As we forge forward into the world of self -publishing, many Jane Austen lovers have been given a platform with which to share. The many different scenarios they have re imagined for JA's beloved characters, is vastly expanding the genre of Jane Austen fan Fiction.
Today I welcome Denise O'Hara.
As a new author to me, I have yet to read her work, however I shall endeavour to remedy that in the near future.
Today Denise is kindly sharing with us an excerpt of her new release Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless and offering two lucky winners a choice of either a digital or paperback copy!
Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless takes our couple from their meeting again at Pemberley all the way to the year 2012. When Elizabeth is with the Gardiners in Derbyshire, her letters from Jane are delayed by two additional days, giving her time to see a different side of Darcy. Those extra days set off a chain of events that changes the course of time, which leads to our couple finding themselves in the modern world. There's a definite scientific element to the book but it's meant to be scientifically believable, rather than sci-fi. What would our favorite couple be like if we could meet them today? How would they adapt to this new time? How did they even get here from where they started?
Elizabeth ran back to the sitting room in the Gardiner’s home, bursting through the door with all semblance of ladylike behavior forgotten. “It is Father,” she managed to gasp. “I believe he overheard us talking and has left to track down Wickham. I am afraid he will do something foolish!”
Mr. Gardiner, Mr. Darcy, and Elizabeth were on the road in Darcy’s carriage within mere moments, Elizabeth praying they would reach the smallholding before her father or at least before he had time to act. A commotion heard from a dilapidated old barn as the carriage pulled up had them all racing in that direction and dashing inside, stopping dead as they took in the terrible scene before them.
Mr. Bennet was shouting at Wickham, who had backed into a corner of the barn. Behind him was a crying and hysterical Lydia, and in front of him, he held his military issue weapon, pointed at Mr. Bennet.
“I know by your fine estate and clothing that you are simply concealing your wealth so as to prevent handing it over in dowries.”
“How dare you try to blackmail me with my own daughter’s virtue, you despicable blaggard!”
“I have already told you, if you want me to marry her, you have to pay me to do so,” Wickham was declaring coldly as they looked on, stunned by the events taking place. “Ah, I see we have more company,” he sneered, spotting them. “Perhaps the good and virtuous Mr. Darcy will lend you the funds; after all, it is no problem for him, since he has such large coffers to draw upon.”
Darcy stepped slowly towards Mr. Bennet. “Gentlemen, please. We must all keep our senses. Wickham, please put that thing away before you cause even more damage than you already have.”
“Oh, no. You see, this,” he said while waving the pistol, “this gives me the upper hand again. No more negotiating now that the old man has decided to get involved in the business. I will not be forced into joining myself to this hostile family for a mere ten thousand pounds. The price has doubled. And I want it soon, or I leave and no one will ever marry or have anything to do with your virtuous daughter again. And believe me, I use the word virtuous loosely.”
Mr. Darcy looked from Wickham to the older gentleman and spoke quietly. “Perhaps it would be best if you return to the Gardiners, Mr. Bennet. As much as I respect you, I fear your entreaties will fall on deaf ears. Please allow me to act in your behalf and try to reason with him.”
Mr. Bennet considered Darcy’s words, finally nodding his head in agreement. “Lydia, come with me.”
“No, Papa! I want to stay with my husband!” she cried.
“Your husband?” asked her father. “Is this some kind of trick? Are you in fact already married?”
Wickham laughed. “No, I assure you, we are not married. I believe she means she has been acting as my wife and so already considers me her husband. Is that not right, my dear?”
“Oh, yes, my love! We need only to have a rector pronounce us so. We are already husband and wife in every other way!” answered the foolish girl.
On hearing these vulgar words come from his own child’s mouth and seeing the wicked smile cross Wickham’s face, Mr. Bennet rushed at Wickham. He reached forward to wrestle the gun from Wickham’s grasp. As he did so, the gun fired, the sound deafening in the small confines of the rickety old building. Everybody froze in shock, holding their breath.
Elizabeth turned to Darcy, her eyes pleading, one hand reaching out towards him. Confused by her expression and action, he nevertheless took a few steps in her direction and reached to take her hand, just as she collapsed to the ground at his feet.
He dropped to his knees, rolling her over to gather her in his arms, and as he did so, everything made sense. A large crimson stain was rapidly spreading across the front of her dress around a hole in the material where the bullet had penetrated. He ripped the hole wider, revealing the terrible wound to her abdomen.
“NO! Oh, Elizabeth, oh no!” he cried, gathering her closer to him.
Mr. Bennet released Wickham to rush to his daughter’s side. Wickham stood frozen in place, taking in the scene before him. On realizing what he had just done, he darted from the barn, his regard for Elizabeth less than his regard for himself. Lydia stood, her eyes wild, undecided where her loyalties lay. In the end, she chose Wickham, dashing after him.
“Elizabeth, oh, my dear Lizzy, please do not leave me, I … I love you,” Darcy murmured as he held Elizabeth close, his tears mingling with the ruby red river that flowed from her body.
“I love … you,” she managed to whisper, before her eyes closed and her body went limp in his arms.
Thank you for sharing with us Denise, that definitely appeared to be a pivotal moment in the book and I see Wickham is still up to his villainous ways, no surprises there I suppose!
For a chance to win either a digital or paperback copy of Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless, just say hello to Denise or leave a comment below, to be entered. Giveaway ends on
7th march 2016. Winners announced on the 13th March.
Denise O'Hara is a Southern girl married to an Irish Californian. When the petite green eyed brunette met the man with big brown eyes and dimples, it was love at first sight. Twenty eight years later they're still having fun! They have two adult children and lots and lots of family nearby.
She has six sisters and her close bond with them certainly influenced her instant connection to Jane Austen's novels. She started writing JAFF February 28th of 2015. In her first three Life after the Wedding Series books she focused primarily on Jane Bingley. However, mirroring Denise's real life, Jane's sisters, especially Elizabeth Darcy, will always be an important part of her life. The Darcy's Host a Ball at Pemberley continued the former Bennet sister's story, with the Darcys and Bingleys celebrating anniversaries and their younger sisters finding love. A Few Good Men was the most recent installment in the Series, and part six will be out this summer. Denise has also written two Pride and Prejudice variations, Disdain and Deception and Yours Truly, Mr.Darcy. She currently has two other variations almost completed and the outline for the sequel to her newest release, Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless.
The next book will be Timeless Adventures.
As always I delight in hearing your thoughts!