I LOVE parties, and today is an exceptional day since August 17 is my sister Melody’s birthday, Georgiana Darcy’s birthday, and the launch of my new book, Darcy’s Melody, in eBook format on Amazon! My sister, Melody Ann Ferree, holds a very special place in my heart and was my inspiration for writing a loving sisterly relationship between Lizzy and Georgina in this Pride and Prejudice tale.
In celebration, I thought we should have some cake and a giveaway! After all what’s a party without a little of the good stuff? Right? Melody’s favorite cake was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Yummy! Every year on Melody’s birthday, her girls all make carrot cake in her honor. Melody’s recipe is at the end of this post. These are my nieces: Molly, Deanna, Jessica, and Keila.For my birthday party on May 20, I asked you to tell me what was one of your favorite cakes. My virtual tasting was beyond belief with so many delicious offerings. Some of you even left recipes! Since Darcy’s Melody has an underlying music theme, this time I would like to know what is your favorite song or even what style of music makes you feel good.
Although there is a prominent music theme in my story, there is also a subplot which has to do with Colonel Fitzwilliam and the Crown’s Secret Guard. I hope you like this first scene from chapter one where Darcy and Lizzy first meet in a rather unusual way. Enjoy! Jen Red ♫
Chapter One ~ Under the Cover of Books
Tuesday, 21 May 1811, early afternoon
Ballard’s was an eclectic treasure trove of rare first editions and unusual books located on the thoroughfare of Piccadilly. Although it appeared somewhat dingy and dimly lit from the outside, inside the ageing building the atmosphere was inviting, and a vast array of literature beckoned lovers of the written word.
Promptly at one o’clock, Fitzwilliam Darcy entered the bookshop and walked directly towards his favoured section. While paging through a military war journal, he instinctively glanced toward the back of the shop. Even with several patrons milling about the establishment today, Darcy’s eyes were drawn to a young lady who appeared to be examining a small book in the poetry section.
Closing the journal, Darcy ambled over to where the woman stood and began perusing the titles on a nearby shelf. After taking a book in hand, he purposely turned his head towards the young lady. Captivated by her large, dark emerald-green eyes sparkling with mischief, he felt his lips curve into a half smile when she spoke.
“Pray, sir, may I trouble you to hand me the book of Cowper poetry on the upper shelf?”
Darcy nodded. “With pleasure. Cowper is an excellent choice.”
As he reached for the book, she continued, “One poem in particular reminds me of Oakham Mount in Hertfordshire. I find I am rather desirous of its solace today if only through the eyes of the poet.”
Handing her the book, he answered in kind. “I understand your sentiments for I, too, am from the country and have longed to return to Derbyshire.”
Arching an eyebrow in his direction, she inclined her head and said, “I thank you, sir.”
“You are most welcome.”
As she turned the pages of her selection in search of the poem, Darcy heard the young lady gasp when both of her books slid out of her hands and onto the floor. “Oh dear,” she sighed, stooping down to retrieve them.
“Allow me,” he immediately offered. Both reaching for the books, Darcy felt her small, warm hand carefully slip a folded piece of paper into the palm of his own. The young lady had not replaced her glove after perusing her own book, and her skin was soft to the touch. Leaning closer, the faint scent of lavender seemed to strengthen, causing his chest to tighten and his heart to quicken in response.
Feigning innocence, she looked up at him and said, “Again, sir, I am in your debt. Perhaps I should make my purchases before I have another mishap.”
“Permit me to carry these to the desk for you.”
Acknowledging his offer with a slight curtsey, the young lady whispered, “Sir, I think we are being observed.” Then speaking louder, she added, “Thank you again. You are most kind.”
“Your servant.” He bowed. With his senses heightened from being forewarned of impending danger, Darcy spoke softly in return, “How did you come? I would not have you leave here unescorted.”
“There is a carriage waiting, sir. A manservant is nearby and a maid is within.”
“Then leave now and be careful.”
After he placed the books on the counter, the young lady thanked Darcy, made her purchase, and quickly exited the shop. From where he stood, Darcy watched the footman assist her into the carriage. Assured of her safety, he abruptly turned and faced the observing patron who had folded his newspaper and was preparing to leave the shop.
“Excuse me, have we met?”
The man was obviously confused and stammered, “I … I think so. You are Mr. um.… ”
“Fitzwilliam Darcy. And you are?”
“My name is … is Gerard Mooreland, and if I remember correctly, my son, Jonathan, was a classmate of yours at university some years back.”
Darcy furrowed his brow for a moment in thought. “I do not seem to recall the name. Do you care to refresh my memory?”
“My … my son was a master with the blade and was an active participant in the fencing club,” Mooreland boasted through a somewhat crooked smile.
With no recollection of either man, Darcy made further inquiries after which he gave Mooreland his card and requested his son pay him a visit when he was next in Town. Concluding their conversation, Darcy made his purchase and left the bookshop being rather unsettled.
The giveaway for TWO of my eBooks will take place on Friday, Aug 24 and the winners will be posted here, on FaceBook and Twitter. Meanwhile, be sure to check out some of these links. To comment and be entered in my giveaway, just click on the title at the beginning or this post or the comment tab just below the title. There should also be a place after this post: leave a reply. Don’t forget to let me know what your favorite song is or what style of music makes you feel good. AND if you feel like sharing a little more cake, I won’t complain. Jen ♫
I have recorded all of Lizzy’s songs and made a book trailer for Darcy’s Melody. You can find all of them here on YouTube.
Here is the Amazon eBook Link.
Note: As of Aug 17, the eBook of Darcy’s Melody is live on Amazon.com. I am still waiting for a proof copy of the print version and will make another announcement whenever my book is available.
Just reading the title makes me want to read the book. . .plus I like your stories.
Thanks Betty, you are so nice to say! I loved working on this story with all the music and finding Darcy and Lizzy’s way to HEA. Good luck in the giveaway! Jen ♫
Happy belated birthday to Melody and congratulations on the release, Jennifer! My favourite music are original scores and soundtrack from films and tv series such as Downton Abbey, The Lord of the Rings movies and the Jane Austen adaptations and mini-series (except for Mansfield Park 1999).
Btw, loved this intriguing excerpt.
Lúthien84 thanks for stopping by! I’m thrilled about the release of Darcy’s Melody and hope lots of folks will enjoy my tale. I, too, love film scores. Can you imagine watching a one of your favorite episodes or films without the background music to add to the suspense. Good luck in my giveaway. Jen ♫
Ooooooooo! This looks like a fun premise! Music AND intrigue and romance! Looking forward to reading it all. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!!
Debbie B thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy my story and good luck on my giveaway! Jen ♫
I’ve been swamped and just saw this. The cake seems amazing! And the chapter left me wishing to read the whole story!
Thanks so much Tere! I’m happy you found my notice and stopped by for the giveaway. I hope you enjoy my book. I had a wonderful time writing it. Jen ♫
My favorite music depends on whether I am playing it on the piano or listening to it if I’m playing the piano, I like Gershwin, Joplin, Broadway and Disney. if I am listening, I love Abba, Bee Gees, 70’s dance/disco, 80’s, and the Backstreet Boys. Looking forward to reading your new book!
Thanks Robin R! I love your selection of music and am happy you came by to enter my giveaway. Coming up very soon. The winners will be announced on Friday 8-24. Good luck! Jen ♫
Looking forward to reading this. Congratulations on its release! The Pinerest photo album has piqued my interest. It would be lovely to win a copy.
Thanks Katzanne! The Pinterest page is fun. I hope you enjoy my story and good luck in my giveaway! Jen ♫
Congratulations on your new release! Loved the excerpt. It’s so intriguing. I’d love to win a copy. My favourite song is ‘All you want’ by Dido. It’s wistful as she’s singing about wishing that the man she loves, who’s left her, would see her as all he wants, when actually he doesn’t want her but someone else.
I hope your book does really well!
Hi Elaine! I went to YouTube and listened to your song. I can see why you like it so well. The melody and words just seem to draw you in. Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck with my giveaway. Jen ♫
Congratulations on the new book. I’m looking forward to reading it as I have enjoyed your others very much. I love all music, really just depends on what I am doing. If I had to pick one though I would say Spanish guitar music makes me feel happy and alive. 😀
Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by. I too love Spanish guitar music and years ago remember hearing the acclaimed Andrés Segovia at Orchestra Hall in Chicago before he died. Best Wishes in my giveaway! Jen ♫
Looking forward to your book release!
Love me a good carrot cake with yummy cream cheese frosting! When I was working, it was my favorite. My co-worker Della would always make it for my birthday – she’d have one corner especially for me with extra frosting! Everyone knew not to touch that corner! If I could, please extra frosting on my slice?
Nobuko, thanks for stopping by. I too love carrot cake because it has nice texture and is not so sweet. Extra frosting, yummy. Good luck in my giveaway! Jen ♫
Congratulations Jen on the publication of your book. I’m sure it will do very well as it is an excellent story. I love the cover!
Thanks so much Lis! I had so much fun writing Darcy’s Melody and I hope lots of folks will enjoy reading it. I think the cover is perfect for my story and I’m so glad the print was in public domain. Jen ♫
Congratulations on the release of your book! I am so happy for you! I love the music you had in the book.
Thank you Horselover and thanks for stopping by to enter my giveaway. I had a lot of fun choosing and recording the songs form Jane Austen’s time. Good luck on my giveaway. Jen ♫
Congratulations on the release of your book. I loves your stories and now your book. I love Jazz, and classic (I have story that my mom loved to watch mini series of Strauss, and she hooked of that music. My sisters and I had to listen her music every night. Now since we live a half world apart, I listen to this music every time I miss her), and any oldies. Thank you for the party. I apologize that I left the mess. It is delicious cake.
Thanks so much Bludpoison! I too love the oldies! My mom was the same way. And in school we saw an old black and white film called The Great Waltz. No problem about the mess. My husband will clean up. Best wishes in my give away. Jen ♫
This sounds like another wonderful novella. I always enjoy your stories. Thanks!
Thanks Wendi G. I appreciate your support. Good luck in the giveaway. Jen ♫
Jen – So delighted that you have an ebook on Amazon! How proud you must feel for all of the hard work you put into creating this story and then all of the formatting, etc that had to be done. Your Jaff family is so proud of you!
Oh Joy, you are so kind and yes I am very grateful for my JAFF family and all the help I had getting my book published. Thanks again for your support and best wishes in my giveaway. Jen ♫
Congratulations Jen! So very happy for you, it is a wonderful story!
Thanks Elissa! I had so much fun sharing my story on the forum and now it’s published, I can hardly believe it! Good luck in my giveaway. Jen ♫
Interesting pictures in Pinterest, giving a glimpse I think on each chapter’s story. Anyway for music, I go with soft and the oldies. On eof my favorite singer is Karen Carepnter and dearly love her song I have you. I barely can play the piano but I love the Somewhere in time piece. For cake – I am very plain/simple. I just like whiye cake with whipped cream icing.Thank you for sharing the chapter of your new book. Thank you for the chance to share and this giveaway
Buturot, thanks so much for stopping by. And I’m glad you were able to take a look at my Pinterest page. I had fun making it, and probably could have added even more pictures. I also love Karen Carpenter – We’ve only just begun. I can do cake with whipped cream! I like to make rhubarb pudding cake and we always eat that with fresh whipped cream. Good luck in my give away. Jen ♫
That sounds delicious Jennifer.I have only had rhubarb in pancakes in a restaurant. Loved it. Also fresh whipped cream wow.
I found the recipe on the Taste of Home web site. Its called Rhubarb Pudding cake. When I make it , I double the recipe and add pecans and apples. So yummy. I never had rhubarb pancakes. Sounds good. Jen ♫
I like a capella music a lot
Hi Maria, a cappella music is awesome. The High Schools where I teach voice have a men’s, women’s and mixed a cappella group and they do the most awesome music. Everything from classical to jazz. Great fun. Thanks for stopping by and good luck in my give away. Jen ♫
Enjoyed the excerpt! I am already familiar with your work from your previous postings on another Jaff site and love the way you intertwine music with the story. I am most fond of choral music – – got hooked on it during my choir tour days in college. And I just had carrot cake last weekend for my husband’s birthday. It is his favorite.
Thanks Randy. I hope you enjoy my book and if you read it on the other forum then you will be surprised to find I added one more chapter and an epilogue for the grand finale. I work with lots of HS vocal students in NW Indiana and it is amazing what awesome music they are singing in their choirs. Yum to carrot cake and good luck in my give away! Jen ♫
Thanks so much Janet! I hope you will enjoy my book and the carrot cake is delicious! Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad I was able to be in the calendar for this book. Jen ♫
Thanks so much Janet! I hope you will enjoy my book and the carrot cake is delicious! Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad I was able to be in the calendar for this book. Good luck in my giveaway. Jen ♫
Janet, I’m not sure what happened to your comment either, but I read it! Anyway, thanks for stopping by and sorry about the confusion. Jen ♫
Janet, I checked the log of comments and I don’t see your original post. I’m so sorry. Maybe I did something? I hope not. Anyway, I appreciate you stopping by. Jen
No worries on my end, Jen. I just thought it was strange. I know I saw my comment earlier too. If you read it, that’s all that matters! 🙂
This is weird. Don’t know what happened to my comment and then it has yours under my name. Go figure? 🙂
This is what I found in my email. Jen
Loved the excerpt, Jennifer, and I can’t wait to read your book. I love carrot cake too. Your recipe sounds delicious. Happy Birthday to Melody.
This is getting stranger by the minute. How did it email but still show my name on the comment??? (and with your comment) Did we step into the Twilight Zone? I hear the music playing! LOL
Love carrot cake and love this book. Congrats on the release.
Thank you Anita. Carrot cake is a favorite in our family. Good luck in the giveaway. Jen ♫
Intriguing- looks very interesting. Congratulations 🎊
Hi Mary, Thanks for stopping by. Good luck with my give away and I hope you will enjoy my book. Jen ♫
Congratulations on your release! I love classical music as well as the music of nature.
Deborah, I, too, love classical as I studied Opera in college. Of course, I work on all kinds of music with my students. There is quite a bit of reference to classical music in Darcy’s Melody. Thanks for stopping by and good luck in my giveaway. Jen ♫
This story sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading it.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Lynn. I hope you will enjoy my story and good luck on the giveaway. Jen ♫
What a great way to start a weekend, Darcy’s Melody release day!! Congratulations Jen. Please, don’t count me for the giveaway, I’ve just got the book. And I know what I am going to do this weekend. Great Pinrest board.
Thanks so much Kate! The Pinterest was fun to make and I hope you have a great weekend. Thanks again! Jen ♫
Well done Jen…I’m looking forward to reading it! I love singing choral music, singing folk songs. I love playing jazz and blues or just making up a tune around a scale that I’m practicing! My kids think I’m real old fashioned
Hey Amanda! Old Fashioned is GREAT! After all, that’s one of the best parts about our obsession with Jane Austen and JAFF. Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck in my giveaway. Jen ♫
Yea!! this day is finally here, you have been working so long and hard on this book and now you are finally here!! I’m so proud of you and I love this story! thanks so much for sharing with us. I too love carrot cake so I will make this soon. I will buy this book and await your next one.
Thanks so much Carmalee, and thank you for all of the love and support you have giving while writing Darcy’s Melody! You are the best and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kindness! Love, Jen ♫
I’m so glad your book is now live Jen and if I don’t win, then I shall gladly purchase the book as I really enjoyed reading it on the forum. There is so much music I love to listen to but I think my favourite artist is Marty Goetz as all his music is so worshipful, one in particular being, “The Love of God”. I also love “His Name, His Name” using music written by Sibelius which I have on a very old cassette from the early 1980’s. Other composers I enjoy are, Bach, Chopin, Mendlessohn, Mozart and Handel together… Read more »
Thanks Diane, and I agree Marty Goetz is awesome. We share a love of many of the same composers. Yes, the carrot cake is yummy! Good luck in my giveaway! Jen ♫
Can’t wait to check out the Pinterest board for this book-what a clever idea! My go to music is U2. When I was teaching, my students were treated to “U2Fridays” during rHomeroom and at the start of first period. They seemed to enjoy it, too! Wishing you every success with Darcy’s Melody.
Thanks so much Regina! The Pinterest board was really fun to make. I love visuals when I’m writing so my initial manuscript was loaded with pictures. I just went and played “the top 10 or U2” and I can imagine the kids loved it! Thanks again, and good luck with my giveaway! Jen ♫
Best wishes to your family.
My favorite cake is blueberry cheese cake. i used to make it for my husband(boyfriend back then)
Kandy, Blueberry cheese cake sounds wonderful and here in Indiana I was able to by loads of fresh local berries and stick them in the freezer for making pies throughout the winter. Thanks for stopping by. Jen ♫
Loved the except! I think this is one of my favorite scenes from the book! 🙂 I LOVE Carrot Cake but alas I cannot have sugar anymore. Would that I could find a sugar-free version. heh heh Don’t put me in the drawing for I plan to buy a kindle and a book! Best wishes for a successful launch!
Thanks so much Brenda and thanks for ALL of your help! Carrot cake is pretty rich and drat about the sugar. I also love this first scene. Thanks for stopping by. Jen ♫
Happy Birthday Melody. I hope you enjoy your cake. Nothing tastes quite so good as a birthday cake, no matter the recipe. I don’t know the name or the composer of the music I like, I just know I like it. Some one gave me a collection of music on a thumb drive some years ago and it just plays. I quite enjoy music scores from movies like the Harry Potter movies or Indiana Jones, and even Star Wars Dare I say the Mozart’s and Beethoven of our age?? The snippet of your story here is so intriguing. Passing notes!?!?… Read more »
Hi Lynley! Welcome to my party! I too love the music of John Williams who wrote the sound tracks for all three of your mentioned films. In my opinion, he is one of the best modern composers of film scores. Yes for Mozart and Beethoven since music by both composers are featured in Darcy’s Melody. Yes to exchanging a message with one handsome Fitzwilliam Darcy. What could be more appealing? More comes out in the first chapter as to how that all came about. I hope you will enjoy my story and good luck with the giveaway. Jen ♫
So excited that your story is live!! The excerpt is fascinating – Elizabeth and Darcy in intrigue! You don’t have to enter me because I plan to go buy a copy. 🙂
Mmmm – carrot cake is my favorite cake (to eat, not make) and yours looks scrumptious. My favorite cake to make is an eggless extra chocolatey cake with both cocoa and baker’s chocolate.
Loved the video and Elizabeth’s ‘playlist’. 🙂 There are two pieces of music that I adore playing (on my violin): Grieg’s Anitra’s Dance from Peer Gynt and (of course) the William Tell Overture.
Thanks so much for stopping by Elaine! Ididn’t realize you played the violin. Yes, D&L definitely meet in an unusual setting which has a nice subplot in this story. Your chocolate cake with lots of rich chocolate sounds wonderful. Love the Suite and the Overture. I’ve played both of those in orchestra in the way back. Good luck with my giveaway! Jen ♫
Congrats on your latest! My favorite music is 70s music. I was a teenager in the 70s, and I was very into music back then. Good stuff! 😊
Hi Pam, I’m with you on the 70’s music! Lots of fun and surprisingly quite a few of my young students like the music too. Good luck in my giveaway! ♫
Congrats to you JenRed now that this is published! Having been enticed by this excerpt I look forward to reading the rest of it, and if I am not fortunate enough to win a copy on the 24th will surely be ordering a copy on the 26th. Hard to choose a favourite song; I do adore Over the Rainbow as well as this one by Randy Travis: https://is.gd/FDI1MA, altho’ I consider The Blue Danube Waltz to be the best, most beautiful piece of music ever written. I don’t think anyone who loves music can choose just one genre; I love… Read more »
Hi Janis! I loved your Randy Travis song, such an upbeat, happy tune. I also love Over the Rainbow and sang that as a solo when I was only in 2nd grade. AND who wouldn’t love a waltz. The triple feel of the beat just makes you feel good. Good luck with my giveaway! Jen ♫
Congratulations on the release of the book
All my music makes me feel good or I would not play it from blues, country, hard rock. But my favourite band is Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Hoping that the Colonel is a big part of the book
Thanks Vesper! I don’t know your band so I went to YouTube and listened to Little Thing Gone Wild. Now that sure has a lively beat and gets you going this early in the morning. Yes… the Colonel has a great supporting role and is often Darcy’s anchor in this one. Plus he provides some great comic relief. Thanks so much for stopping by. Good luck in the give away. Jen ♫
Thanks for stopping by my party! Please leave your comments in order to be entered in the giveaway! Jen ♫
Congratulations Jennifer on the release of your new book! I am looking forward to reading it.