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Hello, friends! I’m excited to welcome Cat Andrews back to the blog today to celebrate the release of her latest modern Pride and Prejudice variation, An Unexpected Harvest. Cat is here to share a little about the book, plus an excerpt and giveaway. Please give her a warm welcome!


Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to be visiting Anna here at Diary of an Eccentric once again! Thank you for having me, Anna, and for allowing me to make your wonderful blog a part of the blog tour for my new modern Pride and Prejudice variation called An Unexpected Harvest.

Family relationships and their dynamics usually play a big role in the variations I write. Of course, the primary relationship is always the one between Darcy and Elizabeth; it’s a love story, after all. But I love broadening that scope and including other relationships that may influence the thoughts and actions of our favorite couple. At a previous stop on the blog tour, I shared an excerpt that showed the underlying tension between Will Darcy and his father. Here, I’m sharing an excerpt that is taken halfway through a late night conversation between two of the Bennet sisters. This scene shows the close sisterly bond that Elizabeth has with Lydia, who is coming to the realization that although they share the same father, their interactions and experiences with him and memories of him are very different. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for coming along on the blog tour.


“Lizzy? Why did Jane say that you have demons too? Is it because of the college thing?”

Elizabeth sighed. “Mostly, yes. Making the decision to leave Harvard wasn’t easy, and Daddy certainly didn’t make it any easier. He was brutal, honestly.” She stared at the Christmas tree, the lights blurring in front of her eyes. “And then choosing not to work for him, telling him I wanted to go into advertising… He was completely unaccepting of my decisions and wouldn’t talk to me at all, and I wondered if he’d ever forgive me. Love is supposed to be unconditional, but when I really needed his love and support, he just…withdrew it.”

Lydia shook her head. “It’s hard to hear that. I feel like you’re talking about a totally different person. That isn’t the father I remember.”

“I’m glad. And I do remember what Daddy was like before all that happened. I was thinking about it when I was listening to you play, how simple everything used to be.”

“But I don’t understand why you have demons. He chose to be unsupportive, he chose to make his love conditional. If anything, you should be angry.”

“I was, but I felt guilty, too. I’d raised his hopes. I told him I was doing one thing, and then changed my mind and did something else.”

“But that shouldn’t have mattered! I could understand him being disappointed, but not to the point of shutting you out. That’s not reasonable.”

“I know. I even knew it at the time, but it didn’t make me feel any less guilty. I always hoped we’d get past it, that we’d fix it, and I tried. I came home to visit as often as I could, hoping we’d finally have a conversation about it…but every time I brought it up, he’d say the same thing.”

Elizabeth closed her eyes, trying to fight the tears that were forming, and her voice trembled. “He’d say, ‘Elizabeth, unless you’ve come to tell me you’re going back to Harvard to study business so you can take your rightful place at Bennet Capital, we have nothing to talk about.’ But I kept coming home and reaching out, even though his rejection hurt. I always hoped he’d just give me a hug and tell me everything was okay. And now it’s too late. We won’t get the chance to make things right, and that’s where more guilt comes in. Was I being selfish, pursuing what I wanted instead of doing what was expected of me?”

Lydia shook her head. “You were living your life, however you wanted to. Look at Jane, look at this!” She gestured around her. “Very soon, this will not be the Longbourn we remember from our childhood. Can you imagine what Daddy would say if he could somehow make himself heard? He’d pitch a full-blown fit!”

Elizabeth laughed and wiped the wetness from her eyes.

“And Jane’s no fool—she knows what Daddy would say, too,” Lydia continued. “But he’s not here, and so she’s going to pursue her dream and be happy. You went after what would make you happy, and I’m doing the same thing. I want to work at Bennet Capital. It’s always been my dream, and I think I’ll be good at it.”

“You’ll be fabulous.” Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. “Perhaps you’ve inherited some of Daddy’s shrewd business sense.”

“I hope so. But I don’t like the way he treated you. It wasn’t fair.”

“I know, but it can’t be changed.”

Lydia looked at her for a long moment. “You know, I think you’re brave. You took a huge chance when you left Harvard. You must have known on some level how Daddy would react, but you did it anyway. Lots of people wouldn’t have made that decision; they would’ve stayed in their safe zone. No scribbling outside the lines.”

“You think?”

“Yes. You took a risk and went after what you wanted. That takes guts, Lizzy.”

“I’ve never looked at it that way.”

Lydia nestled against Elizabeth’s shoulder and sighed heavily. “So…do you think we’re all fixed?”

Elizabeth rested her head against Lydia’s. “Nope. But you know what? I don’t think we’re as broken as we thought.”


About An Unexpected Harvest

Elizabeth Bennet left her affluent New England home at the age of sixteen and never looked back. She’s built a fabulous life in Boston and loves everything about the city—especially her dream job as creative director at an advertising agency.

Will Darcy has never lived anywhere but in rural Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He lives the quintessential small-town life and loves everything about the country—especially his family’s farm, which he’s doing his best to modernize and return to prosperity.

When her older sister moves back to New England, Elizabeth reluctantly pays a visit to the hometown she left behind. Soon enough, the city girl meets the country boy and the insults and misunderstandings fly—but so do the sparks.

No one is more surprised than Elizabeth and Will when those sparks turn into a brilliant flame, and the 300 miles between them that once felt far too close suddenly turns into an unbearable distance.

The city girl and the country boy know a good thing when they see it—even if they don’t see it nearly enough. Can they overcome their greatest challenge and find common ground—and their happily-ever-after?

***

This novel is a modern variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but with a slight spin on the usual cast of characters. It contains adult content and is meant for mature readers.

Click here to buy An Unexpected Harvest


About the Author

Cat Andrews has always been an avid reader, but didn’t discover Jane Austen until her love of a certain British actor led her to the BBC’s 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, because she just had to know—why all the fuss over this Darcy guy? What followed her viewing of that glorious miniseries was an inhalation of and immediate fixation on all of Austen’s novels, though Pride and Prejudice remains her favorite.

Her discovery of Jane Austen Fan Fiction opened up a whole new world, and thus began her addiction, and months and months of sleep deprivation, as she immersed herself in JAFF. After reading a modern Pride and Prejudice variation that she fell in love with, she was inspired to begin a cautious but earnest foray into the world of writing.

In real life, Cat has spent thirty-plus years working in healthcare. She enjoys life on the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts where she grew up, fell in love with her own Mr. Darcy, and raised a family (and a three-legged dog). More often than not, you can find her at the beach with a book in her hand and her toes in the sand.

An Unexpected Harvest is her second novel.

Connect with Cat: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway

Cat is generously offering an ebook copy (U.S. only) of An Unexpected Harvest to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Saturday, June 19, 2021. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Cat, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new book!

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