In Essentials by Helen Williams – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am very happy to be opening the Blog Tour for In Essentials, a new JAFF book which was released yesterday and whose premise I find very intriguing. I believe the author can use this premise to work on some interesting character developments, and I imagine Darcy’s relationship with Elizabeth will be very close and intimate based on the excerpt we are sharing today. Plus, this book’s cover is simply enchanting, isn’t it? My paperback is already on its way so I may add this to my shelves 😊

I would like not only to welcome Ms. Williams at From Pemberley to Milton, especially as this is her first visit, but also to thank Meryton Press for publishing new authors, and Janet Taylor for allowing me to spread the word about these books 😊

I hope you all like this excerpt, and don’t forget to apply to the giveaway 😊


Hi Rita! Thank you very much for hosting me here at From Pemberley to Milton today.  

In this excerpt from In Essentials the reader will see Elizabeth having a rare moment of weakness, lamenting her altered state and wanting to indulge in what we today would probably call an entirely justifiable “pity party”! But Darcy is there for her, quietly offering support – though whether she is brave enough to accept it is still to be seen…



It was here that Mr Darcy, coming to call, found her one day. She mustered a smile when she saw his approach, and her eyes were dancing with mischief when he finally reached her.

“And what is your excuse for avoiding my mother’s very crowded parlour, sir?”

“I might ask you the same question, Miss Elizabeth.”

“Me?” she repeated, the picture of innocence. “Why, everyone knows that I am overly fatigued by too much company.”

“Rather certain company, I dare say,” he replied pointedly, which made Elizabeth flush and laugh. “And fatigued is a relative term.”

“Alas, I am found out! I can only hope that I may rely on your discretion. It is really shameful of me, after all, to exploit my difficulties.”

“It does put one in mind of the boy who cried wolf,” Mr Darcy observed.

“I see that you do not intend to let me off lightly! Very well, I own that it is badly done. But please do not scold me further. I have not the heart for it today.”

“I should never presume to scold you. I have not that right. But I am sorry to find you out of spirits.”

“I find that even my spirits, on occasion, are a little overwhelmed by my recent frailty. But this spleen will pass. It always does.”

“Might it help to confide your troubles to someone?” he asked gently.

“I daresay I might as well be speaking another language for all anyone could possibly comprehend my feelings. Empathy in such a situation is quite impossible. I would not wish to waste my breath nor my listener’s time.”

“Do you really think so?” Mr Darcy pressed, apparently undeterred by her dismissive response.

His look of calm and his patient but determined solicitude deflated her pique. Elizabeth sighed and lowered her eyes.

“Mr Darcy, have you ever suffered a broken bone?”

“Why, no.”

“Neither have I. And so were I to meet someone with a broken leg, whilst I should certainly pity them and imagine that it was very painful and inconvenient, I would not know how it felt, having never experienced such a thing myself. Do you take my point?”

“I understand your meaning well enough, but I must say that I think you are too quick to dismiss the value of empathy and compassion.”

“I have had enough of both, I assure you!” Elizabeth disclaimed with a gesture of frustration. “But as I said, empathy is impossible. I have quite lost count of the number of times I have been told how terrible it is to be tired, how very dispiriting it is to feel not quite the thing. Tired! If only it were so! If only a good night’s sleep could cure me of my ills. But I know very well it will not, and I am heartily sick of their empathy! They have no notion how much it pains me.”

“I am sure they mean well…”

Elizabeth scoffed and turned away. “Please leave me. I do not care to listen to sense or be made to feel charitably towards my well-wishers. I had much rather sulk and complain and despise them. I have been very good-natured these past months. Everyone says so! Therefore, I am allowed a moment or two of bitterness and anger.”

“More than a moment or two,” Mr Darcy replied softly.

Elizabeth laughed in spite of herself. “Am I to trust you to be the judge? When you yourself have confessed to having a resentful temper?”

“Indeed, but I do not stand in judgement of you. And if I did, I would find you quite blameless, I assure you.”

“You are very kind,” Elizabeth replied but did not turn back to him. “I thank you. But I would rather be alone if you do not mind.”

“As you wish. But know this: I promise that I shall not offend you with empty words of sympathy, and you will not offend me with any honest expression of your feelings.”

“You are very kind,” Elizabeth reiterated but did not relent.

He wished her a good day, and Elizabeth waited a moment before looking to see that he had gone before returning to her melancholy. It had been on the tip of her tongue to remind him of their prior exchange of honest feelings, but at the last moment she had refrained. They had neither of them addressed the awkward episode at Hunsford since his return into Hertfordshire, and Elizabeth was wise enough to know that this was not the moment to do so. Her bitterness regarding her future coloured her perceptions of the past, and what would have been only natural regret caused her further frustration and resentment. There were moments when she almost wished that he had stayed away, for it would have saved her the pain of knowing precisely what she now could never have.

Five months after Darcy’s disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet,

he discovers that the woman he ardently loves is suffering from a grave illness.

Despite an affliction that has left her altered, Elizabeth Bennet is still the same person in essentials: witty, sanguine, and obstinate. However, her future is uncertain, and she struggles to maintain her equanimity—especially when Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to Netherfield and seems determined to improve her opinion of him. Now she must decide whether she is brave enough to trust him and embrace happiness, however fleeting it might prove to be.

IE Final FW 100821_rev (2) wobld M


You can find In Essentials at:

and on Kindle Unlimited

Helen lives in Cambridge, UK where she works for the University of Cambridge. She has been writing as a hobby for around 15 years and has written several novel length stories based on the work of Jane Austen. Helen has Welsh roots so her stories will often include a couple of references to the land of her fathers, in addition to her two other loves – dogs and rugby. In addition to writing, Helen’s hobbies include cooking, hiking, cycling and campaigning for green initiatives. Having been diagnosed with pituitary growths in 2015 and 2020, Helen is also an active member of the Pituitary Foundation and her experiences with chronic illness inspired her latest story.

Photo from Helen W

Contact Info

Facebook Author Page

NEW blog tour

The Blog Tour for In Essentials is just starting, so don’t forget to check the other stops for more info on this brand new book 🙂

October 11 From Pemberley to Milton

October 12 Savvy Verse & Wit

October 13 My Jane Austen Book Club

October 14 My Vices and Weaknesses

October 15 Babblings of a Bookworm

October 16 Donadee’s Corner

IE BT BAnner Horz M

NEW giveaaway time

Meryton Press would like to offer 6 ebook copies of In Essentials to readers following the blog tour. To apply to the giveaway all you need to do is click on the this Raffle Link

Good Luck Everyone!


Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

25 responses to “In Essentials by Helen Williams – Excerpt & Giveaway

  1. Robin G.

    It’s wonderful to see new writers publishing in this space. Congrats on publishing your first!


  2. TC

    I enjoy books with lots of dialogue between Darcy and Elizabeth, so I enjoyed this excerpt. I am also curious about Elizabeth’s illness.


    • Helen W

      Hopefully you’ll enjoy this one, then, TC, as my writing is always dialogue driven. My characters love a good chatter. As for the illness, more is revealed in the book and an author’s note explains the full details (as Regency medicine was not advanced enough for a diagnosis).


  3. Glynis

    I love the cover of this book and the story idea. Poor Elizabeth! I do hope she decides that Darcy could be her best friend, or at least a good listener who could rescue her from the stress of her family!
    Ive added this to my list as I no longer attempt to enter Rafflecopter giveaways.


  4. I always love scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth and this one is no exception! Great excerpt, Helen! 🙂


  5. Joy Friday

    I don’t recall ever reading a JAFF where Elizabeth has a chronic illness! I hate to say it, but great concept! No doubt we will learn that Darcy is entirely as sympathetic and empathetic as E. needs.


    • Helen W

      I’ve been devouring JAFF for years, and I thought the same so decided it was time to explore the idea. I hope you enjoy the story.


  6. Interesting premise. Congrats on the release!


  7. sheilalmajczan

    Best wishes with this new release. I see it is available from KU so I will borrow it. Thanks for sharing here. Also best wishes for your own health issues. I know personally how worrisome that can be.


  8. Janet Taylor

    Rita, thanks for hosting Helen on her first stop of the blog tour. This was another good excerpt, Helen. Thank you for sharing it.


  9. This is a plot twist that I’ve only read once before. I’m anxious to see how this works out.


  10. Linda Gonschior

    The situation certainly allows Darcy to prove he is more than the arrogant, presumptious and ill-tempered young man of Elizabeth’s opinion. 😉

    I suspect that the summer trip with the Gardiners did not occur in this story, perhaps due to Elizabeth’s health during that time. All the more awkwardness for them when Darcy arrives in Hertfordshire again.

    It was quite sweet of him to seek her out, despite knowing Darcy’s lack of delight in the party attendees may have been part of his motivation to leave the crowd. However, until we read the entire scene we can also happily decide that his sole motivation was to be in Elizabeth’s company. 🙂

    Well done, Helen!


  11. Doreen Edwards

    I read this beautiful book last night. I cried!
    Thank you.


  12. Beatrice

    I won’t say much, as I’m just about to open this book up on Kindle… time’s a-wasting!


  13. This excerpt was sweet. I admire how well you are able to write Elizabeth’s feelings about her affliction, though I do understand it’s close to home for you. The fatigue is close to home for me, too, and it’s hard for others to “get” it. Darcy was wonderful. Sigh! I’ve got to read this book! Thanks, Helen, for the excerpt. Obrigada, Rita, for hosting.


    • Helen W

      It is difficult for everyone, at times – like you are speaking lightly different languages. Darcy does “get” it in this scene, though at other points he needs a little bit of steering. Nobody is perfect!


  14. buturot

    A little disheartened with Lizzy’s situation. Eager to know all the struggles and victories esp the sweet ,oments with Mr D.

    Thank you for hosting and sharing this excerpt


  15. Lois

    Darcy is certainly showing how good a person he can be. I agree that it is hard for others to really understand particular adverse circumstances of which they have no experience in their own lives.


  16. Pingback: “In Essentials” by Helen Williams, excerpt and giveaway – my vices and weaknesses

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