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Hello, dear readers! I’m delighted to welcome Aubrey Anderson and Marion Kay Hill back today to celebrate the release of The Pocket Book Series, Volume 3: Villains & Veritas. They are here to share a little about the book, as well as an excerpt and a giveaway. Please give them a warm welcome!

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Thank you for hosting us again, Anna, we are very excited to share our upcoming release, Volume 3: Villains & Veritas of The Pocket Book Series. For this collection, we decided to focus our attention on the villains of Pride & Prejudice—as well as those who could be considered villains, depending on the circumstance or information that is unknown to our heroine, Elizabeth Bennet.

After all, did not Elizabeth despise Mr. Darcy with every fibre of her being until she received his letter?

Everyone loves a good villainwhether they are deliciously evil (George Wickham) or misunderstood (Fitzwilliam Darcy). This volume of The Pocket Book Series explores how Austen’s villains could, unintentionally, affect the outcome between our dear couple, Elizabeth and Darcy.

Each volume in our series has six short stories centred around a theme and accompanied by a bonus story.  In this edition, we will also be including a bonus story, Episode 1 of Aubrey Anderson’s new serial, Unpolished Society: Lady of the Manor.

Today, we have provided an excerpt from Aubrey Anderson’s The Netherfield Affair, a short story from Villains & Veritas. Five of the people who comment below will have a chance to win a copy of this volume!

We hope you enjoy!

Aubrey Anderson & Marion Kay Hill

The Pocket Book Series, Volume 3: Villains & Veritas is available for preorder!

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The Netherfield Affair

Aubrey Anderson

“What do you mean?” for once, Elizabeth’s first response upon hearing the twin shrieks of her sisters Kitty and Lydia, was not embarrassment but indignation, not because of their response, but because of Mr. Bingley’s announcement.

Elizabeth cleared her throat delicately, drawing Mr. Bingley’s attention from her younger sisters to herself. His smile had not waned, although his gaze darted between Elizabeth, her sisters, and Jane—who, for form’s sake, it seemed, was seated on the settee farthest from Mr. Bingley.

“Miss Elizabeth?” he took a sip of his tea, as if to fortify himself for the barrage of questions her sisters would badger him with the moment Elizabeth stopped speaking. “You were saying?” he pressed when it seemed as though Elizabeth would not answer him.

She tried to chuckle lightheartedly in response, as though it would cause her own mood to lighten, “I was simply surprised, that was all, Mr. Bingley,” Elizabeth finally responded. “You were so courteous in allowing Lydia and Kitty to name the day of the ball, so I must admit that I am confused as to why the ball must be cancelled so soon before its inception. Are you to leave town? Is a relative ill?” Elizabeth pushed, looking back to her sister, who looked serene as ever as if the news did not distress her.

As if the events at Sir William’s last gathering had not occurred at all.

Mr. Bingley rushed to reassure her, or at least what he presumed would assure her—that none of his relatives were dying, or even ill at all— ”Oh no, nothing like that, Miss Elizabeth. An unfortunate bit of business has come up, and I must attend to it. That is why I felt obligated to apologize to you and your sisters personally,” he beamed at Jane, as the younger Bennet sisters tittered behind their fans.

Would it be gauche to ask him after his warehouses? Caroline Bingley certainly would think so. She suppressed the urge to follow that line of inquiry, certain that one of her sisters would tell their mama, who would never let her hear the end of it. Even if Jane had ended up married to Mr. Bingley and bore ten boys.

“I do not know when I will return, but I hope to make up the invitations with a date that is personally chosen by the Bennet family,” Mr. Bingley continued affably, “and I have made Darcy promise to dance at least twice with a lady, not within our own party.”

At the inclusion of Mr. Darcy’s name, Elizabeth clenched her fingers so tightly that she nearly drew blood from her palms, while Mr. Bingley and Jane started a new line of inquiry.

Mr. Darcy. Of course.

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Elizabeth’s lips were compressed into a thin, narrow line, and she did not do much to hide her displeasure from her sister, as they readied themselves for bed later that evening. Jane was still so enamoured and taken in by Mr. Bingley that she could not see what was staring her straight in the face. 

It did not matter if he loved her when his family and even his friends had a say in whom he paid court. Elizabeth wished she could shake the both of them, endearing lovesick fools that they were. 

Very well, she breathed quietly to herself. If her sister would not—could not—fight, then she would.

Mr. Darcy would never know the ire he’d invoked within her when he’d chosen to interfere with affairs that were none of his concern.

To be continued in The Pocket Book Series, Volume 3: Villains & Veritas

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Giveaway

Aubrey and Marion are generously offering 5 ebook copies of Villains & Veritas. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Sunday, August 30, 2020. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

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