Oct 262016
 

AE

Hello, dear readers!  I am very excited to welcome back author Suzan Lauder to Austenesque Reviews today! Last month you may remember we participated in a cover reveal for Ms. Lauder’s new release, Letter from Ramsgateand we enjoyed speculating about where this new scenario may lead Darcy and Elizabeth.  Today Suzan shares a lovely “deleted scene” from meryton-press-for-november-2015her new release!  We hope you enjoy this glimpse of Lady Cecilia/Lady Amelia!

Meredith has read so many Austenesque novels, I wonder if anything is new to her any more. (Well, I have read some of her latest five-star books, and new themes do exist!) However, no matter how many times we read it, we love to hate a catty love interest for Darcy, and I appreciate Meredith hosting this stop on the Letter from Ramsgate blog tour so I can share one that never made the book.

This cut scene is different in Letter from Ramsgate because I realized the story would be more effective if Darcy’s love interest weren’t another Miss Bingley. Instead, Lady Amelia in Letter from Ramsgate is not only pretty, rich, and well-connected, but also kind-hearted and interesting. However, in this early draft, she’s called Lady Cecilia, and she’s nasty! Her name was changed later so “Lady C” wouldn’t be confused with Lady Catherine. Amelia means “rival,” so it was a perfect substitute.

img_0878You’ll also notice that as an homage to Amy D’Orazio’s excellent writing, the wife of the heir to the Matlock earldom is called Lady Saye. Her name was also changed in the published version because her excellent The Best Part of Love will be coming out after Letter from Ramsgate, and Amy deserves the name first. In Letter from Ramsgate, she’s now Laura Fitzwilliam, Lady Courtland, a surname from Austen’s writing.

Smooches to my fabulous editor, Gail Warner, for helping me pare this down to a reasonable length to share with you. The vignette is still a bit long, but worth it!

~~~

“Miss Darcy, I should love to hear you play and sing,” Lady Cecilia said in a melodic voice, turning towards Georgiana and tilting her head just so. She appeared to show interest, yet her expression remained posed and perfectly unflappable.

“I play a little, but I do not sing.”

“Mr. Darcy says that you enjoy painting watercolours as well.”

“Sometimes, yes.”

“Georgiana has some lovely scenes that she painted last summer when she was at Ramsgate,” offered Lady Saye.

lady-amelia-3“Did you enjoy Ramsgate, Miss Darcy?” Lady Cecilia asked in a perfunctory way that made Georgiana feel it was not a topic of interest.

“I did, very much. I met a dear friend there.”

“That sounds lovely.” Lady Cecilia’s voice tinkled but her face remained motionless. One could not tell if Lady Cecilia had any emotions at all. “What is the name of your friend?

Do I know her?”

“Miss Elizabeth Bennet.”

“I do not know any Bennets. Perhaps she runs with a different crowd. After all, if I do not know her, she is likely unimportant.” Lady Cecilia’s tone was flippant and Georgiana felt she had to defend Elizabeth, so she exerted herself to speak more than her wont with a new acquaintance.

“She is from Hertfordshire and not in town often, but she is an accomplished and kind lady.”

“I am sure she is.” Lady Cecilia’s smile was condescendingly sweet. She turned away from Georgiana dismissively and addressed Lady Saye. “Have you met Miss Bennet?”

“No, I have not.”

“I suppose she is a provincial sort of girl. Miss Darcy is too young to understand our society. Perhaps she could benefit from some guidance in that area. When she is out, she will find friends more suited to her station. I must tell you, Lady Saye, you are looking quite well for one who is newly out of her confinement.”

Georgiana continued to observe her. Lady Cecilia’s comments were increasingly ones intended to subtly undermine. What could her brother see in this woman? She was perfect and doll-like, yet false and cutting. It was intimidating.

The door opened and her brother entered. Lady Cecilia’s demeanour immediately blossomed as she engaged him in conversation.

“Shall we have your company at the Henderson’s ball tonight, Mr. Darcy?” she gushed in a hopeful tone with a pleasant expression that didn’t appear forced. Georgiana was fascinated. It was as if another woman were sitting there, and as much as Lady Cecilia still looked perfect, a sort of naturalness glowed from her. It was obvious she admired Mr. Darcy very much.

“I believe you shall.” He was not as warm in return and his body language said he was discomfited. The lady was all about pleasing him but he was merely formal and polite.

Lady Cecilia’s mother rose from her chair. “I apologise for leaving so soon after you have returned, Mr. Darcy, but we have taken a great deal of Lady Matlock’s time already.”

Once the guests had departed, Darcy took the seat next to Georgiana.

“Are you well, dear? It was not too taxing, was it?”

“She performed admirably considering they were perfect strangers,” Lady Matlock replied. “Georgiana is learning to shed her shyness.”

“How did you find our callers?” Darcy asked.

After a brief hesitation, Georgiana said, “They seem well-bred.”

“And Lady Cecilia is so elegant and pretty,” Lady Matlock continued. Georgiana could see her aunt’s insistence on promoting Lady Cecilia, and she was wary.

“She is pretty in the generally acceptable way but rather characterless.”

“Whatever could you mean by that?”

“She was putting on a pretence of kindness. I think she is a woman who is accustomed to playing false in order to get what she wants. You did not see it, Fitzwilliam, but she was as cold as ice to me, yet with you, she is all that is pleasant and accommodating.”

“That is unkind, Georgiana,” Lady Saye interjected.

(c) Royal West of England Academy; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Royal West of England Academy; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

“But it is true, Laura. She acted as if she was above you too. She wants Fitzwilliam for a husband, and that is why she acts differently with him. You must take care, brother; do not let her fool you. She may flutter her lashes and share her smiles with you, but she does not like me. She will get her hooks into you and then send me away.”

“Georgiana, that is enough,” scolded Lady Matlock, “You must respect your brother’s choices and be civil.”

Darcy scowled and looked down. “There is meanness in all the arts that ladies sometimes employ for captivation. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable.” He drew up to his full height and regal bearing, but Georgiana recognized the troubled expression in his eyes when he said, “Please excuse me,” and quit the room.

~~~

Ooooh I wonder what has Darcy so troubled!  I love it when author’s share their “deleted scenes.” It is always interesting to learn a little about what changes along the way when creating a story!  You are so right, I do love meeting original characters and seeing competing love interests for Mr. Darcy!  Can’t wait to meet Lady Amelia and see how she has changed!  Thank you, Suzan!

~~~

Connect with Suzan

Website    ❧    Facebook   ❧   Twitter      Goodreads      Pinterest

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Meryton Press is generously giving away 4 paperback and 4 ebook editions of Letter From Ramsgate in conjunction with this blog tour!!  Woot woot!  

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Commenting on this post and entering through the rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you in a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • This giveaway is open worldwide (Paperbacks US only).  Thank you, Meryton Press!
  • This giveaway ends November 3rd!

~ Letter from Ramsgate Blog Tour ~

Thank you to Janet Taylor, Meryton Press, and Suzan Lauder for making this blog tour possible! Click the image above to check out the rest of the tour!

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58 Comments on "Vignette + Giveaway with Author Suzan Lauder!!!"

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Rebecca Boerner

I love the cover. It is almost has a 1940’s feel.
Thanks
Becky

suzanlauder

Perhaps you’re thinking of Brighton Beach Memoirs, only in Regency costumes with parasols? Thanks, Becky!

MissLaurieMay

I actually thought it was about Mrs. Younge when I first read the title! hahaha… And this Lady Amelia seems interesting 🙂

suzanlauder

I guess you were a little surprised! It’s a non-E vignette, but the book is D&E all the way through.

darcybennett

Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

suzanlauder

Thanks for commenting!

KateB

The cover is beautiful. I love the excerpt, and deleted scenes are always fun to read.
Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂
Congratulations on the book release.

suzanlauder

The cover designer, Zorylee Diaz-Lupitou, is very humble when I mention to her that so many comments are about how nice the cover is. She should be proud! I’m glad you like the selection of tidbits I chose to entice readers half as much as that cover! Thanks so much, Kate!

Michelle H.

Really looking forward to reading this one since the ‘The Cover Reveal’ a short time ago on Meredith’s blog. I’d love an e-book version!

I hear about these rewrite issues with writing, but somehow it’s reassuring to have the visible evidence presented. Not because I rejoice in someone’s difficulties, but because I know it’s very hard to write.

suzanlauder

Thanks for the author empathy, Michelle. It can be hard to throw away something you wrote and really liked. I had a plot beta for this story, and the equivalent of 2.5 chapters made the cutting room floor. But she was right every time, as was my editor at Meryton Press, Gail Warner.

Anne

This is a beautiful feature and giveaway. What a gorgeous cover art. Thanks.

suzanlauder

Thanks so very much, Anne! Your comment made me all mushy-happy! I’m sure Zorylee feels the same.

Jo's Daughter

Would love to read this book!! It sounds wonderful. So please count me in. The picture is beautiful btw, with the parasols 🙂

suzanlauder

I am such a HUGE parasols fan, and Zorylee caught that they weren’t just a passing thing in the story, but a key component. She’s a gifted graphic artist, as she actually used two of my Regency costuming parasols, enhanced, to get the right era on that cover. Now I want some embroidery and eyelash fringe! Thanks for the great comment (because you mentioned the parasols, especially!)

Glynis

Well I’m do glad that lady Cecilia ended up on the cutting room floor as that is where she belongs! I look forward to reading this book. I have tried on several blogs to enter the giveaway using Rafflecopter and have now given up as I can’t enter the site name and I don’t tweet . Today I couldn’t even get on the form at all. I think they definitely need to improve it but for now I have this book on my wish list and will be getting it soon.

suzanlauder

Head back to those sites, Glynis, because Janet Taylor fixed that bug with the help of Jakki Leatherbury. You can now get extra points for commenting, just use a different site name for each entry. It doesn’t have to be the site you’re on, just one you commented on.

Yes, Cecilia’s better re-written as Amelia. But I’m glad I keep those out-takes because they’ve been some of my best vignettes for this blog tour! Good luck winning the book!

Sheila Majczan

I read this through KU so please enter me in the drawing. I would love to win my own copy. I loved this story as a WIP and when it was released. So having read it twice I think proves how much I enjoyed it. Great review, again, Meredith.

suzanlauder

Thanks so much for your love of the story, Sheila. I sure hope you win your own copy!

JanisB

More and more interested in this book — wasn’t sure at first but as I read the excerpts and reviews it is clear to me that I *must* read it!

suzanlauder

Not everyone has the same type of taste in reading, and I hope you’re certain this is for you. Some like sweet, straightforward novellas the best–well, this is not that! It has a wonderful love story, but the dramatic tension makes if far more exciting to those delicate hearts out there! Best of luck on the draw, Janis!

Teresa Broderick

The cover of a book is very important to me. If it draws my notice straight away I usually buy. The cover on this book is wonderful. Colours are perfect. And the story sounds good too 🙂

suzanlauder

All the subtleties in that cover are Zorylee: the expressions, the body positions, the colour tones, the details like that seal that goes with E’s hat and gown and the lining of the gentleman’s cloak. She’s a genius. She says the story inspired her and that’s why it’s good, but I say she’d just an excellent designer. But I am proud of the story! Thanks, Teresa!

Anji

I’m so glad Lady Cecilia didn’t make it into the final draft! You’re so right Suzan, she definitely comes across as more like Caroline Bingley.

Now we can all feel guilty for hating her kinder replacement as a rival for Elizabeth.

suzanlauder

It’s too easy to hate a Caroline Bingley. Because of that, she’s no real threat. An Elizabeth clone with a title–that’s going to be true angst, because we worry that she’s too perfect for Darcy. That’s ramping it up a notch for the angst lovers like me. Those who are nervous about angst, the blog tour and reviews have almost outed every spoiler, so you know what to expect. I hope you don’t love Lady Amelia too much, Anji!

Janet Taylor

Oooh, such a good excerpt! Thanks for sharing it. I love reading the deleted scenes, too, Meredith! It is such fun.

Thanks, ladies, for an entertaining stop on the blog tour!

suzanlauder

I love these blog sites, and Meredith is among the best. I had to give her one of the juiciest out-takes of the novel! It’s always fun in here.

Thanks for fixing the comments so the readers can apply for extra draw submissions, Janet, and for extending the draws to November 3 so the readers can catch up and put their names on the various posts for those comments they made earlier in the blog tour.

Amy Ilgen D'Orazio

Love this excerpt and love the book Suzan… no need to enter me in any drawing, I bought the book the instant I could! 🙂 #NoPatience
Thank you for the shout-out sweetie, you are too kind as always!

suzanlauder

Ha! You’re as bad as me. I enter, then buy, then win. It’s happened four times. Once the prize was the book and a whole lot of cool stuff and the author just split it into two prizes and gave someone else the book. Once the author gave me her first book which I didn’t have and she could just email it to me. Two other times, the hosts re-did the draw. I also won three times and actually didn’t have the book. Yay! I love to read my JAFF! Thanks, Amy. Best of luck with your upcoming release!

Jan S.
Hmmm, I liked Lady Cecilia. It feels better to my own sense of rationalization hating someone so deserving of hate than trying to suppress the horror of hating someone who is in fact very like-able and totally not deserving of hate. I followed this story as it was posted as a work in progress and I remember that at this point in the story I was ready to eviscerate Darcy. Lady Amelia, on the other hand, was a character who inspired compassion and the hope of a happy life (how I struggled with that). I truly enjoy stories that so… Read more »
suzanlauder
The idea is to up the dramatic tension, though. If the woman is horrible, it’s too easy for Darcy to get out of it–he would have been out of the relationship after this scene, and the story would have gone flat, and he would not have learned any lessons. It’s great fun to write and read characters that you hate, but unless you want to head into the melodramatic or comedic, they quickly become a nuisance and you have no more momentum in your plot. I’m glad you struggled with Lady Amelia–it meant you were still engaged in the story!… Read more »
Glynis

Thank you Suzan. It let me put the blog site on this one but when I went back to other blog sites the comment section is not available but never mind at least I have one entry (although I have a feeling I entered for the paperback option and I live in the UK – I’m afraid it must be an age thing!!!) ThAnks for taking the time to help me

suzanlauder

The bloggers have to update the link for it to work, and some may not have gotten to it. Janet did the helping, I was just the messenger. I hope that you get your fair chances to win!

Janet Taylor

You can comment only once per day. That is why the giveaway was extended. The same applied to all that commented so it gives everyone the same amount of time to get a few extra entries. If you have commented once today, then you have to wait until tomorrow to comment again. When I fixed the problem, Rafflecopter automatically updated on the back posts. I went back to the first one and it was allowing for me to comment. I apologize for the inconvenience to you and to all who tried to comment daily and could not in the beginning.

Danielle C

I’m not sure, I kinda liked this version. Some of the attitude just went so well. I’ll have to read the book to decide which was better, sometimes the context of the overall story has a better fit even though the individual piece is really good.

suzanlauder

I liked her too, Danielle. She was so much fun to write, and would have been more fun in the future. That scene’s not even the best of what ended up on the cutting room floor! The other scenes were just too long for a blog post. I’d say enjoy the story as-is, because if all the cut bits were back in, we’d have a camel when we needed a good old Kentucky racehorse.

Sophia Rose

I loved getting that deleted scene and learning about the progression to the finished copy. Yes, a kind and good woman is a more serious rival in the reader’s eyes than a catty one.

Enjoyed the post!

suzanlauder

There are some that are too long for blog posts. My fave includes potty face. Thanks, Sophia!

Nicole Barton Sasser

Looking foward to reading Letter from Ramsgate. Thank you for giveaway opportunity.

suzanlauder

Thanks so much, Nicole! I hope you like the book!

Christina Boyd

I am really enjoying reading this novel! Congrats.

suzanlauder

Glad to hear it! You’re welcome!

Glynis
Thanks so much to you and Janet for all your trouble. I did manage another entry yesterday so I think I have two but no worries as I will probably leave it at that. If I am not lucky enough to win I will be buying it anyway as I love the idea and am wondering how much harder it will be to hate Lady Amelia as a rival for Darcy’s hand when she is apparently a nice person whereas I hated Lady Cecilia just from the excerpt. I have had Alias Thomas Bennet on my wish list for some… Read more »
suzanlauder

You can only enter once a day, but the giveaway is extended until November 3. I know you commented on more than two sites. Just name one of the sites you commented at daily, and don’t duplicate the names. I hope you like both books, which are soooo different from each other!

Madenna Urbanski

This book is amazing! I enjoyed the premise and the characters. The emotions jump of the pages and I felt as though I really knew them. I am now working on reading your other works. Thank you for sharing your talents.

suzanlauder

What a wonderful commendation, Madenna! Thanks! Enjoy.

Leah Pruett

Haven’t read this one yet! Can’t wait to dive in!

suzanlauder

Glad to hear it, Leah. I hope you like it.

anadarcy

Nice excerpt. I want to know more about that annoying lady and what is Darcy doing. I like when Georgiana speaks up 🙂
Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

suzanlauder

It’s a longer scene in the book, and a little bit different than this vignette, but most people like the tension it brings to the story. I appreciate you joining us, anadarcy!

Vesper

so does this mean that there is no Caroline Bingley?

suzanlauder

Caroline is not only in the story, but she plays a key role with Georgiana. I think you’ll like it!

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