Happy New Year and Welcome to my little party celebrating the release of An Angel In Her Pocket by Brenda Webb.
According to Brenda, this delightful tale was inspired by her favorite Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. Whilst her story does not follow that plot, she wanted to write a tale about an angel who helps Elizabeth Bennet one bleak Christmas. Here is the book blurb for An Angel In Her Pocket followed by an excerpt. Enjoy!
Blurb: Life had been hard for Elizabeth Bennet in the months since she refused Mr. Darcy’s proposal at Kent. Lydia eloped with Mr. Wickham, and her father died shortly thereafter. Mr. Collins took possession of Longbourn, forcing her family to live apart to survive. She and Jane left to live in London with the Gardiners, and Elizabeth’s hope of finding employment there was fading quickly as Christmas approached.
And now for the preview
As William waited in the reception line, he recalled why he dreaded these kinds of events. The crush of the throng vying for position made him feel as though he could not get a decent breath of air, and no matter which way he looked people were staring at him. Heavy on his mind, too, was the fact that some would take his attendance at this soirée as affirmation that he intended to wed Lord Crawford’s sister, Lady Priscilla.
After all, what have the matrons of the ton to obsess about if not matching me with every woman of marriageable age in Britain.
Still, because Lady Crawford’s mother and Lady Anne had been lifelong friends, he and Marianne had grown up in each other’s company, and she had a way of cajoling him into doing things he would never dream of doing otherwise—such as attending this ball.
“So good to see you again, Darcy!” Lord Crawford said, grinning as he grasped his former classmate’s hand the instant William stood in front of him. “Marianne said you promised to attend, but I was not ready to believe it until I saw you.”
Glancing to the staircase, Crawford continued. “A maid spirited my wife away to handle an issue with Isabelle, but with luck she should return at any moment.” Then, leaning in close, he whispered, “I recall how much you hate these affairs, but Priscilla would never have let me hear the end of it if you had not come. I am grateful for your presence.”
“It is good to see you again, Crawford,” William said. Then he, too, leaned in close to whisper, “And we both know I would never have heard the end of it from your wife had I not come.”
Lord Crawford laughed. “I will not lie. Marianne is not above promoting Priscilla as your perfect match. We would both be thrilled to have you as a member of our family.”
William ignored that assertion. Instead, hearing the musicians tuning their instruments, he glanced to the double doors that led into the ballroom. “Has my cousin arrived yet?”
Lord Crawford smiled. It was no secret that Darcy depended on Colonel Fitzwilliam to intercede on his behalf when the women who pursued him became obnoxious. “You will be happy to hear that Richard is already in the ballroom, as are Lord and Lady Matlock. So it is safe for you to go in.”
William smiled, but it faded as quickly as it appeared. “May I ask if Lady Priscilla is in the ballroom as well?”
“You should already know the answer to that! My little sister likes to make a dramatic entrance, and my understanding is that she planned to wait until a certain someone arrived before she came down.” He glanced at the top of the stairs. “I imagine her spies will be severely chastised, for evidently, she has not yet been informed you are here.”
“Perhaps I am not the one she is waiting for,” William ventured.
“Oh, you have no worry there. She only has eyes for you.”
“Crawford, you do realise that I am not—”
“Say no more, Darcy. I am teasing. I know that you think of my sister as a friend and are doing your best to let her down gently. I appreciate that.”