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It’s always a pleasure to welcome P.O. Dixon to Diary of an Eccentric, and today, dear readers, she’s here to celebrate the release of her latest book, Irrevocably Gone. Please give her a warm welcome!

It’s such an honor to be here at Diary of an Eccentric once again to share an excerpt from my newest release, Irrevocably Gone. Thanks so much for having me, Anna.

Irrevocably Gone is a continuation of one of my favorite short stories, A Tender Moment, written primarily for the following reason: readers asked for more. Though authors do not always find themselves in the position to honor such requests, in this case I was utterly compelled to make room in my writing schedule to do just that. Readers, after all, made A Tender Moment a #1 Best Seller in Classic Short Stories on Amazon. Such a heartwarming response along with equally encouraging calls for more deserves fitting acknowledgment.

Here’s a snippet from A Tender Moment which sets the stage for its continuation:

A Tender Moment – Part 3 (excerpt)

Just as the clouds completed their waltz across the bright full moon, Darcy sensed a turning point in the evening. I’ve longed for an occasion such as this. Do I dare open my mouth and risk ruining what has heretofore been the best moment we have ever spent in each other’s company?

His mind raced through the litany of things he might say next. Shall I speak of poetry, of books, of the places she has traveled? No. He had far weightier matters he wished to discuss.

Perhaps I might explain that I was taught to be selfish and overbearing, to care for none beyond my own family circle, and to think meanly of all others—of their sense and worth compared with my own. Then I might confess my growing esteem for her in spite of her low connections and her family’s lack of fortune.

Darcy bit his lower lip. No. That would never do, for I might ruin every chance of discovering if the tender regard I feel for her is the basis for something lasting.

We were speaking of her family. Do I attempt to say something in that regard—apologize once again for my badly spoken remark? Shall I speak of my own family and how foolish they would think me were they to learn of my budding feelings for her?

The fact was that he’d never seen anyone like her. He’d never known anybody like her. Finally, he had met a woman he found himself contemplating introducing to his sister—welcoming to his beloved Pemberley … as his wife.

What if, in explaining the reasons I have fought against showing her the special regard she arouses in me, I should say something that she deems lacking in sensibility, or worse—stupid? I might never know whether she indeed might be the one I’ve been waiting for—longing for.

Darcy did not dare risk denying himself this chance. At such a tender moment as this, perhaps it is better that I say nothing at all.

Might she then regard me as inconstant? It would not do. Say something, man. He closed the last bit of distance between them. “May I call on you at Longbourn tomorrow?”

Who can find fault with readers who love Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet for wanting to know what happens next? Darcy asked to call on Elizabeth at Longbourn so soon after his arrival in Hertfordshire. Surely Mrs. Bennet will go distracted.

Enjoy this excerpt from Irrevocably Gone featuring Darcy and Elizabeth at Netherfield during her elder sister’s convalescence.

Irrevocably Gone

Chapter 6 – A Generous Gesture

His hand behind his back, Darcy waited for Elizabeth as she headed toward him in the lane.

“Thank you for agreeing to meet me like this, Miss Elizabeth.” He said once they were united, bowing slightly. “I realize it was not a trivial thing that I asked of you, but what else could I do? I believe I miss you, even more, knowing we are residing under the same roof, albeit temporarily, and yet unable to see each other – to spend time away from the others – so often as I would like. Owe it to my being a selfish man.”

“I am sorry if it seems I have been neglecting you, sir.”

“You are here now, and I intend to make the most of our time together, for who is to say how long it will last?”

“What is it that you have behind your back, sir, if you do not mind my asking?”

“Oh, this,” he said, revealing his hand—in it an arrangement of freshly picked flowers secured by ribbons: one scarlet colored and one white.

Accepting the proffered bouquet, Elizabeth said, “How lovely, sir. Are these for me?”

“Yes,” he said, nodding. “I picked them myself.”

Reading in her expression a modicum of disbelief, he asked, “Do you doubt me?”

“It is just that I find it somewhat hard to believe you would go to so much trouble—what with rows of servants at your feet to attend such tasks. To what do I owe the honor of such a generous gesture?”

“It has not escaped my notice how attentive you have been toward your sister, and I began to ask myself who is taking care of you.”

“You are very kind to think of me, sir. To say nothing of your talents. This arrangement is stunning.”

“There is also the matter of my feeling rather guilty in desiring so much of your attention. I am inclined to think it would be much better for all concerned if I simply returned to town, at least until your sister no longer relies on you so much as she does.”

“No—do not do that! Please, whatever you do—do not leave. Why, I—”

Exercising a bit of liberty and seeing as it was just the two of them with not another soul in sight, Darcy placed a finger on Elizabeth’s lips. “Hush,” he said softly. “I speak only in jest. I have no wish to be parted from you—not now.” Remembering himself, he tucked both hands behind his back.

“So, you were teasing me, Mr. Darcy?”

“Are you not to be teased, Miss Elizabeth?”

Her spirits rising to playfulness, Elizabeth said, “Oh, no! On the contrary, for I dearly love to laugh. I must warn you, however, that I give as good as I get. Now that you have been warned, what say you to that?”

“I say only this. While I am a serious man—one who does not easily forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against me, any ensuing resentment is not so implacable as to render me wholly incapable of forgiveness, particularly toward those who mean the most to me.”

“Oh my, you are a serious man indeed. I should like to think I am safely among the latter.”

“Indeed. More than you know,” Darcy said.

“Do you mean to suggest that I am on the same level as Miss Bingley?”

He shook his head. “No—not at all. Miss Bingley, try as she might, has no effect on me at all.” He spoke nothing but the truth, for that young woman was always taunting him in one way or another in her attempts to get him to dislike Elizabeth. Always in vain.

“Tease me, taunt me, challenge me at will. You are in no danger of losing my good opinion. I am forever your humble servant,” he professed.

At that moment Darcy and Elizabeth were met from another walk by Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley herself.

“I did not know that you intended to walk, Mr. Darcy. I declare you used us abominably ill,” said the younger of the two ladies. “You know how much my sister and I dearly love a good walk about the park with you. Yet you ran away without telling us that you were coming out.”

Acknowledging Elizabeth’s presence, Miss Bingley said, “What a lovely bouquet of flowers, Miss Eliza. Did you gather them yourself?” Placing her hand over her mouth, she smirked. “Oh, but of course you did. What on Earth am I thinking?”

Elizabeth held her bouquet to her nose and inhaled its intoxicatingly sweet fragrance. “Actually, they are a gift—from an admirer.”

“No doubt, an admirer with extraordinary taste,” said Mr. Darcy. His voice tender, his eyes fixed on Elizabeth’s, he continued. “Such beauty is impossible to resist.”

As though the intimate exchange between Darcy and Elizabeth was lost on them, the two sisters then took either of the gentleman’s arms, which forced Elizabeth to walk by herself, for the path just admitted three. Feeling their rudeness, Mr. Darcy immediately said, “This walk is not wide enough for our party. I suggest we go into the avenue instead.”

Elizabeth, who had not the least inclination of remaining in company with the Bingley sisters a second longer than she must, replied, “No, no—do not alter your course on my behalf. I fear I must return to the house as soon as can be so that I might place this bouquet in a vase befitting its beauty. Far be it from me to allow my admirer’s special talents to be in vain.”

Thank you so much for being my guest again and sharing these very intriguing excerpts. And congratulations on your newest release!

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About Irrevocably Gone

From almost the first moment Mr. Darcy beheld Miss Elizabeth Bennet, his heart was irrevocably gone. But will he admit it? What will it take to make him realize he wants to spend his life with her? A proposal from another man? A second proposal from yet another?

What of Elizabeth? Will she obey her own heart’s yearning? Can she afford to wait for love?

Thousands of delighted readers helped make A Tender Moment a #1 Best Seller in Classic Short Stories.

§ And now, the story continues…

Author’s Note

Irrevocably Gone is a fast-paced 42,000+ words story. As a reader bonus, A Tender Moment, the story which formed the foundation for Irrevocably Gone, is included at the end of this edition. Fans who have already read and enjoyed A Tender Moment can easily reacquaint themselves with the storyline. Those who have yet to read the prequel can acquaint themselves with the storyline for free. While included as a permanent part of the print edition of Irrevocably Gone, future eBook editions may not include A Tender Moment.

Buy links can be found here

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Giveaway

P.O. Dixon is generously offering an ebook copy of Irrevocably Gone to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address, and let us know what intrigues you most about the book. This giveaway is open internationally, and will close on Sunday, March 25, 2018. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

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a tender moment

Source: Review copy from author Rating: ★★★☆☆

Elizabeth approached the couple and directed her ire towards the gentleman.  “How dare you speak so callously about my mother?  You know nothing about her!”

Standing there with an air that proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse, Darcy said, “I know enough about her to know that she failed to teach you proper decorum.  How dare you remark on a conversation clearly not intended for your hearing?”

(from “A Tender Moment”)

Quick summary: “A Tender Moment” is the third installment in P.O. Dixon’s Darcy & Elizabeth Short Stories series of standalone Pride and Prejudice variations.  This particular story is set at the party at Lucas Lodge, where Elizabeth Bennet overhears Mr. Darcy make a rude comment about her mother to Caroline Bingley.  Elizabeth immediately confronts him, and a heated argument ensues.  After being fiercely scolded, Darcy takes stock of his feelings for Elizabeth, how she continually misunderstands him and how it is possible that he really has been ungentlemanly toward her.  When Darcy overhears her speaking of her dislike of him, he is more determined than ever to set things right.

Why I wanted to read it:  I wanted to read it for the Pride and Prejudice connection, of course, but I’ve been so pressed for time lately that I also was in the mood for something that could be read in one sitting.  I also enjoyed Dixon’s A Lasting Love Affair, and I wanted to read more of her work.

What I liked: “A Tender Moment” is a sweet story about misunderstandings and new beginnings.  Dixon lets readers into the minds of Darcy and Elizabeth, putting on display their uncertainties, their misconceptions, their desire and willingness to change, the stirrings of attraction, and the promise of something more.  The story is a just a moment in a bigger story — just enough to satisfy readers’ desire to catch up with Elizabeth and Darcy without the commitment of a novel.

What I disliked: There was little description; it was mostly internal dialogue.  However, I was able to overlook that because “A Tender Moment” is meant to be just that: one moment between Elizabeth and Darcy, a turning point of sorts.  Still, it felt like it ended just as the story was beginning.

Final thoughts: “A Tender Moment” is a worthwhile read for fans of Austen variations who are looking for something short and sweet, a story to distract them for a half hour or so.

Disclosure: I received “A Tender Moment” from the author for review.

© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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