Monday, October 23, 2017

Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway: Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future

Today we welcome Sharon Lathan, author of the Darcy Saga Sequel Series. I've been following Sharon from the beginning of my years as a book blogger. She is one of the first Austenesque authors I've had the privilege to interact with since 2009.  Sharon has a new novel out, and she's here to give us a delectable taste of it.  I find it interesting that it is set during end of October, the same time period we're in now.

Be sure to enter Sharon's giveaway, too-- if you win, you'll receive both Darcy Saga Prequel books 1 and 2! Open internationally.

Thank you, Laura, for welcoming me onto the Calico Critic today! It is delightful to be here chatting about my latest novel with your visitors.

Way back in 2009 my first novel was published. Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One was my debut novel, and the beginning volume of what is now a seven-book and one novella sequel series for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The series opened with the just-married Darcy and Elizabeth in a carriage as they set off on their honeymoon. From the wedding night onward, my series has spanned nearly five years of wedded bliss with the loving couple at the center, but also surrounded by a host of family and friends, some familiar and others newly created by me.

In order, the Darcy Saga Sequel Series—
  • Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One
  • Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley
  • My Dearest Mr. Darcy
  • In the Arms of Mr. Darcy
  • The Trouble With Mr. Darcy
  • A Darcy Christmas (novella)
  • Miss Darcy Falls in Love
  • The Passions of Dr. Darcy

Some four years ago now, I decided to backtrack a bit from the continuing onward tale of happily-ever-after. I was inspired to recount the roughly eight weeks spanning Mr. Darcy’s second and successful proposal of marriage to the wedding itself. Mainly, I wanted to delve into how these two people grew in their love and comfortable relationship.

At the end of Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are two people on the edge of love. The sentiments are mutual, and growing in strength, but in reality, they know very little about each other. Historically this was typical. The strict rules of proper behavior when seeking a mate were severely inhibitive. Opposite sexes were never left alone, were limited in how intimately they could converse, and unless willing to risk immense damage to one’s reputation, could not touch or express frank emotions.

Once a decision for a mate was made, hopefully based on affection at the least and love at best, and the proposal accepted, the official courtship interval began. How long it lasted varied, but whether three weeks (the minimum for the banns to be read) or longer, the perk was the slightly loosen restrictions. It was during this time that the couple could converse openly and exchange mild intimacies.

It was this evolutionary process I was inspired to explore. How did these two people go from blossoming love and minimal understanding of each other to deep affinity and passion? And along with the emotional aspects to relate, what about the technicalities of preparing for a wedding and marriage during the Regency?

A little over three years ago, I published Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. As of August 2017, the concluding volume has been published. Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future completes the arc from proposal to wedding, ended precisely as the newlyweds enter the carriage for their honeymoon destination!

— Excerpt from Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future

Fitzwilliam Darcy dipped the tip of his sharpened quill into the silver ink jar, tapped it onto the edge to remove the excess fluid, and etched a precise X inside the square for the twenty-sixth of October.

Smoothing one hand over the calendar page while returning the quill to its stand, he gazed at the rows of squares, each with a bold X indicating the date had passed. It was tempting to mark today as complete, but doing so would be premature, considering his breakfast tray sat on the table, and the pot of coffee remained half full.

Best not to violate the rules, no matter the satisfaction in seeing precisely one month remaining until the day scheduled for his marriage to Elizabeth Bennet.

In one respect Darcy did not wish to rush the time. Each day within this season of courtship brought new delights and increased the hope of their future happiness together. The remaining month promised to be especially splendid. Managing to keep a tight grip on his passions, he determined, was the only obstacle to a blissful engagement period!

Coffee cup in hand, Darcy relaxed into the chair and lifted his eyes to the window where sunlight glistened on the drops of dew coating the panes. The small patio outside his bedchamber had transformed from the lush, green-shrouded privacy of summer with bright colors of wisteria, lilac, and potted flowers, to an open terrace of faded blooms and semi-bare branches with clinging leaves of oranges and yellows.

While perhaps not as gloriously beautiful, Darcy tended to prefer the rustic, earthy colors of autumn. For some, this season too vividly illustrated decay and death. To Darcy, autumn marked a gradual easing of life’s busyness and ushered in a period of restful, solitude. For as long as memory served, he had embraced the tranquility of winter at Pemberley. This upcoming winter, with Elizabeth in his life, anticipation for the season was multiplied tenfold.

Nay, after yesterday’s miraculous revelations, make that a hundredfold.

Before arriving in London two days ago, the rapport forged with Elizabeth in the month since their engagement had exceeded Darcy’s wildest imaginings. He had lost count of the times when their easy conversation, similar humor, and reciprocated insights had amazed him. Gradually his guilt over past missteps had faded, as Darcy accepted that by some miracle Elizabeth loved him—almost as deeply as he loved her.

On this fine autumn morning, Darcy freely admitted to his error on two points.

One, Elizabeth already loved him as deeply as he loved her, this being the first miracle revelation from yesterday’s fiery encounter in his mother’s bedchamber.

The second miracle revelation was how thoroughly Elizabeth understood his heart and mind. Clearer than he did, as it turned out.

Oh, my Elizabeth! How remarkable you are.

About the Author

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Her first novel, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, was published in 2009. Sharon’s series of “happily ever after” for the Darcys now totals nine full-length novels and one Christmas themed novella.

Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship and Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future complete the “prequel to the sequel” duo recounting the betrothal months before the Darcy Saga began.

Sharon is a native Californian relocated in 2013 to the green hills of Kentucky, where she resides with her husband of over thirty years. Retired from a thirty-year profession as a registered nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care, Sharon is pursuing her dream as a full-time writer.

Sharon is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, JASNA Louisville, the Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Beau Monde chapter of the RWA, and serves as the website manager and on the board of the Louisville Romance Writers chapter of the RWA.

Sharon is the co-creator of Austen Authors, a group blog for authors of Austenesque literary fiction. Visit at:

Connect with Sharon at the following places—


Facebook: Sharon Lathan, Novelist

Twitter: @SharonLathan

Pinterest:  SharonLathan62

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