Good Afternoon everyone,
I am very happy to be sharing with you an excerpt of Pemberley by Moonlight by Stephen Ord today. Mr. Ord is a new author at From Pemberley to Milton, but I was very intrigued by his book which has just been published by Quills & Quartos.
It looks like it has a lot of mystery, and I expect to see a very strong and special bond between Eilzabeth and Mr. Darcy. Plus, it is a novella, so it has the perfect length for me at the moment 😊 Mr. Ord has chosen an excerpt of the first chapter of the book to share with you and I hope you like it as much as I did.
Thank you for visiting Mr. Ord! Congratulations and all the success with this new release!
Again, I would like to Q&Q not only for publishing new authors, but also for allowing me to spread the word about these books 😊
Hi Rita! Thank you very much for hosting me here at From Pemberley to Milton today. Hopefully I will have an opportunity to interact with your readers and find even more excellent JAFF to add to my ‘to read’ list for the dark nights coming in soon.
In the excerpt from Pemberley by Moonlight the reader will immediately pick up that while the environment of Pemberley is a beautiful as ever, something is not quite right. Allowing Georgiana, who is my view helps Elizabeth come to terms with Mr Darcy being more than she believed from first impressions in canon, interact with her early, draws you into this strange new situation with a missing Darcy. I also hope that I’ve conveyed the fact that Elizabeth can be very much herself and has no trepidation about being at Pemberley here. I like to think that it’s a very Lizzy thing to do when she smiles to herself at her own whimsy.
Pemberley By Moonlight, Chapter One :
“Oh my, Lizzy! Is it not beautiful?” Mrs Gardiner asked admiringly. “Truly, one would put up with much to become mistress of Pemberley.”
“Sadly, Aunt, for someone to become the mistress of Pemberley, one would need to find its master.”
Owing to recent happy events in their family—the marriage of Miss Jane Bennet to Mr Charles Bingley, intimate friend of said gentleman—Elizabeth had become quite familiar with the mystery of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, absent master of Pemberley, who had not been seen by anyone in the past year.
Elizabeth returned her gaze to the scene outside of the carriage. Light glinted off the lake and some of the windows of the large handsome manor house, causing her to wince slightly from the reflection of the bright sun. As part of their northern tour, Elizabeth and her favourite relatives, her aunt and uncle Gardiner, had bent their steps towards Lambton in Derbyshire, where her aunt had passed much of her youth. From there, they had journeyed to Pemberley for a visit. Elizabeth was nearly overwhelmed by the beautiful setting of the great house and wondered at its tragic recent past.
Having petitioned the housekeeper, Mrs Reynolds, for a tour, the small group entered the grand house. Elizabeth’s footsteps echoed lightly on the marble floor as she followed the housekeeper through the spacious house. The furniture and decorations were tasteful and unassuming to her eye, and she found that she admired the taste of the owner.
As the tour continued, Elizabeth found still greater sources of admiration for the missing gentleman. Elizabeth listened with interest as Mrs Reynolds waxed eloquent to the Gardiners about her missing master, describing a man who was generous, fair, intelligent, and kind. As the small party toured the public rooms, the housekeeper praised Mr Darcy’s gift of a new pianoforte and refreshed furnishings in the music room ‘just to delight his sister’, his excellent care of the estate and all of the dependents linked to it, and his sense of responsibility compared to other young men.
There were many paintings and other objects of art which gave clues to the history of this grand place. “The Darcys can trace back to the Normans,” Mrs Reynolds informed them proudly as she led them through the gallery, pointing out this and that illustrious personage. Elizabeth was especially taken with a portrait of Mr Darcy and found herself gazing into his kind eyes. She tilted her head slightly as if to provoke a change in expression in his handsome face, and then smiled to herself at her whimsy.
Mrs Reynolds had stepped back to allow them to examine the works in the gallery at their leisure but their attention was returned to her, hearing her utter a small cry.
“Madam?” enquired Mr Gardiner. “Are you well?”
“I…yes…” The housekeeper, so poised only moments before, appeared flustered where she stood over a small cabinet. “There should be ten,” she said, speaking to herself.
Elizabeth walked over and found a collection of jewelled boxes, some which appeared to be quite old. “Has something gone missing?” she asked.
The housekeeper shook her head, seeming to regain her equanimity. “Someone must be cleaning it. If you are finished here, allow me to give you over to Carter, our head gardener. Pemberley boasts some of the greatest gardens…”
Acting on her cue, Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle followed the lady outdoors. Upon exiting the house, Elizabeth passed through the momentary coolness caused by the shadow of the grand building. As they walked beyond the shaded area, Elizabeth was caught by an object in the near distance that appeared almost blindingly white in the sunlight. Going nearer to see what it was, she was shocked to find a life-sized sculpture of what appeared to be Mr Darcy himself in the semi-formal rose garden.
Unable to help herself, Elizabeth left her relations and proceeded towards the statue. The heady fragrance from the mixed pink, red, and yellow roses surrounded her. Mr Darcy’s statue had been placed on a paved circle within, and was tall, standing around six feet. Elizabeth had to gaze upward to see his features more closely. Much like his portrait, the statue portrayed a handsome man with unruly, wavy hair, a slightly cleft chin, and an aristocratic nose.
Unlike the portrait however, Mr Darcy’s statue was placed in a peculiar, almost distressing posture. Whereas Mr Darcy’s portrait showed a more commonly-seen upright stance of strength, the gentleman’s statue stood with his arms stretched towards Pemberley, the expression on his face appearing almost pleading. To Elizabeth, it was as if his whole heart was contained within that beautiful building, and by his will alone, he would protect it and all within. Judging from Charles Bingley’s stories of the man and the high praise given him by the housekeeper, the sense of duty portrayed was probably accurate. “He is a gentleman unlike any I have ever known,” Elizabeth murmured as she continued to regard him. “Indeed, I wish I had the chance to know him.”
Elizabeth had understood that none of the family were at Pemberley, so she startled when suddenly hearing a lady’s soft voice coming from the other side of the statue.
“Oh, Brother! If you do not return soon, Uncle has said they will petition the courts to have you declared dead. I am so sorry. I cannot face life alone. I am sorry that I hurt you so and you had to go away. I would give anything to do it all over again.”
The hidden young lady’s voice trembled, as though she was weeping, and Elizabeth’s tender heart moved her to make herself known. “Forgive me, miss,” she called out softly. “I could not help but hear you. May I render any assistance to you?”
There was a brief silence and then a young lady emerged from the other side of the statue. She appeared to be sixteen or seventeen and had fair hair and blue eyes. She was taller than Elizabeth, and her figure was well-formed and womanly. Elizabeth believed her to be Miss Darcy, having seen portraits of the girl, painted when she was younger, during the house tour.
“My apologies for intruding,” Elizabeth said gently. “You are in distress. May I summon someone for you?”
The girl chuckled darkly. “If I thought anyone cared about anything but forcing a marriage on me, I would send for them at once. But no one does.”
Elizabeth could hear her aunt and uncle at a distance, speaking with the gardener, but otherwise the ladies were alone. She took a step nearer to the girl.
“I am sure that is not true,” she soothed. Having sisters of about the same age, she was well accustomed to the ‘no one cares about me’ feeling that beset them all at times.
“And I assure you that it is quite true,” the girl replied. “I made a dreadful, terrible mistake last summer and it appears I shall pay for it my whole life long.”
Elizabeth knew not how to reply to this assertion but was spared a reply by the girl’s next question.
“Who are you?”
“I wish I could meet you, Mr Darcy, and tell you to come home. There seems to be a large gap in the world where you should be.”
WHAT HAS HAPPENED to Fitzwilliam Darcy?
IT HAS BEEN NEARLY A YEAR since the master of Pemberley disappeared, leaving behind his distraught young sister and a family in turmoil. But clues to his whereabouts are scarce and it soon seems there will be nothing to do but see Georgiana married and have him declared legally dead.
ELIZABETH BENNET, ON HOLIDAY with her aunt and uncle, visits Pemberley and soon finds herself drawn into the mystery of the missing gentleman. But what secrets are hidden within the gardens of Pemberley? And what is the strange attraction she feels towards the statue of the man she has never met?
Powerful forces want to keep them apart, but true love will overcome even the most fearsome evil.
You can find Pemberley by Moonlight at:
and on Kindle Unlimited
Stephen Ord discovered Jane Austen during his teens, and then found the treasure trove of works inspired by her as he reached forty. Becoming part of the JAFF community inspired him to contribute his own stories, and now he doesn’t believe he can stop writing (and indeed, does not want to).
Stephen reads a lot of everything and has done so from early childhood. When he was around eight years old, he bought a book on unsolved mysteries. One of the mysteries was around the life and times of Lord Byron, and several of the others were around Ancient Egypt. This was the seed that grew into an ongoing fascination with Regency times, ancient cultures and mythology.
Stephen has read a lot on the cultures and histories of Britain, Rome, Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt (amongst others). These histories have joined works from Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and books of just about every other genre, inside his rather active imagination. He knows it is time to write more when his ears begin to whistle.
Stephen lives and works in Bonny Scotland, where his lovely wife and two kids keep his feet on the ground, while supporting him to have his head in the clouds on occasion too.
Quills & Quartos would like to offer one ebook copy of Pemberley by Moonlight to one reader commenting on this post. The winner will be choosen and announced on the Q&Q Facebook and Instagram pages shortly after the blog tour is over.
Good Luck Everyone!