Hello Dear readers,
I’m very happy to announce that today From Pemberley to Milton is doing the cover reveal and posting the first glimpse of Jennifer Joy’s new book Accusing Elizabeth!
The book will be released for sale tomorrow, and I’m very proud to have been the one Jennifer choose to let the world know about her latest project.
I hope you find the premise enticing as much as I did 🙂
What must a lady do to receive a decent proposal? After refusing an atrocious proposal from a gentleman she dislikes, Elizabeth Bennet wishes she had never come to Hunsford. Foolish decisions and silent tongues conspire against Elizabeth, bringing accusations against her and those whom she holds dear, when a valuable pair of diamond earrings go missing from Rosings. Elizabeth finds a surprising ally in Mr. Darcy— the man she had so recently refused. Can Elizabeth see past her prejudice to understand her own heart? Or will she ruin her prospects to protect her friends? Fitzwilliam Darcy’s dream of a happy union is dashed to pieces when Elizabeth Bennet irrevocably refuses his offer. Sincere in his affections, he determines to win her heart. If only he can defend her when his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, suspects Elizabeth and Miss Maria Lucas of theft. Can Darcy overcome the obstacles his relatives place before him on the path to love? Will Elizabeth give him a second chance?
Now without further ado, I leave you with the cover and the excerpt…
As Charlotte left the house accompanied by the housemaid, Elizabeth marched to the back of the house and down the sloping lawn to the pig’s pen. Elizabeth had not experienced the flight of said animal, but she knew that Charlotte lived in terror of it escaping again. Every commotion Mr. Collins caused was followed by the question, “Did the pig escape again?” from Charlotte.
Walking quickly, before her sense of reason could catch up with her and stop her, Elizabeth raised the latch which secured the door to the pen. She flung open the gate and clapped a few times to set the animal in motion. It needed no further encouragement.
Squealing with the joy of its newfound freedom, the pig ran as fast as its four pink legs could carry it, its ears bouncing and its tail swishing through the air as it cut through the lawn with Elizabeth chasing after it, trying with all her might to keep up so that she might encourage it to go toward the front of the house where Charlotte could hear it.
“Charlotte! The pig is loose!” she yelled.
Charlotte, who had not walked far down the road, shoved the basket into Betsy’s hands, picked up her skirts, and ran toward the house. The look of determination on her face was a fierce thing to behold.
“You block it from that side, Lizzy. I will make sure it does not come through the gate. Maria!” she yelled.
The girl, not understanding what all the fuss was about, but observing it tranquilly through the front window, came outside.
Charlotte made no explanations, but she gave orders rather well. “See that the pig does not get into our garden.”
Maria ran to the opposite side of the house to stand guard, but Elizabeth knew that the pig must already be there. Its squeals of protest at Maria’s attempts to shoo it out of the garden confirmed its location.
Charlotte threw her hands up by her face. “Oh, no! It will uproot and eat everything. Lizzy, I need your help,” she called from over her shoulder as she ran toward the garden.
Elizabeth did not remember the last time she had run so much. Not since she was a child.
Maria was in some sort of deadlock with the offending animal. It stood with a carrot hanging out of its mouth, chomping at the greens contentedly and daring anyone to draw near.
“Maria, you get at him from the far side. I’ll go from this side. Lizzy, make sure he cannot escape through the front,” Charlotte instructed as she closed in.
Betsy, having freed herself of the basket, joined them.
With a wicked glint in its eye, the pig finished chomping on its carrot, then charged at Elizabeth. Widening her stance so she could grab the animal as it passed, it ran straight between her legs, catching her dress and pulling her down backwards. Charlotte and Betsy were quick to run to her, but the pig masterfully untangled himself from her dress, stepped over her, and continued squealing toward the open fence.
“I suppose I deserved that,” said Elizabeth to herself as she tried to get back on her feet. Thankfully, the pig was small and it had not hurt much when he stepped all over her in his haste.
Dashing across the lawn to the front of the house, they watched as the pig headed toward the open gate.
“Do not let it get out!” cried Charlotte.
Elizabeth ran with the women after the pig, wiping her loose hair out of her face.
“It must not cross into Rosings. Mr. Collins would be mortified,” insisted Charlotte.
Chasing the tireless, pink beast down the Hunsford Road, Elizabeth’s lungs burned for breath. After all this effort, Maria had best confess to Charlotte!
Down the road, two gentlemen on horseback appeared. Elizabeth gritted her teeth at the sight of Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy. It embarrassed her for them to see her in such a state. A great deal of her hair was loose, and her dress was covered in dirt and muddy hoof prints. But it had all been of her own doing, and she must see Charlotte’s pig safely back to its pen.
Charging through her shame as she continued in the chase, she kept her focus on the pig, waiting for her opportunity to pounce. One quick look over her shoulder confirmed that she was on her own. Maria and Betsy lagged behind her. Charlotte had slowed to a walk, having grown tired.
As the runaway animal neared the horsemen, Mr. Darcy handed his reins to Colonel Fitzwilliam and dismounted. Elizabeth had expected him to observe piously from the comfort of his seat. When he rushed the pig, turning it back to trot toward her, she could not have been more surprised.
Unfortunately, the pig must have figured that its odds were better against one man than against four resolute women, who now stood closer together. It promptly turned back to Mr. Darcy, picking up his pace.
Elizabeth, her limbs as tired as her spirits, yelled, “Please do not let the little devil past.”
Mr. Darcy took her seriously. He leaned down to grab the pig as it neared, but the pig had anticipated his move. Veering to the side just outside of Mr. Darcy’s reach, he squealed in delight at what he thought was another victory in his escape. What the pig did not count on, nor anybody else, for that matter, was for Mr. Darcy to pivot in place and pounce on top of it. He circled his arms around the squirming animal.
Colonel Fitzwilliam had his hands full with the nervous horses that did not much like a small pig darting about near their feet. He laughed so loudly, it echoed down the lane.
Without losing his hold, Mr. Darcy’s eyes shot up to glare at his audacious cousin. “Stop your cackling and make yourself useful.”
Seeing that the colonel would not be of much help with two skittish horses in his care, Elizabeth knelt down next to Mr. Darcy so that she could hold the pig’s feet and allow the gentleman to stand.
“Thank you,” he said, a scowl on his face.
Wrapping his arms around the pig’s middle, he asked, “Where does this thing belong, Mrs. Collins?”
Rushing forward, Charlotte said, “Oh, no. Please, Mr. Darcy, we will make sure it gets back into its pen. You need not trouble yourself.”
Elizabeth shook her head at her overly polite friend.
Mr. Darcy, scowl still in place, said, “Nonsense. If I loosen my hold, this ingrate will only escape again.”
“Very well,” said Charlotte as she led the way back to the pig’s pen.
They walked in silence back to the parsonage. Elizabeth did not remember running that great a distance, but the pig had covered a good deal of ground.
When the house was in view, Elizabeth chanced a glance at Mr. Darcy. She expected to see a trickle of sweat running down his brow, but there was nothing. Only a deep furrow.
As a giggle bubbled up through her throat, she wished she had not looked at him. It was ridiculous that such a fine gentleman who took himself much too seriously should be carrying a pig like it was a small child.
The pig’s ears flopped with each step, and it looked like it was having a jolly time in Mr. Darcy’s arms. It even looked like it was smiling.
That was all Elizabeth could bear. No longer able to stifle her laughter, she looked at Colonel Fitzwilliam, whom she knew she could rely on for understanding, and laughed with such delight that her stomach soon hurt.
She avoided looking at Mr. Darcy again, lest the sight renew her laughter and upset the gentleman more than she already had. But the pig joined in with its grunts and snorts, and Elizabeth peeked up through her lashes to see Mr. Darcy in the height of a large grin.
The sight almost stifled her laughter. It certainly was not what she had expected to see. Mr. Darcy’s eyes lit up and his lips curled up in the corners so bewitchingly that she had difficulty looking away from. Disarmed by his smile, she focused on the happy pig bobbing up and down in his arms.
*** Author Bio ***
Her wish is to continue to write sweet romances with happy endings for years to come.
She currently lives in Ecuador with her husband and twins. All of them are fluent in Spanglish.
Right now, Jennifer is imagining a new way to bring our beloved Darcy and Lizzy together so that they can enjoy another Happily-Ever-After.
It’s giveaway time!!!
Jennifer Joy was kind enough to bring to From Pemberley to Milton four e-book copies of Accusing Elizabeth to offer to our readers across the globe.
The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is place your own questions to Jennifer or just share your kind words and love with her. Leave a question or comment on this post, and if you want to double your chances of winning, you can also comment on the review for Accusing Elizabeth that From Pemberley to Milton will post on the 25th of January.
The giveaway is open until the 31st of January and the lucky winners will be randomly picked and announced on the 1st of February.
Good luck everyone, and I hope you enjoyed the excerpt!!! It makes us wonder why Elizabeth is doing such a thing doesn’t it? What about the cover? It is my favourite cover from Jennifer Joy’s books so far 🙂
If you’re curious about the book feel free to place your questions to Jennifer, I’m sure she will love to answer anything you would like to know 🙂