyes. She bit her lip to control herself. “Papa,” she said, and rushed to embrace him.
“Now, now, Lizzy. Everything will be fine. You will see,” he said cajolingly, although Elizabeth could feel the tension in him. Mr. Bennet planted a kiss on his daughter’s cheek. “Be brave. I am counting on you.”
“Yes, Papa,” she said, using everything in her power to gain control of herself. Her father left the room, and Darcy followed. He turned to look at her, and she tried to speak to him with only a glance: please come back to me. The front door closed, and the sound of carriage wheels drifted up from the street below.










  
Grenada is the setting of the novel. This is a view of St George's Harbor


Meet Maggie Mooha

I think I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was still little, I used to tell my sister stories before we went to sleep. Most of them were serials – Superman and the like. It was funny how it never occurred to me until much later in life that I should try my hand at writing.
            Most of my career, I’ve been a music teacher. It’s funny how music is such a help when crafting a story. I actually see the structure of a book or a screenplay as if it was a musical composition.
            As for the nuts and bolts of my life, I grew up in the Chicago area and was a teacher there for quite a few years. I had a chance to teach at an international school in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, and I spent two years there. After adopting my son from Russia, we spent four years at an international school in the Philippines. During that time, I began writing.
            Most of my work has been screenplays, and my writing mentor is Madeline DiMaggio. I learned a great deal from her, not the least of which is what parts of my “deathless prose” or in screenplays “deathless dialogue” to toss out because they don’t contribute to the narrative. During my screenwriting days, I won a competition sponsored by a magazine in New York and was a semi-finalist at the Austen Film Festival in the Prime-Time Television Series category. I’m just telling you all of this so you don’t think I just sat down one day and wrote a novel right out of the blue. I’ve spent a lot of years working and learning.
            It took me four summer vacations to write Elizabeth in the New World. I had the idea for the beginning of the book and the dénouement of the plot in my head for a while. I saw them like they were scenes from a movie. I knew I wanted to set it in a real conflict, so began searching for a conflict that involved the British that took place during Jane Austen’s lifetime. That conflict was Fedon’s Rebellion in Grenada. The rest of it was like putting a puzzle together – a puzzle that included tons of research.
A couple of things that helped me a lot was advice I got from a self-publisher who gave an extension class at our local university. She said to write down the plot of the entire book in short scenes and put them on note cards. I did that and taped them to the two doors in my study and then just started cranking through them. The other really valuable thing she said was, “Don’t go back and read anything you wrote until the whole book is done.” She was right. You can fix the first three chapters forever if you let yourself.
I am hoping that this is not my first and only book. I don’t know if the next one with be a sequel or something new entirely. Someone a long time ago called me “an insatiable romantic”. I hope it is still true.

MAGGIE


GIVEAWAY 


7 comments:

Vesper Meikle said...

As someone who enjoys history I would be interested in learning about the Fedon’s Rebellion in Grenada,

Ginna said...

I liked the sound of this book the first time I read the blurb, and it is on my wishlist!

darcybennett said...

Intriguing premise. I'm heartbroken for Elizabeth for thinking he's dead. What a reunion that must be when she sees him for the first time after his "funeral." Thank you for the chance to win a copy in the giveaway!

Eva said...

Oh, what a great excerpt!

Sonja said...

This sounds really good. I haven't read anything from this author before. I would love to!

Elaine said...

Fabulous excerpt! So romantic and intriguing. Can't wait to read it. Count me in to the giveaway. :o)

Patty Edmisson said...

This is a new twist to P&P. Congratulations on its release. I look forward to reading it. Going on the TBR pile.