It’s release day! I’m so excited and I hope you are too! To celebrate, I have an outtake for your reading pleasure and not just one but four giveaways!
I’d like to thank my family, my friends, my betas, and the wonderful proofreaders (including my husband) who helped me along as I’ve written this and been a huge bear while editing it! My poor husband didn’t know what he signed up for when he offered to proofread! Brynn Shimel also gets a huge thank you and hug for taking a chance on editing JAFF!
First up, is the outtake! I had one that I expanded from a scene I deleted and had a fit of nerves worthy of Mrs. Bennet and wrote something completely new just for you! This is the Netherfield ball from Lydia’s point of view. I hope you enjoy it! I have been told by one of my betas that I should continue it, which I plan on starting once I set up this post. The next segment posts Wednesday 24 August on my blog (lldiamondwrites.com).
The carriage came to a stop and the door opened. “Lord, but get out! It is so crowded!” Lizzy and Jane exited and Lydia exhaled as she spread herself out as much as she could after being in such close confines for the trip to Netherfield.
Once Mary and her father alighted, Lydia jabbed an elbow to Kitty’s ribs and pushed herself forward to step down from the carriage first. She shook out her skirts as her body hummed in anticipation.
It was a ball! Dancing, food, and militia in their red coats all waiting to dance with her, and she would do all she could to enjoy herself—especially when it came to dancing with Denny, Saunderson, or most importantly—Mr. Wickham!
After one last tug at her skirts, she pushed underneath her bosom until her breasts were straining against the edge of her gown. That was better! Now, she would receive more than one application to dance and if she was fortunate, a moment or two on the terrace with darling Wickham.
Would he be shocked if she allowed him to kiss her? She giggled to herself. It was not as if she had never been kissed before. Truth be told, she had engaged in a number of activities with the boys around Meryton. Her father rarely attended assemblies and her mother did not pay attention. They were the perfect opportunities to steal away!
None of those boys, however, could compare to Mr. Wickham. She had not been allowed to attend the party at Lucas’ Lodge due to her father’s overbearing behaviour, so she had only spoken to Wickham on the one occasion—and Lizzy and Mr. Darcy had made her return to Longbourn! How she wanted to cry!
He had been in town when she last walked to Meryton with Jane. Her mother had sent them to purchase some new stockings for tonight, but she noticed him before they entered the shop. His eyes upon her made her warm and crave his hands on her body. After all, Wickham had been in several of the same shops that day. It could not have been a coincidence. He wanted her!
She popped open her fan and waved it at her chest as she swaggered after her family. With every step, she thought of how she could approach Wickham; she would have to elude her father’s watchful eye. Netherfield was a big house; she would have to look for every opportunity to escape.
Kitty’s arm brushed against hers. “Do you think Saunderson will ask me to dance?”
Lydia rolled her eyes. Kitty was such a child! “I do not see why not. As long as Papa leaves us be, we should have a very merry time.”
“I would not hope for what will not happen, Lydia.”
With a huff, she crossed her arms under her chest. Her father was going to ruin the ball! When she was twelve, she had decided she would be the first of her sisters to marry. Lizzy and her boring Mr. Darcy would not wed before her! She had to ensnare Mr. Wickham before Mr. Darcy proposed!
Kitty looped her arm through Lydia’s and leaned closer. “I do not want to spend the ball at Papa’s side, either. Do you believe he really means it?”
“I do not care,” she whispered back. “I will find a way to enjoy the ball whether Papa likes it or not!”
Her sister’s eyes widened. “How?”
How indeed! How was Kitty the older of the two of them?
“I do not plan on passing the evening with Papa, and I daresay, Mama will not allow it.”
“Her complaints did not work the night of the Lucas’ party.”
“But we were at home. We are already at Netherfield. He will not cause a scene before all of Meryton. His precious Lizzy’s suitor might cry off if he did.”
With a titter, Kitty flounced ahead beside their mother as she entered the front doors. Lydia passed an enormous gilded mirror and carelessly brushed a curl from her face.
“Lydia, who allowed you to purchase that gown?”
Her head jerked forward to her father standing before her, his eyebrows drawn in the middle.
“Mama, of course. Why?”
“As much as I loathe the idea, I shall have to accompany you to the seamstress in Meryton. Kitty’s gowns are not as revealing, but yours border on the indecent. I do not know how I did not notice as much before we departed Longbourn.”
She gulped. Her father supervise her purchase of gowns? No! She lifted her chin. “I see nothing amiss with my wardrobe. Mama said this particular pattern suited my figure.”
A long, growling sigh came from his lips. “Your mother would, but after tonight, I will not have you wearing that gown without the… you know…” He gestured around his neck. “Some lace or fabric to make it suitable.”
“Lord, Papa! It is called a fichu, and only old married women wear them! As I am young, I have no reason to hide anything.”
He covered his eyes and turned his attention back to the queue. The time crawled by until they stood before Mr. Bingley and the Hursts. Once dull Mr. Darcy collected Lizzy, they proceeded into the ballroom.
The room was breath taking! The candles, the general splendour, all the gentlemen in red coats made her breathe a bit heavier, making her open her fan and cool herself once more.
They stationed themselves not far from the refreshment table and Lydia stood on the tips of her toes in an attempt to see faces. Denny was by the fireplace with Saunderson at his side. Chamberlayne stood near Captain Forster and his wife on the opposite end of the room. But where was Mr. Wickham?
A strange odour tickled her nostrils, and she put the backs of her fingers to her nose and swallowed hard. Ugh! When did Mr. Collins join them? Was it not bad enough that she had to give him her third set?
As Mr. Collins led Jane to the dance floor, Mr. Denny appeared before her. “Miss Lydia, may I have your first dance?”
She puffed up her chest, grinned at Kitty, and took his arm. “Yes, of course!”
They had only taken three steps. What could her father want now?
“My daughter will be returned to me directly when the set has concluded.”
Denny gulped and tugged at his collar with a bob of his head. “Yes, of course, Mr. Bennet.” Once they were in line, they curtsied and bowed before the couple on the end of their group began the dance.
“I hope you are well this evening, Miss Lydia.”
“I am quite well.” She took his offered hands as they stepped in the pattern to their next places. “It appears all of the militia has come to the ball. I anticipate dancing with all of you.”
They had little opportunity to converse during the first dance as the floor was crowded and they parted more often. When the second half of the set began, Lydia could not help but smile. Much better!
When the music began, Denny stepped a bit forward. “Not all of the militia are in attendance.” He glanced over her shoulder and while the couple next to her made the next moves, she followed his line of sight. Denny appeared to be glaring at Mr. Darcy. How curious! “Mr. Wickham was unable to attend.”
Mr. Wickham not attend the ball? He had to be there! “But why?”
“He was ordered to London, but Wickham did confide certain matters to me. I believe I know why.”
They advanced up the line, and according to the dance, Lydia tilted her head, batted her eyelashes, and beckoned to Denny. She pranced around the other dancers in their group and when they made their way back to their places, took Denny’s hands.
“What reason did he give?”
Denny shook his head. “I do not want to waste our time discussing those matters.” He looked to the doors to the terrace. “If you become overheated, I would take great pleasure in escorting you outside.”
She tilted her head. He was not Mr. Wickham, but what was she to do without Mr. Wickham’s presence?”
“I would enjoy that very much.”
They bowed and curtsied as the song concluded. Mr. Denny held out his arm and began to walk towards the door when a hand to her arm halted her progress.
“What are you about, Lydia? You were told to return. Should you disobey my orders, I can have Mr. Hill return you to Longbourn.”
Her shoulders sagged. He was going to ruin her night!
Next! We have my blog tour dates for your calendar! I’m doing a mini-tour this time. 🙂
Just Jane 1813 will be posting a review of Particular Intentions this week!
24 August – lldiamondwrites.com (Second installment of Lydia’s Netherfield Ball Experience and another giveaway!)
26 August – Austen Variations (Third installment of Lydia’s Netherfield Ball Experience and Giveaway winners!)
29 August – lldiamondwrites.com (Post and giveaway winners!)
2 September – Guest Post at Babblings of a Bookworm
And, we have giveaways!
First is an e-book of Particular Intentions. The second, is a signed paperback of Particular Intentions. Third, is a fun paper bead bracelet made from Pride and Prejudice, and last but not least, this paste orange topaz cross. Leave me a comment below and include which giveaways you want to be entered in!