Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘michelle ray’

Hello, friends! I’m thrilled to welcome Michelle Ray to the blog today to celebrate the release of her new Pride and Prejudice variation, There You Were. Michelle is here to share an excerpt from the novel, and there’s a giveaway as well. Please give her a warm welcome!


Hi Anna! Thank you for hosting me and There You Were. I hope that you and your readers enjoy this excerpt. After the death of Colonel Fitzwilliam, husband of Elizabeth and cousin of Mr Darcy, Mr Darcy begins to spend time with Elizabeth and her children as caretaker and friend. 

At the end of January, a knock came at the door. When I opened it, I blinked a few times, unsure of whether to throw my arms about Darcy’s neck or send him away. While my deepest desire was to kiss him long and hard (something I had imagined too many times), I knew that was a disastrous idea.

“Darcy.” My legs quaked, so I grasped the door frame to steady myself.

I could not discern the expression on his face. Was it agony? Was it hope? But before I could decide, the children attacked him with hugs and stories, hardly allowing him inside.

When at last the hubbub had died down, I invited him inside. “I am pleased to see you, sir. I did not know whether to expect you or not.”

“I did not know myself if I should come. It was Thomas’s letter which decided the matter for me.”

Our conversation proceeded in fits and starts. There was both too much and too little to be said and any time we began, the children would interrupt us. At length, he said, “I wonder, Elizabeth, if you would consent to me calling on Sundays?”

“But of course.”

We were all happy, though I wondered at the change in his habit of a daily visit.

So it began, his weekly visit on Sunday afternoons, conducted in a manner of utmost propriety. He was attired as a gentleman ought to be and he behaved as a gentleman would. The children were attended to by me or by Nora, we served him tea, and we spoke of inconsequential matters. The children begged him not to leave each time, knowing so much of the dreary week was left and they would be stuck inside without their favourite entertainment if he went.

One Sunday, Nora was attempting to train the newly hired servant, Patience, to bake a meat pie. The girl was comically slow to learn, and we endeavoured to ignore Nora’s frustration and insults whilst I served tea.

Darcy reached for a spoon and brushed my arm. My breath caught and my stomach tightened. He noticed and asked if I was all right.

“Yes,” I said, smoothing my hair. He was used to my shifts in mood, so I hoped he suspected nothing. I attempted to convince myself that I had been alone for many months and that I was reacting to being touched by a man, any man. But I knew that was not true. It was Darcy, for I was in love with him.

Nora sounded as if she was losing her forbearance with Patience, which was difficult to ignore given our close quarters. I suggested we take the children outside given the unseasonably lovely day. After wrestling the little ones into coats and hats and mittens, we walked to the stream. Upon our return to the cottage, he and I stood together in the sunshine, watching the children play.

“I wish James could see them growing and changing,” I said. I wondered if I brought him up to put distance between Darcy and myself.

“He did cherish his children,” he said, staring at Thomas spinning with Henry.

“Yes. On the days he felt well.” I remembered the day Darcy called with my sister and Bingley and spotted my bruises. “I hope his soul is more at peace now than it was on Earth.”

Darcy touched my arm, but as I turned to him, Nora came outside. She cleared her throat, making us jump and take a step away from one another, though we had not been standing too close. “Ma’am,” she said, her eyes darting between us, “Patience has quit. Shall I look for another girl?”

I nodded and excused myself, explaining to Darcy that Nora would surely need my help now that she was alone again in the kitchen.

More and more often on these little visits, I found myself staring at Darcy, hoping we would have occasion to touch. I felt ridiculous, like I was fifteen again. Each pang of desire was both thrilling, and a betrayal of my husband. I was never able to shake James from the moment, and all attempts to push thoughts of Darcy away by thinking about my life with James only led to feeling lonely again. Worse, comparisons between the men left Darcy appearing far more favourable. I considered asking Darcy to stay away again, yet his visits were something to look forward to for all of us, and in truth I did not want them to end.

When he was gone, I could not stop thinking of his warm eyes topped with those delightfully full brows, or his chin, squared off and dimpled to perfection, best seen up close. Too close. I loved when we had occasion to stand so near that I could smell him, a perfect mix of scented soaps, leather, and manliness. I adored when he absently ran his fingers through the strands of his thick brown hair. My heart raced as I considered these things.

In late February, he departed for Pemberley, prompted by a request from Georgiana that he not leave her alone for her birthday. The house—indeed, Meryton itself—seemed a colder, far lonelier place, the effect heightened by the bleakness of the season. And yet, my passion, my longing for him did not cool.

I had to push him out of my mind, but how?


About There You Were

“I was not looking for love, but there you were. I cannot stop it, I cannot indulge it, so I must put distance between us and hope that time will heal this fever I have.”

Abandoned by her mother and ignored by her father, it is hardly any wonder young Elizabeth Bennet’s curiosity soon brings about trouble and marriage to a man she does not love. Colonel Fitzwilliam’s family—save for his cousin Mr Darcy—despises her, and life is not what she dreamed of. As she matures and grows from an impetuous girl into a woman, Elizabeth’s most reliable source of friendship and comfort becomes Mr Darcy. When tragedy strikes leaving her a widow, she is free to find out [discover?] who has been in her heart all along. 

Darcy has always been intrigued by the girl his beloved cousin married, and finds himself drawn into helping her after her husband’s death. Over time, admiration turns to love. Admitting his feelings to her – or even himself – could lead to ruin, but denying his passion could shatter him.

Buy on Amazon


About the Author

Michelle Ray is a middle school literature teacher who also directs plays, writes stories, and sees as many Broadway shows as she can. She grew up in Los Angeles and went to the awesome Westlake School for Girls where theater had the cachet of football and the girls were in charge of everything. She lives with her husband and daughters near Washington DC, and dreams of traveling anywhere and everywhere.


Giveaway

Quills & Quartos is generously giving away an ebook copy of There You Were as part of the blog tour. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. The winner will be chosen a week after the blog tour ends (June 25, 2021). Good luck!


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

Read Full Post »