Blog

Excerpt Time! My Forever Valentine

Here’s an excerpt from my story, My Forever Valentine, included in the anthology A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies Book 2.

AVAV ebook

At length, Mr. Darcy said, “How long will you be staying at Hunsford Cottage?”

 

“Charles and Jane will send their carriage for me the first week of February.”

 

Mr. Darcy seemed lost in his thoughts for a while this time.

 

She could stand the silence no longer and cleared her throat.

 

He startled as if he forgot she was there. “What books do you read?”

 

Remembering their conversation at the Netherfield ball, she tried not to laugh, truly she did, but she did not succeed.

 

“You said you did not wish to speak of serious matters in a ballroom, but I thought the subject might be permitted in this setting.”

He recalled their conversation, too? Interesting. She offered the title of the book she was currently reading, and as it was one he had read in the past, they discussed it, moving on to the one he was reading at present. To her surprise, it turned into a stimulating deliberation, with his stance always opposite to her own.

Mr. Darcy halted. Elizabeth was shocked to find herself standing at the gate to the short path leading to Hunsford.

He smiled. “Actually, Miss Bennet, I agree with you on all counts.”

 

She raised an eyebrow. “Really! I never would have guessed.”

 

“It made for a more interesting conversation to take up the opposite stance, did it not?” His smile broadened, dazzling her.

 

Goodness! He needed to stop smiling like that. The awkward silences were much preferable to an interesting conversation with him, as well. It was such an inconvenience to find the man whom she was determined to hate agreeable in any way.

 

She blinked to ground herself. “Were you on the debate team at school?”

 

“Former captain of the Oxford Debating Society, at your service, madam.” He tipped his hat. “I must say that even if I had not already agreed with you, you would have persuaded me. You are quite good at finding the strongest argument to defend your point.”

 

Impossibly, his smile widened further, and a dimple appeared on his cheek.

 

Again she was left blinking, this time in astonishment. Had Mr. Darcy really complimented her?

 

After a few moments, she remembered herself. “Thank you, sir.”

 

She reached for the latch to the gate, but he got to it before her, dropped his horse’s reins, and stepped through to hold it open as she passed.

 

“Good day to you, Miss Bennet. I have never enjoyed a stroll, nor a debate, more.” He bowed.

 

She curtsied — an automatic response — and then she walked on. At the turn to the short path that led to the door, she paused and looked back. He was still watching her!

 

A confusing sense of pleasure coursed through her, but then guilt dampened the emotion. She continued into the cottage.

 

Elizabeth reminded herself not only of what Mr. Darcy had done to Lieutenant Wickham, but also what that gentleman had said; Mr. Darcy could please where he wanted, but it was all an act. She also could not forget that he had snubbed Jane and Charles.

 

What kind of game was Mr. Darcy playing?

 

Resentment rose in her chest.

 

There! That was much better.

I hope you enjoyed this taste of my story.

Read more of My Forever Valentine on my story page.

A Very Austen Valentine is available on Amazon!

New Release! A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies Book 2

 

AVAV ebookSix beloved authors deliver romantic Valentine novellas set in Jane Austen’s Regency world.

Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite, together with Susan Kaye and Mandy Cook, share variations of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility, featuring your favorite characters in sequels, adaptations, and spinoffs of Austen’s adored novels.

Experience uplifting romance, laugh-out-loud humor, and poignant regret as these authors deftly tug on your heartstrings this Valentine’s Day.

I Dream of You by Robin Helm
Newly-married Elizabeth Darcy has a plan: to charm her too-busy husband into desiring her company as much as he did when he was courting her. A series of romantic dreams gives her just the push she needs to put that plan into action.

Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile
Faced with a lonely future and finding himself strapped for cash, Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot manfully decides to marry again. But his careful plans go sadly awry! A lighthearted Valentine mash-up featuring two of Jane Austen’s worst snobs.

My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis
Jane and Charles Bingley have married, even though Miss Elizabeth Bennet remains certain Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy gave his best effort to keep them apart. After Mr. Darcy refused to stand up with Bingley and did not attend the wedding, she despises the gentleman more than ever and finds his company intolerable. How will shee ndure her visit to Kent if Mr. Darcy turns up everywhere she goes?

Pretence and Prejudice by Barbara Cornthwaite
A chance encounter with a handsome stranger forces Elizabeth to resort to subterfuge in order to discover his true intentions.

My Valentine by Mandy H. Cook
Little Charlotte was always determined and independent, traits which served her wellas she battled a serious childhood illness and later as she took on Polite Society. Will those traits now deprive her of true love? Or would her lifelong Valentine win her heart?

The Lovers’ Ruse by Susan Kaye
In this Persuasion alteration, Anne is so altered by Wentworth’s love in the summer of 1806, she refuses to give him up when both her godmother and father try to persuade her. “The Lovers’ Ruse”follows Frederick and Anne through their whirlwind courtship and their secret engagement. When Wentworth returns for his Annie girl, the cat comes out of the bag.

Available on Amazon!

New Release! The Marriage Pact

NEW RELEASE!

TheMarriagePact KINDLE 2-2-2018 fc

The Marriage Pact

The heir to an earldom has little control over his own fate, but Mr. James Aldridge promised himself one freedom. To marry for affection instead of wealth or connections. Anger flares when he learns his father has struck a deal: in one year, he will be leg-shackled to Miss Celia Colton, the dazzling beauty who had previously caught his eye. Now certain she was simply performing her role in a scheme to catch him as her husband, resentment prompts James to refuse to squander his last months of independence in the company of such a mistress of manipulation. But why can he not wrench his gaze from her at every encounter?

Completely unaware of the pact that has matched her with James, Miss Celia Colton is at a loss to explain why the man she secretly loves has suddenly become cold and critical. Abandoned by James, who had promised to guide her through her debut Season, she fears she will have to navigate the ton with only her grasping mother and distracted cousin as companions. Surrounded by gentlemen merely interested in her dowry, young ladies who view her as unwelcome competition, and, worse yet, James’s icy stares and disdainful manners, her primary concern is to discover the reason for his altered behaviour. How can she make things right between them? Will a love-match be forever out of her reach?

Click HERE to enter to WIN $100!

 

TMP-UprightBook angled to left-opening quote

Read the first few pages HERE

$100 Giveaway! The Marriage Pact

 

TheMarriagePact KINDLE 2-2-2018 fc

The Marriage Pact by Wendi Sotis
A Regency Romance

The heir to an earldom has little control over his own fate, but Mr. James Aldridge promised himself one freedom. To marry for affection instead of wealth or connections. Anger flares when he learns his father has struck a deal: in one year, he will be leg-shackled to Miss Celia Colton, the dazzling beauty who had previously caught his eye. Now certain she was simply performing her role in a scheme to catch him as her husband, resentment prompts James to refuse to squander his last months of independence in the company of such a mistress of manipulation. But why can he not wrench his gaze from her at every encounter?

Completely unaware of the pact that has matched her with James, Miss Celia Colton is at a loss to explain why the man she secretly loves has suddenly become cold and critical. Abandoned by James, who had promised to guide her through her debut Season, she fears she will have to navigate the ton with only her grasping mother and distracted cousin as companions. Surrounded by gentlemen merely interested in her dowry, young ladies who view her as unwelcome competition, and, worse yet, James’s icy stares and disdainful manners, her primary concern is to discover the reason for his altered behaviour. How can she make things right between them? Will a love-match be forever out of her reach?

Praise for The Marriage Pact
This novel had quite a few twists & turns to it that I didn’t quite expect. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say I truly enjoyed this book – I felt thoroughly engaged throughout the whole of it & being a regency style novel as well as being a clean read, I can highly recommend it.
Excerpt:
For the moment, the pair of matrons were silently observing Celia interact with a newly introduced gentleman, a Mr. Montgomery. As she rose from yet another curtsy, her gaze deviated from its mark and locked onto a sight that caused her heart to cease beating.
James stood directly across the ballroom, speaking to a lady. Even from this distance, his handsome visage nearly took her breath away. She strained to discern a trace of the deep timbre of his voice from the din of the crowd, but she could not make it out. It had been too long since her heart had soared with the rumbling of his laughter — far, far too long since his smile had warmed her soul.

She willed James to approach. Alas, he did not. The urge to call out to him almost overcame her sense of propriety before the recollection of the change in their situation crashed down on her all at once. Her elation burst, leaving an ache in its place.
She sighed and glanced at Mr. Montgomery, who looked away from her neckline only long enough to sign her dance card.

If she could put up with this man’s ogling her through a set, then surely, she could endure pairing up with James and withstand his angry glares.

Mr. Montgomery returned the card to her hand, and she saw there were still two sets open. As was expected of her, she thanked the gentleman and curtsied once again. Mr. Montgomery bowed and retreated.

Her mother immediately took hold of one of her hands. “Celia! Lord Eagleton has come, after all, and he moves in this direction. Remember everything I have told you, dear — simply everything. You must attract his attention immediately, before Miss Buchannan does so.” She craned her neck to peer around a group of ladies who had moved between them and James. “Oh, that disagreeable Mr. Kenilworth has delayed Lord Eagleton’s approach. I had the disadvantage of making his acquaintance last summer, while I stayed at Penelope’s estate. Mr. Kenilworth is a distant relation to the baron, and although he may be the younger son of an earl, I do not like that man. Especially not now.” She held out her hand to Celia. “Give me your dance card, dear.”

Celia held onto her card tightly, already suspecting what her mother had in mind. She widened her eyes. “Why?”

“If Mr. Kenilworth delays Lord Eagleton much longer, he will not be able to reserve a set with you. I shall do so for him.”

“But mother …” Celia sputtered out, “Perhaps Lord Eagleton does not wish to request a dance.”

“Nonsense.” Mrs. Colton laughed as she waved the idea away. “Of course he does. He would wish to reserve a set of honour.” She plucked the card and pencil out of Celia’s hand. “You are unengaged for the last set. I shall fill in his name.”

“Mother, please do not —” It was too late. As her mother returned her card, Celia stared at the name now written next to the final set. Viscount Eagleton. Good Lord, what was she to do?

Author Wendi Sotis
Wendi Sotis lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and triplets. While searching for Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view, she became thoroughly enamored with Jane Austen Fan Fiction or JAFF. In early 2010, she dreamed an idea for a story and hasn’t stopped writing since: Promises, Dreams and Expectations; All Hallow’s Eve; The Keys for Love; Safekeeping (with just a dash of Austen); The Gypsy Blessing; Foundation of Love (The Gypsy Blessing 2); and A Lesson Hard Learned. A Very Austen Christmas, released in 2017, is an anthology of short stories and novellas including Wendi’s story No Better Gift.

The Marriage Pact, and some of her works-in-progress, have branched away to Regency Romance (the Loving an Aldridge series) and Contemporary Romantic Mysteries (the Implicated series).

Wendi will also continue bringing Darcy and Lizzy together again and again in an unusual manner.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 3/25/18
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.