Hey Everyone! I'm excited to be part of the A Peculiar Connection Blog Tour! At this stop in the tour, Jan Hahn has an intriguing excerpt for you to read from her new book, A Peculiar Connection. And Meryton Press is giving away an e-copy of the book to one lucky winner! Woot! You'll find the information for the giveaway at the bottom of this post!
Will a mysterious note from the past doom the love of Jane Austen’s most beloved couple?
A Peculiar Connection begins near the close of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Bent on preventing the engagement of her nephew to Elizabeth Bennet, Lady Catherine de Bourgh declares that any union between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth would be “a sin against Heaven itself!” Her shocking revelation, along with a cryptic message written over twenty years earlier, thrusts the couple into a whirlwind of heartbreak and disbelief.
Could a deserted mansion in Derbyshire or a small church hidden in the wood hold the key to solving the puzzle? And why is Elizabeth inexplicably drawn to the portrait of three young boys in Pemberley’s gallery?
Determined to confirm or refute Lady Catherine’s accusation, Darcy and Elizabeth are forced to embark upon a twisted trail into bygone days and family secrets. All the while, they must endure the exquisite torture of denying the indisputable desire that still hovers between them.
From Chapter Six: Darcy and Elizabeth attempt to keep the circumstances of her birth secret. The following scene takes place at Pemberley late at night between Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam with Elizabeth listening.
Descending the stairs, I rounded the corner toward the drawing room when I saw lights issuing from within and heard the sound of men’s voices. I shrank back into the shadows and blew out my candle. Sufficient illumination remained in the hall sconces to show the way. I had tiptoed lightly, my slippers making little sound on the walnut floor. I turned to retrace my steps, but then I realized the argument between the men would drown out any muffled sounds I might make.
“But you do not care for dancing, Darcy. Thus, I see no valid reason why I should not have secured Miss Bennet’s hand for the first two dances.”
“She is pretty enough. Plenty of men will seek her favour. You need not claim her attentions for the entire first hour.”
“But she knows no one in Derbyshire. I fail to see why my invitation rouses your temper.”
“Do not concern yourself with my temper; it is within check. And you are mistaken. Several neighbours have called since her arrival, and we have returned the visits. Elizabeth is acquainted with enough local gentlemen to attract an adequate number of partners.”
“Then why in heaven’s name are you in such a humour? I have not seen you drink this amount since we left Rosings last Easter. What is wrong with you, man?”
I could not hear an answer and quickly scurried across the hall until I stood right outside the door. I wished to hear Mr. Darcy’s words more than I feared detection.
“The whole affair is troublesome,” he said, his voice sounding defeated. “Elizabeth’s connection with my family is obscure, to say the least. I would not draw undue attention upon her or raise questions that might cause talk.”
“I do not understand your reasoning.”
He sighed deeply. “I wonder just what my neighbours think of her. I cannot recall when the Whitbys moved here. Surely, there are others among my friends whose families lived here when it all happened.”
“When what happened? Out with it, Darce. Of what do you speak?”
“What?” Mr. Darcy sounded as though he had been awakened from a private reverie and somehow been caught revealing more than he should.
“You said you wondered how many of your neighbours lived here ‘when it all happened.’ I do not understand to what you refer. Is Miss Bennet’s birth the result of some sort of scandal?”
“Of course not, Fitzwilliam!”
Silence followed. I could hear my heart beating, and I began to tremble, holding my breath. I heard someone begin to pace back and forth within the room.
“It is just that her parents were killed in an unfortunate accident right after her birth, and she was left an orphan. To have been taken in by a family other than her own kindred may give rise to gossip, and I will not have talk about her!” His voice grew insistent. “Do you hear me? I will not tolerate it!”
I released my breath, reassured that Mr. Darcy had covered his blunder.
After leaving a long career in the world of business, Jan Hahn began writing stories based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 2002. Her first novel, An Arranged Marriage, was published in 2011 by Meryton Press and won Best Indie Novel from Austen Prose that year. Her second novel, The Journey, was selected by Austen Prose as one of the Top Five Austen Inspired Historical Novels of 2012, and it won the Favorite Pride and Prejudice Variation/Alternate Path award from Austenesque. In 2014, Austen Prose listed Ms. Hahn’s third novel, The Secret Betrothal, among the Best Austenesque Historical Novels. She is a member of JASNA and lives in Texas.
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It's giveaway time!! Meryton Press is giving away ONE e-copy of A Peculiar Connection to ONE lucky winner! This giveaway is open Internationally! To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment!
- One person will win an e-copy of A Peculiar Connection (Kindle or Nook).
- Open Internationally.
- Last day to enter: April 16, 2015.