Happy Monday, friends! I hope you enjoyed a lovely and restful weekend! I’m excited to welcome a debut author to Austenesque Reviews today! If you haven’t already met him, Marley Fulton is a new Austenesque author that just released a Pride and Prejudice variation – In A More Amiable Light! Marley is here today to meet all you lovely readers and share an excerpt from his new novella!
Dear Meredith, Thanks so much for having me – I am honored to visit your excellent blog and to introduce myself to your lovely readers. I will start by revealing a few details about me.
My name is Marley Fulton, I am 34, and I am spending my life between business and pleasure… Business is my job – I graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, and I work in an International Pharma company.
Happiness is my family (my wife and my beautiful daughter) and my hobbies – and this is a subject on which I will talk a little more 🙂
I have spent my youth practicing all kinds of sports, but one has brought me enormous satisfaction because I have come to my country’s national football team. I am still doing it – as a hobby – and, although I enjoyed reading, I never imagined I would one day started to write – and even less so Jane Austen inspired stories!
It was an adventure that started most unexcitedly and now I am completely captivated by it. I was impressed by how warm, and supportive the community had been so far, and I am proud and delighted to be part of it.
More about me – only if you are interested. Please feel free to ask me any question, and I will be happy to answer you! Do not be shy – I promise I won’t be either!
My book is called – In a More Amiable Light: A Pride and Prejudice Novella.
In a More Amiable Light is a clean, fresh, romantic novella of approximately 30 000 words, that follows Elizabeth and Jane in London, when they visit their Aunt and Uncle Gardiner.
Both sisters are hurt after Mr. Bingley’s hasty departure from Netherfield, although their suffering differs. One of them is trying to mend her broken heart, and the other one tries to soothe her anger against those who hurt her sister. Jane and Elizabeth are unexpectedly reacquainted with the men who will change their lives forever.
In a More Amiable Light is the first Austenesque attempt of a man who has been in love with reading and with Jane Austen’s books all his life but has tried his pen only in other genres so far.
Excerpt from In a More Amiable Light
For half an hour, the ladies enjoyed their mutual company, growing more at ease with each other. From Derbyshire to music and plays and books, the conversation flowed easily.
Jane was still pale, quiet, and slightly intimidated. She was looking around, admiring Miss Darcy’s appearance and her obvious education, while considering that Mr. Bingley had many reasons to favor this young heiress over her.
The animated chatting was abruptly interrupted by the arrival of a most unexpected guest, startling and silencing the ladies, leaving at least one of them breathless.
The servant entered and announced ceremoniously: “Mr. Bingley. For Mr. Darcy.” Then he quickly bowed and left the room.
The words struck Jane with such force that she nearly dropped her teacup. Mrs. Gardiner gasped, and Elizabeth abruptly stood up. Georgiana was at a loss as to her guests’ reaction, but she rose to greet the new visitor.
Mr. Bingley entered the drawing room with a large smile on his face, bowed to Georgiana, then his eyes spotted the others. He stopped and turned pale; gulping a few times, his mouth and eyes opened wide in disbelief.
Upon seeing him, the eldest Miss Bennet became very pale and nearly fainted, leaning back into her seat.
Mr. Bingley instantly took steps towards Jane, glancing at the others.
“Miss Bennet? Miss Elizabeth? Are you well? What are you doing here? What an astonishing surprise! What happened? Where is Darcy?” he asked, barely coherent.
“Charles, I believe you know Miss Bennet and Miss Elizabeth. And this is their aunt, Mrs. Gardiner. They came to have tea with me. Please join us,” Georgiana invited him.
As Jane slowly recovered, Bingley searched for a chair, undecided where to sit, glancing at her, then back at Georgiana.
“But, but what are you doing here?” he asked Jane, who, with the help of her sister, had managed to bring herself back into an upright position on her chair.
Elizabeth turned to Mr. Bingley then. “I might ask you the same thing,” she replied, curtly.
Georgiana sat very still and exchanged a look with Mrs. Gardiner. The lady was clearly as shocked as everyone else but managed to keep her countenance.
“I have come to call on my friend, Mr. Darcy,” Mr. Bingley said, still standing in the middle of the drawing room.
The women absorbed his words, as the tension in the room increased. Finally, Georgiana broke the silence and said kindly.
“My brother is not here. He has an appointment at the gentlemen’s club. But we are pleased to see you, nevertheless. ”
“Yes, so am I,” he mumbled, glancing at Jane again, who seemed at the limits of her composure again. Elizabeth glared at him with a harshness that Bingley had never seen before.
Bingley understood that the ladies were shocked to see him, as he was to see them. However, why they were in London, how they met Georgiana and already befriended her, why Elizabeth was so angry, and why Jane was displeased with their encounter, he could not say. He was surely pleased – happy – to see them – to see Jane – so much in fact, that he could hardly keep his eyes from her.
“I did not know that Darcy would not be at home, just as I certainly did not know that you would be here,” Bingley added.
“I suppose you did not, sir,” Elizabeth said, curtly, as she held Jane’s hand. “I suppose we were the last people you expected or intended to see.”
Elizabeth watched Mr. Bingley’s face turn from surprise to sadness. He began fiddling with the buttons on his waistcoat.
“This is true. I was given no notice that you were in London. But that does not make the surprise less pleasant. I apologize most profoundly if I interrupted your tea. I should leave you know. I will look for Darcy at the club then.”
“No notice?” Elizabeth asked, puzzled and growing angry. “In truth, we expected you were informed about our presence from at least two reliable sources. Your sisters and Mr. Darcy himself.”
Mr. Bingley stared at her, dumbfounded. “But I have not talked to Darcy in quite a while. And my sisters knew you were in London?”
Jane was purposefully not meeting his gaze, which made him feel all the more uneasy. He glanced around, like trying to understand what was happening.
“Jane wrote to your sister herself. And Mr. Darcy also wrote to you. He told her as much,” Elizabeth continued, aware that her voice was cold and almost rude. Jane’s distress was too much to bear, and Mr. Bingley must be held accountable for it.
Mr. Bingley’s confusion was now complete. “I have received no such letters, nor such news. I honestly did not know of your presence in London. If I knew … When did you arrive? How long will you stay?”
“Mr. Bingley, would you like a drink?” Georgiana interjected in that distressing moment.
“I would like a little more tea,” Mrs. Gardiner added, in an obvious attempt to calm the situation.
“We arrived almost a fortnight ago. We had the pleasure of meeting Miss Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam by chance. And Mr. Darcy said he wrote to inform you we were in town,” Elizabeth uttered, but then stopped, struck by a painful revelation. If Mr. Bingley was telling the truth, then surely Mr. Darcy had to lie them. And the proof was right there, in front of their eyes. Mr. Bingley’s sincere shock at seeing Jane spoke the truth, whereas Mr. Darcy’s words did not.
“I received no news… No news at all…” Bingley repeated, now taken aback.
Oohh! What an intriguing and tension-filled scene!! I wonder what Elizabeth’s feelings towards Mr. Darcy are at the moment??? Did he really lie to her?!? I must admire how Elizabeth is fiercely protecting her sister and taking such a bold move to call Mr. Bingley out!
Thank you so much for sharing, Marley! It was lovely to learn more about you – I especially love hearing that you’ve always enjoyed reading and are a long-time fan of Jane Austen!
~ Connect with Marley ~
Today Marley brings with him some lovely prizes for me to give away in celebration of her new release!! TWO ebooks of In a More Amiable Light for me to give away to some lucky winners!!! Woot woot!!
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment, a question, or some love for Marley!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Marley!
- This giveaway ends April 15th!