Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Alias Thomas Bennet excerpt & giveaway

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This blog tour has been fun, and I appreciate bloggers like Angela allowing me to share my new novel on their blogs. Alias Thomas Bennet is a Regency romance that follows canon in Pride and Prejudice, while changing the character of Mr. Bennet to make him less indolent and lackadaisical. In no way does that make him boring, though!

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But with a different Mr. Bennet, many things in Pride and Prejudice can change. Different Meryton assembly. Different Hunsford. Different Jane and Elizabeth?

I think this last excerpt will prove to be the most interesting of all. It’s from Chapter 24. Elizabeth is in London, staying with the Gardiners, while she purchases her wedding clothes.

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Elizabeth was full of trepidation. She hoped her disquiet would go unnoticed by Mrs. Younge; she did not want to alarm the other lady.

Silently chastising herself for walking out without Roberts and Jenkins, she considered whether there would be anyone else nearby upon whom she could rely for assistance. She thought of the servant she had seen earlier and wished she had not walked so far. She considered grabbing Mrs. Younge and attempting to run away but discounted that idea since Wickham would surely catch them given their encumbrance of long skirts. At least with the other woman as witness, there could be no accusations of a compromise by Wickham.

“What a pleasure to see you and your companion walking out on such a lovely morning, my lady!” he said as he rounded upon them. “How fortunate you have found a place with such beauty for an early morning promenade. Tell me, do you think the city park measures up to the countryside?”

Elizabeth’s eyes narrowed, and she gritted her teeth. In spite of her fear, she was angry at Wickham’s gall. She was about to challenge his familiarity with country walks but then reconsidered her manners and dropped her gaze, for she did not want to aggravate him with any impertinence.

“I understand I am to offer you joy on your engagement to Mr. Darcy. He is a very lucky man to have won the hand of such a beauty,” Wickham said almost blithely. “He and I were good friends as children. Perhaps you can speak to him on my behalf since I miss his companionship deeply.”

He then turned his attention to the lady standing beside Elizabeth. “Can you introduce me to your friend?”

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Mrs. Bertha Younge was an enterprising woman. She had done well in her current occupation, even though it was several steps below her prior work as a lady’s companion. Her only weakness was her obsession with George Wickham.

Claiming he could not live without her nocturnal charms, he had arrived at her doorstep the week before. She knew when she was being taken in; in all likelihood, a new scheme to gain riches or importance was on his mind, and he needed her to take a risk on his behalf. This time, he claimed that he had been ill-used and forced into hiding in the interminable warrens of London.

He did not even try to persuade; rather, he commanded that she discover ways for him to achieve his ends undetected, and to act on his behalf without his exposure. His cocksure nature angered her.

As usual, he promised a share of the proceeds. She hoped rather than believed that he would obtain the riches he claimed were there for the taking. He returned in the dead of night two days ago, demanding a report on her progress.

“There are two enormous footmen consistently attending the ladies when they make their excursions,” Mrs. Younge reported. “They arrive in Gracechurch Street before breakfast and do not return to Darcy House until all the inmates of the Gardiner home have retired.”

“Then it appears I need more than your feminine charms,” he said. “I need muscle. Anyone for hire in Seven Dials will do.” It was clear he was impatient by the way he issued orders to her.

She shook her head. “I cannot convince brutish fellows to help you in your enterprises, at least not without some form of payment beforehand. I promised them a reward once you become successful, but I was laughed at. It seems you have made a few enemies.” She knew he was desperately without funds at the present time, and he was not known for keeping his promises of future payment.

Wickham huffed and looked at the ground. She intentionally left a silence between them for a few moments.

“However, I did see a break in the times the guards were near Elizabeth.” That caught his attention, and he looked at her expectantly.

“Twice, she has walked out alone very early in the morning,” said she, “and returned before Darcy’s brutes arrived. Thus far, she has not yet been caught by any of her family or their servants. She chooses to walk in a park near her relatives’ home in Cheapside.”

She smiled inwardly as he brazenly outlined his strategy. He fancied himself a brilliant tactician, above all others in intelligence, but had no ability to take his own culpability for mistakes seriously and constantly looked for someone to blame.

This time, she would not be held responsible. This time, she would have the upper hand. There might even be a bit of revenge in it for his past history of using her ill.

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I would like to thank Suzan Lauder for allowing me to post an excerpt of her book, Alias Thomas Bennet.

Visit Suzan Lauder at her blog here

About the book

ATB front cover_500x750 correct_thumb…of most interest to Bennet was Mr. Darcy of Pemberley.

When Fitzwilliam Darcy attends the Meryton assembly, he befriends a quiet, intelligent gentleman. In frequent visits to his friend’s home, he becomes acquainted with the Bennet family of Longbourn. Yet Mr. Darcy is distracted by a strange feeling of having met some of them before.

This is a different Bennet family from the cleverly crafted one in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. This Mr. Bennet is a responsible gentleman who takes an active role in the education and upbringing of all five of his daughters, manages Longbourn to be prosperous, and displays loving guidance toward Mrs. Bennet—a gentle, caring mother and wife.

There is a mystery lurking at Longbourn—a secret unknown even to Elizabeth Bennet—and Mr. Darcy is entangled in its extraordinary revelations.

Who is Thomas Bennet?

Giveaway Time!

I have 1 paperback copy and 1 e-book to giveaway.

Contest is open internationally

To enter please leave your name and a valid email address

Giveaway ends January 31

20 comments:

  1. Wickham so very bad!

    Susan Meikle, meikleblog at gmail dot com

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    1. You don't know the half of it, Susan! Thanks for commenting, and good luck on the draw.

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  2. I hope whatever Wickham is planning, he won't be successful i the end and is punished. Then Darcy and Elizabeth will have their happily ever after ending that I always dream of.

    evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hello Lúthien! Wickham causes a great deal of mischief in the book, not only at this point, but earlier. But the HEA for Darcy and Elizabeth eventually comes, after the dramatic tension is resolved.

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  3. Wow! Tantalizing excerpt. I can't wait to read this one. Thanks for sharing it and for the giveaway opportunity.

    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

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    1. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it once you've read it, Sophia. I enjoy sharing my story with others. Good luck on the giveaway!

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  4. Wickham is always a bad boy!!!
    My name: Chiara Lanzi, my email address: chiarapiccirilla@hotmail.it

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    1. This Wickham is particularly bad. He carries such a heavy grudge against Bennet that he forgets himself. He also has a thing for Elizabeth that pushes him along. Darcy and Bennet have to deal with him very seriously.

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  5. I am so intrigued by this!

    I would like to participate in the giveaway

    patkf2007@hotmail.com

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    1. It's great to hear you're intrigued by the clip, Patricia. I hope it leads to reading the book, and maybe you'll win from this contest. Good luck!

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  6. O.M.G.!!!
    must read!!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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    1. I love your enthusiasm, cyn! Thanks for commenting.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Looking forward to reading this book!! Love a twist.

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  9. uh-oh! *gulp*

    Very intriguing premise! And thanks for the giveaway.

    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Monica! The premise is certainly quite different from any other book out there. I hope its uniqueness will appeal to you. Good luck on the giveaway!

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  10. Delighted to find this excellent new to me JA author! The excerpt has definitely aroused my curiosity =) Liking the accuracy of the dialogue keeping to that of the era.

    TY for hosting and the generosity of the author/publisher for this opp to win a copy!

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    1. sorry - email at blog faithhopecherrytea at [gmail.] com

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    2. Hello, Faith Hope Cherrytea! I'm glad you enjoyed the prose. I certainly worked hard to try to make it sound like it fit the era, as did my betas and editors. It was a bit of a labour of love for all of us. We are honoured to offer you a chance to win a copy so you can enjoy it with us!

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