The Bennets: Providence & Perception by KC Cowan – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope this week will treat you kindly! I know I’ll have more busy days at work ahead of me, but on Friday I’ll finally take some vacation time, so I’m very excited this week has finally arrived 🙂

Today I am hosting for the first time at FPTM author KC Cowan and I am very happy about it, not only because she is a fellow reporter (I’m not a reporter anymore, but I used to be), but also because she is here with an excerpt of The Bennets: Providence & Perception, a P&P sequel that will give Mary Bennet her much deserved love story, or so I hope.

Mary Bennet is my favourite Bennet sister, after Elizabeth of course, and I am always eager to see new books developing her character and giving Mary her own story. This sequel also appears to give Mr. Bennet some relevance, and I have to say I will enjoy seeing him as a widow with a second opportunity to find happiness in his life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he found a more compatible match that would give him an heir?

My TBR is completely out of control nowadays, but this is certainly one book I want to read as soon as possible! And I hope that may be very, very soon because I am really very intrigued and interested in this story. What about you? Are you #TeamMary as well? I know most people love a Darcy and Elizabeth novel, but who can resist Mary? I can’t 🙂

I hope you enjoy the excerpt and that you join me in wishing Ms. Cowan a huge success with this release 🙂

NEW excerpt

That afternoon, Mary was resting in her room when she heard a soft knock at the door.

“Come in.” Expecting Mrs. Hill, or perhaps even her father, she was surprised and pleased to see Mrs. Withers enter her room. Mary quickly scooted off her bed where she had been curled up, tried to smooth her now rumpled dress, and put on her spectacles.

“Oh! I did not expect you, Mrs. Withers. Why did Hill not come for me?”

“Forgive me the intrusion, Miss Bennet, but my brother and I were visiting with your father and sister. When I did not see you, I asked Hill whether I could just slip up to check on you. The parlor is quite full of people just now, come to offer their sympathies.”

“Yes, word has reached most people in the village by now. I…I suppose I should go down to meet our guests. It would only be proper.”

“Kitty and your father are managing.”

Anguish washed over Mary as she spoke bitterly. “Naturally. I am not needed. Why should anyone wish to speak to me, after all?”

Mrs. Withers crossed quickly to Mary and took her hands in her own.

“Oh, that was not my meaning at all! Pray forgive me for distressing you.” She guided Mary to sit beside her on the bed. “I only meant you should go down when you feel up to it. I am certain your presence is greatly missed.”

Mary shook her head sadly. “And I am every bit as certain no one has even noticed my absence. You are too new to the area to know yet, but I am the unseen Bennet sister.”

Mary fumbled in her dress pocket for a handkerchief, wiped her eyes, and blew her nose. “Forgive me; I am quite ashamed of my outburst. The sharing of my emotions is ill-timed just now. My thoughts should be on Papa, Kitty, and the others—not on myself.”

“You may be assured of my discretion. As for your comments…well, doubtless it is the tremendous stress you feel. Certainly, once you are past the shock of it all, happier memories will surface to comfort you.”

Mary gave her a wry look. “Your optimism is duly noted.” She made an exasperated noise and shook herself. “Enough! I must go and do my duty as my father’s daughter. Shall we go together?” She began to move towards the door when Mrs. Withers gently put a hand out and stopped her.

“Will…will you allow me to assist you with your hair before we leave, Miss Bennet? It is a bit mussed from lying down. You wish to look your best, I am sure.”

Mary gave her companion a long look. “As if anyone would notice. Besides, does not the holy book warn against vanity? Our focus should be on higher things.”

Mrs. Withers simply smiled, steered Mary to the dressing table, and made her sit. Before Mary could say another word, the widow had undone her hair and was combing out the tangles. As she brushed and arranged Mary’s tresses, she kept up a quiet conversation.

“While undue vanity is a sin, I believe there is nothing wrong with trying to look our best while in this world. After all, does not our Lord wish all his creatures to be at their best? Why did he make flowers so lovely if they were not to be admired? I see no reason not to make the most of our physical gifts. No one would ever call me a great beauty, but I still do what I can with what the good Lord gifted me.” After pulling back most of Mary’s hair and securing it a bit loosely, she took the remainder and began to braid two thin side plaits and pin them in loops that framed Mary’s narrow face.

“Oh—I do not wear it that way,” Mary protested.

“But it will flatter your face—just watch.”

Too tired to argue, Mary let her continue. When Mrs. Withers was done, Mary studied her reflection. She had always just pulled her hair back somewhat severely from her face, never making the most of its natural wavy tendencies. But now she saw how this new style softened her features. Heavens! It made her look—well, if not handsome exactly—at least a little less plain.

“Oh my,” she whispered, leaning forward to see every detail in the mirror. “I look quite different…”

Mrs. Withers beamed. “You see? I did not have time to do anything very elaborate, but I think it quite pretty. Does that not give you a bit more courage to face the world?”

Mary blinked back tears, reached up, and clutched her friend’s hand.

“It does. Thank you.”

Together, they descended the stairs and entered the formal parlor. If anyone noticed Mary’s new appearance, the only one to comment was Kitty, who stared at her briefly before blurting out, “Good heavens, what have you done with your hair?”

Unable to think of a reply, Mary felt a surge of relief when Mrs. Withers, standing nearby, came to her rescue again.

“Is it not lovely? Your sister had truly been hiding her beautiful hair like a light under a bushel as it says in the Bible—but no longer.”

Stunned by all the attention, Mary allowed Mrs. Withers to take her by the arm and walk her towards a group of visitors.

“Do be so kind as to introduce me to your guests, Miss Bennet,” Mrs. Withers said in a low voice. “I am so eager to meet all who are a part of Robert’s new parish.”

The mention of the handsome rector gave Mary a brief start. Had he noticed how well she looked? She quickly gazed across the room where Mr. Yarby was speaking with her father. The rector glanced up and smiled before returning to his conversation. The briefest of looks—but Mary felt her heart swell. Then she found herself introducing Mrs. Withers to her aunt and uncle Phillips.

NEW book blurb

Either ignored or ridiculed by her family, Mary Bennet desires only happiness—

Poor Miss Bennet—with three sisters married, she will no doubt be left “on the shelf” unless she takes steps to secure her own happiness. So, with the arrival of Mr. Yarby, a handsome new rector for Longbourn chapel, Mary decides to use her Biblical knowledge to win his heart.

Meanwhile, her recently widowed father finds himself falling for the older sister of his new reverend. But Mr. Bennet is officially in mourning for his late wife—what a scandalous situation! Unfortunately, Longbourn’s heir, Mr. Collins, has the antennae for a scandal and makes blackmail threats.

Will an overheard conversation between the Yarby siblings break Mary’s heart? Or will it impel her to a desperate act that threatens everyone’s hopes for lasting love?

TB Final FW 03_03_23 S

You can find The Bennets: Providence & Perception at:

and Kindle Unlimited

NEW author bio

KC Cowan spent her professional life working in the media as a news reporter in Portland, Oregon for KGW-TV, KPAM-AM and KXL-AM radio, and as original host and story producer for a weekly arts program on Oregon Public Television. She is co-author of the fantasy series: Journey to Wizards’ KeepThe Hunt for Winter, and Everfire. The Hunt for Winter and Everfire were both awarded First Place OZMA citations from Chanticleer International Book Awards for fantasy writing.

KC is also the author of two other books: “The Riches of a City” – the story of Portland, Oregon, and “They Ain’t Called Saints for Nothing!” in collaboration with artist Chris Haberman, a tongue-in-cheek look at saints. She is married and lives in Tucson, Arizona.


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NEW blog tour

The blog tour for The Bennets: Providence & Perception was launched today so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn more about this book! Check out the remaining stops for more information, and more opportunities to enter the giveaways Meryton Press is offering 🙂

March 20 From Pemberley to Milton

March 21 Elza Reads

March 22 My Vices and Weaknesses

March 23 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

March 24 Babblings of a Bookworm

March 27 Savvy Verse & Wit

Meryton Press will be giving away one eBook for each stop on the Blog Tour, for a total of six eBooks, so if you’d like to enter the giveaway please leave a comment below and let us know if you are #TeamMary. The giveaway is open until the 31rst and the winner will be announced shortly after.

Good luck everyone!



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40 responses to “The Bennets: Providence & Perception by KC Cowan – Excerpt & Giveaway

  1. Enjoyed this Mary story

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glynis

    As you know Rita I am team Darcy and Elizabeth, but, I do like the idea of this story. I’m really hoping Mr Bennet manages to father a son to spite that miserable Mr Collins. I’m also looking forward to a happy marriage for Mary.


  3. Jan Hahn

    My, what a little kindness can do! I enjoyed this excerpt. Whether you’re Team Mary or not, you can’t help but rejoice to see the forgotten Bennet sister begin to bloom. Have fun with your blog tour, KC.


  4. Colleen

    This looks really cute! I can’t wait.


  5. Thanks for sharing the engaging excerpt, KC! I hope you enjoy your first blog tour; Rita’s blog is a great place to start! 🙂


  6. TC

    The excerpt has drawn me in and I want to know all about Mary and her new friends.


  7. Ahhhh, Mrs. Withers is a gracious warm lady. I look forward to seeing awkward Mary triumph in her own story.


  8. I love Mary as she’s the sister I relate to the most.


  9. And thank you so much, Rita, for hosting my excerpt and thoughts on my book! It helps so much to have people be able to read about it and find it.


  10. suzanlauder

    I like Mrs. Withers. She’s helping Mary out of her shell by using the scriptures–a match for Mary’s style. Thanks so much for the excerpt, K.C. Obrigada for hosting, Rita.


  11. Wyndwhyspyr

    Mary deserves love and attention!


  12. I think this is going to be such a lovely read! I hope I’ll be able to get to it real soon.

    Lovely blog post!

    Elza Reads


  13. Janet Taylor

    Thank you for hosting K.C. and her book, Rita. It is such a pleasure to visit your blog. I loved this excerpt. Poor Mary. Her loneliness and feelings of no self-worth made me sad for her. Great job of portraying her inner feelings, K.C.


  14. Christina Holden

    I love Mary’s character. I can’t wait to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!!!!


  15. Glory

    I love that Mary gets a good story and then in the background we can learn more about how life is going for her older sisters and their husbands.


  16. editingzeal

    Another new variation! Terrific!
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Michelle H

    Oh how I have a heart for dear Mary, and love a good Mary story. I’m really looking forward to reading your new work Ms. Cowan, and wish you all the very best.


  18. Cath e

    Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway. I am looking forward to reading a new Mary story!


  19. Go Team Mary! This sounds really good. Mrs. Withers sounds wonderful!


  20. buturot

    Thank you for the excerpt. And thank you Mrs.Withers!!! Looking forward to learning more of Mary’s story

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I do love a good Mary story where she finds someone who loves and admires her. I think I will like this novel based on the fascinating excerpt. I am assuming that Mrs Bennet has died and all of Meryton is gathering at Longbourn to mourn her death.


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