Good Afternoon everyone,
The blog tour for The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet is starting today at From Pemberley to Milton, and I could not be more excited to welcome Hunter Quinn here today for the first time 🙂
She is a new author to the genre, but after reading the excerpt she brought us today, I am incredibly happy Meryton Press decided to publish her work. This book sounds very promising and I cannot wait to read it! Plus, it has a gorgeous cover!! Don’t you think? The back cover got me particularly interested. Who are the two gentleman in the back?
I would like to thank Mrs. Quinn for the visit, and for sharing such a beautiful excerpt with my readers, and Janet Taylor for all the hard work she keeps doing in this community. Thank you so much for organizing this blog tour and inviting me to be a part of it 🙂
It is a pleasure to be one of the first to share information about this The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
Firstly, I would like to say a massive thank you to Rita for hosting me!
My name is Hunter Quinn, and I am very excited to be here to introduce my debut novel, The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, to this wonderful and engaging genre of Austen variations. I, myself, have read every variation I can get my hands, and all the great and inspiring words of so many superb authors inspired me to try my hand at penning/typing my own.
This is a full-length novel which explores the possible consequences had Elizabeth not received the letter from Mr. Darcy after his disastrous proposal in Kent. One of my favourite facets of this book that I enjoyed exploring most, was swapping the usual roles/dynamics between Elizabeth and Darcy. Though we do see glimpses of Darcy efforts to improve himself, we also explore a few other characters’ growth into maturity and Elizabeth’s acknowledgement that she had misjudged Mr. Darcy in a sweet way.
For those of you who have read my first excerpt at the Meryton Press Cover Reveal Blog Post, we left off where Elizabeth had sought and been granted an audience with very disheveled Mr. Darcy. She arrives at his town house without a chaperone or invitation to ask for his help. In this next excerpt we jump back slightly to see Darcy’s thoughts and reactions upon being informed that Elizabeth has come to call…
Fitzwilliam Darcy was in his study, brooding over the past five months as he nursed a brandy. As he was not usually one to over-imbibe, this particular spirit had become an imperfect balm for his bruised heart. He had yet to make it to bed, and he was starting to feel a dull ache growing in his head. He released a deep sigh and rubbed his eyes, trying to ease their strain. Pushing himself upright, he ran his hands through his unruly hair and down his jaw, grimacing at the roughness of his chin. The room was dim, lit only by the fire burning in the grate. His tired gaze rested for a moment on the untouched dinner tray before returning to the bottom of his almost-empty glass.
Everything he knew about himself, everything others expected of him, and everything he had been taught meant nothing after that horrible day at the parsonage. He had made a complete fool of himself. He had put aside his pride and sense and offered his heart to the woman he loved, and she had mercilessly ripped it to pieces. Initially, Darcy dealt with his grief in the only way he knew. Willing himself to ignore the pain, he threw himself into running his estates and finding new investments. Knocking back the remaining brandy, he flinched at the distasteful memories now assailing him. How could he have been such a simpleton to think that she reciprocated his feelings? He had assuredly believed, without an ounce of doubt, that Elizabeth would welcome his proposal. It was laughable! The only positive aspect of this anguish was his wealth, which had grown in proportion to his heartbreak.
More hurtful than the rejection was the look of disgust on her face. She had treated him with such contempt, professing that he was “the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.” Even at such a moment, she had found a way to catalogue his faults: “your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others.” She had accused him of ruining the happiness of her beloved sister Jane, and—worse—of being responsible for Wickham’s “misfortunes.”
“His misfortunes have been great indeed,” he muttered to himself bitterly, closing his eyes and trying to shake her angry words from his mind as he strode to the sideboard and poured another generous helping of his rapidly depleting brandy. With drink in hand, he resettled himself behind his desk into the plush leather armchair that had once belonged to his father and heaved another sigh.
Darcy recalled storming away from the parsonage. Upon his return to Rosings Park, his aunt’s estate, he had locked himself in his room and wallowed in self-pity. He eschewed dinner with his relatives that evening, choosing instead to write Elizabeth a letter explaining and justifying his actions. He had behaved with the best of intentions, and at the very least he would defend himself, by God! However, in doing so, he knew he would be revealing his and his beloved sister’s most painful secrets. The next morning, after pacing the grove for over an hour in the hopes of seeing her, he lost his nerve and, upon his return to his room, threw the letter into the fire. It would be too dangerous to leave those secrets committed to paper. Besides, why should he care for her good opinion? It was not as if they would see each other again. They hardly moved in the same circles.
Darcy had come back to London as quickly as possible with the sole purpose of forgetting Elizabeth Bennet. He told no one of what had happened and naïvely hoped that, by immersing himself in estate management, he would quickly conquer his ill-fated infatuation. And he had succeeded! Except that food had lost its taste, and he could no longer sleep for longer than a few restless hours at a stretch. He would lie awake at night, thinking of her and all that might have been. Although Darcy was loath to admit it, he knew he spent too much time imagining a future in which a joyous Elizabeth had smiled and said yes.
In the past few weeks, he had thrown himself back into society in an attempt to assuage his family and their worries over his behaviour. He must find a suitable bride and begin the process of begetting an heir. He was convinced that would be the way to conquer his heartache. But, alas, no one could compare to Elizabeth.
When had he become such a lovesick schoolboy? What a pathetic wretch he was!
It was then that he heard knocking on his study door. Surely his household knew not to disturb him so early. He tried to ignore this intrusion into his solitude, but the knocking persisted.
He slammed a fist into his desk. “GO AWAY!”
Much to his annoyance, Jarvis slowly opened the door and entered. Darcy levelled him a withering glare.
“Good morning, sir. My apologies for disturbing you, but there is a young lady here requesting to see you,” Jarvis said with a lift of his eyebrows as he made his way towards the closed curtains.
“What?” exclaimed Darcy as he watched his butler’s steady progress across the study, straightening objects along the way and tsk-tsking as he passed the untouched food.
“There is an unescorted young lady here to see—”
“Yes, I heard you the first time,” he snapped. “Tell her I am busy and not receiving visitors. And there is no need to open the drapes!”
Jarvis left the curtains untouched, but he did not obey his master’s other order. “Sir, I would have done so, as per your instructions. However, she explained that she is an acquaintance of yours and would need only a moment of your time. She said the matter was urgent, and she looks very distressed, sir,” explained Jarvis as he lit the two candles nearest his master.
“I see,” Darcy said as he pinched the bridge of his nose in consternation. Normally, he would not be swayed once he had decided not to receive visitors, especially at such an early hour. On the other hand, Jarvis had never gone against his specific instructions, much less offered justifications for doing so.
After a brief hesitation, Darcy looked up. “Does the lady have a name?”
“Miss Elizabeth Bennet, sir.”
Darcy blanched and shot up, catching his elbow on the side of the desk and nearly upsetting his drink.
“Jarvis, are you certain?” he demanded, absentmindedly rubbing the ache from his elbow.
“Yes, quite certain, sir.” Jarvis seemed taken aback by the extreme reaction from his normally staid master. “Will you receive her?”
Darcy nodded slowly. Once the door closed, he expelled a loud breath and began pacing. What on earth is she doing here? Damn! And why did I agree to see her? He needed to compose himself and, above all, act as unaffected by her presence as he could.
He paused in front of his desk, searching for some correspondence or other paperwork so he might look occupied when she appeared. But then he changed his mind and decided to perch on the edge of his desk with a book…no, no, no—far too contrived! He was acting like a bloody simpleton.
“What are you doing?” he berated himself. “Just sit at your desk, man! This is your study, after all. Where else would you be?” Once he had situated himself, Darcy took a few deep breaths in an attempt to gain some equanimity.
Unfortunately, the knowledge that Elizabeth was there made it difficult for him to be calm.
In his house!
After all these months!
Darcy braced himself to see her again, but how could anything prepare his heart for this unexpected turn of events?
When her sister Lydia elopes without a trace, Elizabeth Bennet must put aside her predisposition against Mr. Darcy—the man whose hand she refused months earlier—and plead for his assistance in locating the wayward couple. As a result, they face daunting hurdles with help from well-loved friends and interference from old rivals. Will their struggles result in permanent estrangement or a love match?
You can find The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet at:
Hunter Quinn is a British writer, residing in the southwest of England. She is an avid reader, no doubt due to the influence of her mother, an English classics’ professor and lecturer.
Having grown up a stone’s throw from Bath and always surrounded by the words of literary greats, Hunter first discovered Jane Austen at a young age. But it was the ubiquitous scene where Mr. Darcy—portrayed by Colin Firth (a moment of silence and applause)—first emerged from the lake in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that cemented her love for Jane Austen and the regency romance genre of spirited damsels, dashing gentleman, and glittering ballrooms. Afterwards, Hunter walked through life daydreaming and writing ‘what if’ scenarios between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy but never had the courage to share them. Once the lockdown went into effect, Hunter took the plunge and began sharing her first novel on well-known JAFF sites. The praise and interest of readers gave her the confidence to submit The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet to Meryton Press Publishing…and the rest is history!
The Blog Tour for The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet is just starting today, so please don’t forget to check the other stops on tour:
April 19th From Pemberley to Milton
April 20th Probably at the Library
April 21st My Jane Austen Book Club
April 22nd Diary of an Eccentric
April 23rd My Vices and Weaknesses
April 24th Donadee’s Corner
April 26th Austenesque Reviews
Meryton Press will give away one eBook of The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet per stop on the blog tour. The giveaway is international and to apply to your copy here at From Pemberley to Milton, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post until the 24th of April. The winner will be announced shortly after that.
Good Luck everyone!