Good Afternoon everyone,
I hope you are all well and with great books on your kindle to read during the weekend. I have filled mine with lots of them because I’ll be travelling during the next 3 weeks and all the flight hours need to be occupied somehow, right?
Even though my travels will increase my reading time, they also mean I may be a little absent from the blog because I’m not sure how the internet connection will be in the countries I will be visiting, but before leaving, I had to share with you an excerpt that really spiked my curiosity towards K.C Khaler’s latest novel. I read her first novel Boots & Backpacks this year, but her most recent release is a regency novel, so it has to be very different, and I’m very curious to see how it turned out. The reviews so far have been amazing, so it promises to be a good one 🙂
If you haven’t read it yet, you can start with the excerpt below 🙂 And good luck in the giveaway!!
A secret alliance grows when an unwanted suitor arrives at Longbourn…
When rumours of Jane Bennet’s impending betrothal to her father’s heir begin spreading at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth vows to save her dearest sister’s happiness from being sacrificed in marriage.
She finds an unlikely accomplice in Mr Darcy, the taciturn man whose heroics on the cricket field have managed to turn Lydia Bennet’s infatuation away from redcoats. Upon overhearing a heated exchange between Elizabeth and Mr Bennet, Darcy is stunned not only by her devotion to her sister, but also by her defiant words to her father. An inexplicable desire to help Elizabeth draws Darcy into the match-breaking scheme, despite knowing that he should want nothing to do with a family like the Bennets.
As the new allies work together, their friendship deepens into mutual admiration. But they must navigate a complicated web of sisters, parents, friends, cousins, and aunts, some of whom may be attempting their own manipulations and romantic schemes. Eavesdropping and jealousy abound, cricket balls go astray, and love blooms in spite of Mrs. Bennet’s misguided matchmaking.
You can find A Case of Some Delicacy at:
Notes: To further her matchmaking goals, Ms Bennet hosts a picnic at Longbourn. This scene begins during a break between innings of a friendly cricket game. Lydia is on Mr. Darcy’s team while Elizabeth and Mr. Bingley are on the opposite team. Lydia is very competitive and wants to prove that she is a better player than Lizzy. Also Mr. Collins is a terrible cricket player!
Excerpt from Chapter 4
Lydia sought out Mr Darcy to ask whether she could field in her normal spot, silly mid-on. Her quick reflexes often allowed her to catch or run someone out from that position.
He regarded her for a moment. “I suggest you play short instead. There are new players today. For example, Mr Bingley bats much as he bowls—he swings wildly at anything.” Lydia laughed, and Mr Darcy continued, “We do not want you injured.”
“I am not afraid, Mr Darcy.”
“I can see that, Miss Lydia.” The fleeting appearance of his dimples stunned her. “You may field as silly as you like when the batsman is someone you know, such as one of your sisters, but stay farther back when any of the gentlemen are striking. Is that agreeable?”
Lydia conceded before asking, “Where shall you put Mr Collins?”
“Deep, very deep,” he answered solemnly.
She burst into giggles. “I think that is wise.”
“Thank you.” There were those dimples again. “Do you have any other suggestions about field positions?”
Nobody ever asked her for advice. “Kitty is a surprisingly good wicket keeper, but do not allow her to bowl unless you want six extras given away.” She added, “If Lizzy and Peter Lucas are paired up, they will stretch what should be a one-run hit into two or three runs. They are both very quick.”
“I suspected as much from the way they fielded. Miss Elizabeth seems to enjoy cricket.”
“Yes, Lizzy always preferred boy games to proper girl activities.”
Miss Bingley emerged from behind Mr Darcy as if she had been invited into the conversation. “Miss Eliza is a regular hoyden. It was shocking to see her leaping about and catching balls.”
“She is quite an asset to her team,” Mr Darcy answered.
“I do not think it proper for young ladies to play cricket amongst gentlemen.”
“I disagree. Georgiana and I often played cricket with our cousins and neighbours.” Mr Darcy turned to Lydia. “Georgiana is my sister. She is about your age. I taught her to play.”
Miss Bingley amended her earlier statement, “Oh, playing with family is perfectly acceptable, of course. But for Miss Eliza to be making a spectacle of herself among these officers and mere acquaintances, it is rather unseemly.”
Lydia snorted. Unseemly?
Mr Darcy responded more eloquently. “Again, I disagree. If Georgiana were here, I would be happy to let her play in such a friendly match.”
Miss Bingley had dominated the conversation quite long enough, in Lydia’s opinion. “Oh, Mr Darcy, we should love to have your sister play with us! She must be very good if you taught her.” He smiled, making her quite giddy. “Does Miss Darcy have many fine gowns? And bonnets! Lord, I can imagine the bonnets she has, with you being so rich!”
Just then, Elizabeth and Mr Bingley came over. “Shall we resume the match?”
Lydia was pleased with her fielding performance. She bowled an over fairly well, and ran out Charlotte Lucas. But her proudest moment was catching out Mr Bingley, who did swing wildly at any ball that came his way.
When Peter Lucas and Lizzy were at the stumps together, it was just as Lydia feared. Neither Lizzy nor their young neighbour hit powerfully, but each picked the best spot to hit the ball, and each ran so fast that they scored many runs. After two overs, Mr Darcy bowled again. Surely, his spin would hinder Elizabeth. Lydia moved even closer, certain that her quick reaction could make the difference. She wished desperately to catch Lizzy out.
Mr Darcy’s first throw was wide, which disappointed Lydia. He always seemed to have such control. As she looked at him, she noticed he had rolled up his sleeves, as Denny and some of the other officers had done earlier. Lydia did not often have occasion to see men in such a state of dishabille, and certainly not gentlemen. She could not tear her gaze from Mr Darcy’s forearms. They were tanned and sinewy, hinting at the strength contained therein. As she watched him bowl, Lydia was struck by his gracefulness—a masculine gracefulness that she had never seen before, or perhaps simply had never noticed.
Further thoughts on Mr Darcy’s fine bowling form were cut short by the sudden searing pain above her right ear, and then, darkness.
Jane ran towards Lydia in a panic. When she reached the gathering crowd, Elizabeth and Mr Darcy were both kneeling at Lydia’s supine form.
Elizabeth spoke quietly, “Liddy, can you hear me? Lydia?”
After a few moments, Lydia groaned and murmured, “I stood too silly.” Jane sighed with relief.
“Oh Liddy!” Elizabeth cried. “Why weren’t you attending the match? Whatever had you so distracted?”
Her eyes were still closed but Lydia said clearly, “Mr Darcy’s arms.”
Mary began coughing.
“Stop your coughing, Kitty. I’m the injured one,” Lydia said.
Of course Kitty defended herself, “That’s not me! That’s Mary!”
Jane cleared her throat. “Perhaps if the crowd could move back a bit… ”
Charlotte and Sir William ushered people away from the scene, leaving only Lydia’s sisters and Mr Bennet standing there.
Mr Darcy asked, “Miss Lydia, can you open your eyes?”
Her eyes fluttered, but then Mrs Bennet’s lamentations reached the group. “My dearest Lydia! Has Lizzy finally killed you with her hoyden’s game! I knew I shouldn’t allow a cricket match today, but Lizzy insisted! Oh, speak, my poor child!”
“Mama, your yelping hurts my head. In the name of all that is holy, lower your voice,” Lydia said crossly.
“Oh!” Mrs Bennet cried in an agitated whisper. “She has been knocked senseless!”
KC Kahler lives in northeastern Pennsylvania and works in online education, after having dabbled in sandwich making, bug collecting, and web development. She discovered Jane Austen fan fiction in 2008 and soon began dabbling in writing her own.
KC blogs about Austen and other pop culture topics. In 2015 and 2017, her popular Austen + The Onion Headlines meme was featured in The Atlantic, Flavorwire, and AV Club. In 2017, she made the requisite pilgrimage to Jane Austen country, where she took the waters in Bath, walked the lanes of Steventon, didn’t fall off the cobb in Lyme Regis, and stood awestruck in Chawton.
KC’s first novel, Boots & Backpacks, was published in 2014. Her second, A Case of Some Delicacy, released in 2019.
You can win a $50 Amazon gift card from Quills & Quartos Publishing! The contest ends on October 18. To be eligible, just comment on any of the blog tour stops. You need not visit all the stops (one point per stop and comment), however, it does increase your chances of winning by earning more entries.