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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Excerpt & Giveaway: So Material a Change by Amy D'Orazio!

Yesterday, Amy D'Orazio stopped by to chat about the "Jargon of Jane," which may or may not be cheugy, the jury's still out. Today, she's back, sharing an excerpt of her upcoming book, So Material A Change -- and giving you a chance to win a copy! Make sure to click through to read the full excerpt and enter to win!

As Elizabeth required very little time to eat her toast and fruit, it was soon thereafter that she found herself fetching bonnet and gloves from her room in accordance with Mr Darcy’s plan for a walk.

What is he about? He appeared almost friendly, and I daresay I saw a smile from him. Very odd behaviour. What could he mean by it? I must, of course, reprove his familiarity with me. It was highly improper.
Although she had taken no more than a few minutes to retrieve her things, she returned to find Darcy pacing the vestibule at the front of the house. His agitation was clear as he made his way back and forth across the marble floor, his steps sharp and firm.

He said nothing as he held out his arm to her. She took it, allowing him to lead her out of the house and into the gardens. When they had gone a reasonable distance from the house, he spoke.

“Elizabeth, I find myself in a position where it is necessary for us to marry.”

Shock caused Elizabeth to stumble, and she tightened her grip on his arm to steady herself. This made Mr Darcy flash a brief smile at her—did he think she did it purposely?

“I know this might seem surprising to you, and indeed it is to me as well. I could never have supposed that I would offer for a lady of such low origins, humble breeding, and lack of fortune. However, I wish to assure you that although you bring little to the marriage, I have no intention of regarding you as any less because of it. As Mrs Darcy, you will want for nothing, and you will have no cause to repine.”

He detailed his concerns over her lack of connexion in society and the recent behaviour of her family, and how she would have the help of his aunt, Lady Matlock, as she struggled to lift herself into acceptance among the ton. The only thing he said which was not offensive was that Miss Darcy had wished for a sister for some time. No wonder! The poor thing is probably desperate for amiable company.

He concluded by expressing some thoughts on the futures of Kitty and Lydia. “Naturally, with our marriage, I must think of all your sisters as I do my own. It must be said that the behaviour shown by your younger sisters—and yes, sometimes even your mother—would not be acceptable outside of Meryton. For your sisters, I suggest we employ a companion or governess, someone who can truly take them in hand and mould them into proper young ladies. Or perhaps sending them to school would be better? What are your thoughts?”

He turned to look at her, and she realised belatedly that she was regarding him with her mouth hung agape. She closed it immediately. Inasmuch as she had no idea what could have led to the scene in the breakfast room earlier, she certainly had no expectation of anything like this.

“I apologise; I seem to have got ahead of myself.”

At long last, Elizabeth found her voice. “Indeed! For a moment, it sounded as though you believed we were engaged.”

Mr Darcy began to guide them to a more secluded part of the garden. “Yes. To put it simply, we must marry.”

Elizabeth felt her cheeks flush, as she struggled to suppress the wild giggles which threatened. Surely this man was not serious? However, when in her limited experience of him had he ever told a joke? Yet the offensiveness of his speech—it was all too absurd to be considered anything but a folly.

“Alas, Mr Darcy, I do not wish to marry you. So any further discussion of wedding plans—or of your very generous concerns for my sisters—is unneeded.”

“Not marry me?” He favoured her with a puzzled look. “I can and will give you more than you have ever imagined in terms of wealth and consequence, and I daresay you will be the envy of nearly every woman in England. Do you not realise what a match you will have made in accepting my suit?”

The envy of every woman in England? Good Lord, the pride of this man is beyond the pale.

“Mr Darcy, I cannot decide whether I have gone mad or you have. By the looks of you”—he truly does look quite fatigued and distressed—“my inclination is to guess that it is you.”

“I do not see how my offer is ridiculous or mad. I wish to marry you. Surely you recognise the compliment I pay you with the declaration of my affections?”

Tugging her hand free from his arm, she turned to depart, her humour turning more towards vexation. Nevertheless, she managed to be composed and polite. “Mr Darcy, of course I shall not marry you. You and I do not even like each other. We argue incessantly, and that speech you just gave was so offensive, I would not agree to your offer if you were the Prince Regent himself. Now, if you will excuse me, I must bid you good day.” She turned and began to move away from him.

“Wait!” he cried, sounding panicked. “Elizabeth! Stop! You simply must marry me!”

“No, Mr Darcy, I must not, and I shall not. I also must insist that you cease referring to me in such a familiar manner. I have overlooked it thus far, but will continue to do so no longer.”

“Eliz—Miss Elizabeth, please, a moment, I beg of you. Please just listen to me, listen to what I intend for you, and then you will see it is in your best interests to marry me.”

Elizabeth pressed her lips together and turned back to face him. She took the smallest of steps in his direction. “You have five minutes.”

About the Book: 
“If the thought of us being destined for one another is what caused you to laugh, then I shall laugh with you. Ours is more a story of mutual desperation than of love.”

MATRIMONY IS THE LAST THING on Elizabeth Bennet’s mind when she arrives at Netherfield Park to tend to her ill sister. When proud Mr Darcy acts rashly to thwart a compromise and tells her that the entire household believes they are engaged, she dismisses him outright and refuses his offer of marriage. 

BUT MORE SURPRISES AWAIT her at Longbourn. Mr Collins is ready with an offer of marriage and it is not only her mother who thinks it a fine match; Mr Bennet is willing to press the point until Elizabeth makes clear such a connexion is impossible—because she has accepted an offer of marriage from Mr Darcy. 

IT IS AN INAUSPICIOUS BEGINNING, an engagement neither desires, driven to by the machinations of others. Yet what begins as a forced alliance soon changes into something quite different. Will it be enough to lead them into love?

To celebrate the upcoming release of So Material a Change, Amy has offered up an early paperback copy to one lucky Austen in August reader! This giveaway is international. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. Full terms can be found in the Rafflecopter. 
Please do not leave email addresses or sensitive information in the comments. 
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jane Austen, Austen in August, blog event, Jane Austen fan fiction, JAFF, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
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  2. Engaged, and yet neither wants it? Sounds good to me! Good luck with the new release.

  3. Ohhhh pretend engagement is one of my fav tropes! I'm excited to check this story out!

  4. Oh my! Darcy is a bit over confident here. I hope Elizabeth gives it to him good.

  5. Congratulations. I look forward to reading this book.

  6. I'm really looking forward to this book and have pre-ordered. This excerpt just makes the wait for its relase seem even longer.

  7. Congratulations! Thank you for this excerpt. I am surprised it took awhile for Elizabeth to get upset or for her to even walk away without stomping on his foot or something. (Mr Darcy , you are too full of yourself)Looking forward to reading this new book of yours Ms D'Orazio.

  8. This excerpt was so much fun. Darcy just can't seem to get it right when it comes of proposals. I'm hoping he soon realizes that she is not interested in wealth, but something more substantial like kindness, thoughtfulness and love.

  9. Oh goodness, this is such a fun scenario.

  10. Can’t wait to read this one.

  11. Well his proposal certainly wasn't any better than canon, no wonder she turns him down. When will he learn insulting her and her family is not the way to go. I love this premise and based on the excerpt can tell it's one I'd enjoy.

  12. Wonderful excerpt and I can hardly wait to read this story again!

  13. I'm so happy that my favorite book by Amy is to be released. Congratulations

  14. It looks to be so much fun! Silly man.. not one word of affection. Still, could have been worse. Lizzy could have had a head full of Wickham's tales already.

    Oh, but surely that will come along later. *grin*

    Congratulations Amy!

  15. I wonder what compromise occurred that forced Darcy to offer marriage to Elizabeth. He is as proud as ever but this proposal is not as disastrous as his first proposal at Hunsford Parsonage. At least there is more banter going on than throwing insults at one another. I look forward to the day it is finally released.


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