Happy Wednesday, everyone!! I’m very excited to welcome author Lizzy Brandon to Austenesque Reviews today! You may remember I read her first release – Folly and Forgiveness (and loved it!!!!) earlier this year! I’m so excited she is here celebrating her newest release – Recognizing Love! It sounds like an emotional and exhilarating read! Today, Lizzy shares a little about her experience writing Recognizing Love and an adorable scene (talking about Mr. Darcy, not Mrs. Bennet!) from her latest story.
Writing Recognizing Love taught me that books are like children in that each one is unique in ways you can’t anticipate, and that what worked for one may not work next time.
Last summer I was in the midst of hating my job and decided that I had nothing to lose by trying to write a book and seeing if writing could be a new career the way I had always dreamed. My first book, Folly and Forgiveness, took me three months from start to finish, so I assumed I could do that again. This time I would know what I was doing, so the process should actually be easier (stop laughing at me, all of you authors who know better). I had not realized how much of my first book I had worked out in my head long before I ever considered writing a word. Note to hopeful writers-to-be: your second book will not be easier than your first book.
What this book really taught me is that writing requires the anti-me. During the day I am a finance analyst and I joke (but not really) that Excel is my favorite computer game. I have schedules for my scheduling and plans for my planning. How could a person possibly tackle a project as big as writing a book without having a detailed project plan? When writing my first book, I didn’t even tell my husband I was writing until after I was halfway done and shared no details. No one else knew until a week after I had published, so the entire project was a secret known only to me. But for book #2 I would know what I was doing, so I thought I would plan ahead and talk to some blogs so I could get on people’s schedules for doing a review.
I can make plans and schedules for my writing, but I am the only one allowed to know about them. The moment I share a timeframe with another person it becomes another deadline I have to meet and writing becomes a job. I started three different stories that all fell apart before ditching all plans and letting people know that I’d have a new book whenever it came to me. After that I was finally able to write Recognizing Love.
The standard-me would love to plan ahead to schedule time with an editor and contact blogs to set up a tour, but the writer-me requires finishing everything first and then taking what time others have available. The inefficiency of it breaks standard-me’s heart, but she has learned to adapt.
Now that I’ve finished another book, I have gone back to a couple of the stories I started and abandoned. I’d love to tell you which one I’m focusing on now, but I’m afraid the anti-me who does the writing required a strict non-disclosure agreement until the story is much further along. Because she is hard at work, I’m going to humor her for now. Naturally, sharing any timeframes on when to expect that story is strictly forbidden.
Today’s excerpt takes place after Darcy and Elizabeth are engaged. Darcy and Bingley have come to Hertfordshire and Mrs. Bennet has invited some friends to join them for dinner.
~ Excerpt ~
“I was just telling Lady Lucas the headaches involved in planning such a grand wedding. She was so fortunate to avoid the need for an elaborate event when Charlotte married Mr. Collins.”
The pinched countenance of Lady Lucas left Elizabeth in no doubt as to how her mother’s lamentations had been received.
“I hope to have the same elegant simplicity that Charlotte was able to enjoy,” Elizabeth said.
“No, no, no,” Mrs. Bennet exclaimed. “Simplicity? We shall have none of that. For a man of Mr. Darcy’s station, we will have the best. I have already begun talks with Hill about one of Cook’s finest creations for your cake. I have ideas for an intricately decorated lemon cake.”
“I hate lemon cake,” Elizabeth said.
“But you know that lemon cake is Cook’s specialty. Why should your guests suffer an inferior cake when you will be much too busy that day to enjoy cake anyway?”
“Why indeed, it is only my wedding day,” Elizabeth muttered as her mother turned back to Lady Lucas.
“Perhaps Mr. Darcy is not fond of lemon cake either,” Lady Lucas suggested.
“I had not considered that. Lizzy, what cake is Mr. Darcy’s favorite?”
“I have no idea, but I shall certainly ask him this evening.”
“You have no idea? How are you to direct the servants of Pemberley if you are not intimately familiar with his preferences? Do you at least know his favorite dish so I may inform your aunt Phillips?”
“I do not,” Elizabeth said. “As I assume his servants are well-versed in his preferences, I shall depend upon them.”
“Pish posh,” Mrs. Bennet said, placing her hands on her hips. “I taught you better than to believe you can simply allow servants to do as they please. I see I will have to spend more time reviewing household management with you if you are to be a proper wife.”
“I fear we have not enough time for you to fully prepare me to be a proper wife. Mr. Darcy might be forced to accept me as I am.”
“And delighted I will be to do so,” Mr. Darcy said as he joined their party. “Now what am I overlooking and accepting you as you are?”
“Oh Mr. Darcy, we were only speaking of the duties that come with managing a great household. I have long made sure that Lizzy and Jane are capable of running their own houses someday.”
“Mamma was pointing out how woefully uninformed I am as to your preferences. I could not even tell her your favorite cake.”
“Our cook makes an amazing lemon cake that I was considering for the wedding breakfast,” Mrs. Bennet put in.
“But Elizabeth does not like lemon cake,” Mr. Darcy said in confusion and Elizabeth pinched her lips to hold back her laughter, seeing her mother struggle to find a suitable response.
“Elizabeth and I are both partial to spice cake. I imagine your cook would make us a Banbury fruit cake.”
“Of course, of course,” Mrs. Bennet said, eager to please her future son-in-law as Lady Lucas smirked at their exchange. “Elizabeth, show Lady Lucas your ring from Mr. Darcy. It is a family heirloom”
After Lady Lucas had made the appropriate exclamations to please her mother, Mr. Darcy led Elizabeth away and they sat on a settee on the opposite side of the room.
“My qualifications as a suitable wife continue to decline with every word from my mother. I do not know your favorite dish or pudding. How can I possibly keep you satisfied?”
Mr. Darcy snorted but she continued. “Would you deprive me of information that could guarantee your felicity in marriage?”
“What utter nonsense. I have a housekeeper and an entire household of servants who know all my preferences. You, my sweet…I am quite confident shall find far superior ways as my wife to keep me satisfied.” Elizabeth felt her chest color as surely as she knew her cheeks glowed. “I will, however, comply with your request, if only to ease your mind. Roast venison is my favorite meal and I heartily dislike mutton. As for the pudding, I prefer fruit tarts.”
“Yes,” he replied, obviously surprised. His smile grew and he leaned in closer. “See, you do know my preferences.”
“I know only that you enjoyed the one served at the Gardiners’.” Elizabeth worried at her emerald ring, turning it around her finger. “I do fear that we do not know each other as well as I would wish, but I suppose that will come with time.”
“I believe we are very well acquainted with one another in essentials,” Mr. Darcy said. “We will soon enough learn the more mundane details of our day-to-day preferences.”
“You have no concerns?”
“I have none at all,” Mr. Darcy said, taking her hand. “Any and all concerns I had are in the past.” He leaned back as his countenance clouded. “Do you have concerns, Lizzy?”
“I am about to leave my home and family to travel across the country and begin a new life. I think I would be unusual had I no concerns at such a time.”
Mr. Darcy leaned in towards her again. “Naturally, you are apprehensive of the changes coming to your life. Your family is welcome at Pemberley at any time and you may visit Longbourn whenever you wish. I hope you know that.”
“I had hoped but I am relieved to hear you say the words.”
“Elizabeth, I want you to be happy. Your family is important to you and I would never seek to separate you from them. Pemberley is a good distance from Longbourn, but we will find a way for you to see them. Would you prefer we stay in London for some time after we are wed so you can be closer to them?”
His thoughtfulness touched her.
“No, I think some distance at first will be a fine thing.” She looked across to her mother, happily gossiping with Lady Lucas. “A very fine thing indeed.”
Awww. I love him!! Best. future. husband. ever! I like how Mr. Darcy is quick to know Elizabeth’s preferences and is eager to make her happy. I cannot wait to see more of him! Lizzy, I’m so glad you persevered with your writing and I’m thrilled you have a new book out!! Congrats!
Connect with Lizzy
About the Author
Lizzy Brandon once attempted to switch sections of a Brit Lit course after seeing Pride and Prejudice on the reading list. How could a book with such a boring title possibly compete with Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, or Frankenstein? Luckily, her request was denied and she was introduced to Jane Austen’s amazing world of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Years later, Lizzy was thrilled to discover the world of Pride and Prejudice sequels and variations where her favorite characters could live on with countless adventures. After enjoying reading variations for years, she decided to try writing her own.
To enter this giveaway leave a comment and enter the rafflecopter form below.
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Lizzy
- This giveaway ends September 30th.
Check out some other stop on the Recognizing Love Blog Tour!!