Wednesday, May 04, 2016

BLOG TOUR: A Fine Stout Love by Renée Beyea ~ Excerpt + Giveaway

I read and reviewed this book back in December when it was first released. I remember loving the majority of the stories in this collection of short stories. When I was approached to be a part of the blog tour I couldn't say no. Today I am pleased to post an excerpt from the story Words in the Wind which follows from where the Amazon sample leaves off. Also we have a giveaway where you can win a copy of the book.

Book Blurb: Discover what happens when Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy meet fancy and fantasy in this novella-length ensemble of Regency stories.
- What if two inexplicable trails of words led to the Meryton churchyard on the same blustery morning?
- What if Darcy stumbled across suggestive lines of verse following Elizabeth’s stay at Netherfield?
- What if a rumored engagement so thoroughly shocked Lady Catherine that she could not interfere?
- What if Elizabeth learned the last man she would ever marry was the only man she could marry?
- What if every Bennet family member read the love poem Darcy intended only for his bride? With all the intimacy and lyricism of a chamber concert, these five whimsical shorts will inspire the heart, prompt a smile, and entice readers to many happy returns.

Excerpt from Word in the Winds
“If you will excuse me,” Elizabeth said, lifting her chin and weary of awaiting Darcy’s answer--for clearly he was not going to oblige her in sketching his character--“I have concluded my visit and must be returning home before I am missed.”

“Of course.” His bow was all politeness. “I wish you a good day, Miss Bennet.”

“And a good day to you, Mr. Darcy.” She curtseyed and made to hurry past him.

The next instant, her toes bloomed with pain and she hurtled toward him, arms flailing for balance. Alarm overspread his face, then dark wool filled her vision and her nose collided with his chest. He smelled of leather, horses, and an inviting pungency akin to the aroma of tea leaves.

His hands steadied her shoulders as he assisted her to regain her footing. How humiliating. Elizabeth glanced behind her before stepping away. The guilty corner of the grave curb glared back with glee. The wind too seemed to be dancing in delight as it tore at her hood and tried to bury them in a flurry of leaves. A flicker of white passed before her face, and she seized it.

“Are you well?” he asked.

She nodded but could only stare at the identical paper he now gripped between his fingers. She looked down at her own. This one was unnumbered and read,

He went there to register.

She turned it over, only to find the expected numeral on the reverse.

IX. It is stronger than death, stronger than the grave.

“This cannot be correct,” she murmured. The sentence bore no continuity to the others, like a puzzle piece from the wrong puzzle.

Darcy wore a severe frown as he examined his own paper. He raised his eyes and caught her gaze. “What does yours say?”

She froze in debate. That he would even ask was inappropriate. They were private words. But he did not appear any more surprised than she to snatch words from the wind, and the circumstance was beyond astonishment. Her curiosity won over discretion. She extended the paper to him. He handed his to her in exchange.

She read again,

IX. Nothing can quench the love I have for you.

“I think this one belongs to me,” she said, unaccountable relief flooding through her at the declaration from her unknown admirer.

“It does, does it?” His frown transformed to a smile.

She could not help but note how well it became him, not that she could see anything humorous. “They must have been switched.”

“Tell me, Miss Bennet, have you any other papers like these?”

She hesitated. “Yes. Why do you ask?”

“May I have them?” He might have shifted a trifle closer.

She stepped back. “Why should I give them to you? What is your interest in them?”

“These--  these notes were published without the author’s permission. I seek to recover them.”

“You know the identity of the author then?” Her heart quickened at the possibility.

“I do.”

“And how they came to be hidden in my boots and gloves and along my path this morning?”

He started and his complexion grew ruddier. “No. I am not privy to that knowledge.”

“Then I have a proposal,” she said, merriment creeping into her tone as she peered up at him from under her lashes. Had he always been so very tall? His discomfort almost made him charming. “I will relinquish the papers to you on condition that you relinquish his name to me.”

“That is hardly fair.”

“You wish to recover the papers, and I wish to discover the author. It seems a fair exchange.”

He considered her so intently that Elizabeth began to chafe under his direct gaze. She reached to tuck a stray lock behind her ear. Perhaps she should have given more time to her toilette after all. An indecipherable expression passed over his face as fleeting as a cloud across the sun. 

“I answered why you should give the papers to me,” he said. “Now, may I ask why I should disclose their author? What is your interest in him?”

Heat suffused her face as she recalled the sequence of intimate confessions, made all the worse by her embarrassment that she should blush before him. “That is private information, sir.”

“And what you request is not?”

She mirrored his arched brow.

“If you would indulge me”--he sighed--“I need to understand your reasoning.” At least he was making an amended effort to be polite and express sincere interest.

How imperative was it that she learn the author’s identity? Was it merely idle curiosity or something more? But she would always wonder and regret not making the attempt. Her boot toed the late autumn grass. She was too mortified to look at him.

“Is it any surprise that a lady should be gratified and desire to know the name of her admirer”--the words fell from her lips quiet and soft, and she sensed him leaning nearer--“that…that she might determine whether or not she wishes to return the sentiments?”

When she raised her eyes to his, he looked away swiftly and said nothing. Was he going to renege on their agreement?

“Come, Mr. Darcy,” she coaxed after a minute of quiet, “I have been forthright with you.”

Author Bio
Renée Beyea holds an undergraduate writing degree from Taylor University and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary. She serves as full-time wife, mother to two sons, and ministry partner with her husband, an Anglican priest and chaplain. Her free time is devoted to crafting stories and composing poetry that delight the senses and touch the soul.

Author Contact and Social Media Links
·         Email: renee.beyea@gmail.com
·         Website
·         Facebook
·         Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

5/2: Excerpt & Giveaway at From Milton to Pemberley
5/3: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…
5/4: Excerpt & Giveaway at Half Agony, Half Hope
5/5: Review & Giveaway at The Calico Critic
5/6: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
5/7: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
5/8: Review & Giveaway at Delighted Reader
5/9: Review & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
5/10: Interview & Giveaway at Savvy Verse and Wit
5/11: Review & Giveaway at Diary of an Eccentric
5/12: Review & Giveaway at Just Jane 1813
5/12: Excerpt & Giveaway at Laughing with Lizzie
5/13: Review & Giveaway at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
5/14: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
5/15: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
5/16: Review & Giveaway at Margie’s Must Reads

8 comments:

  1. and what were they doing in the graveyard?

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    1. It's not giving too much away to say Elizabeth was visiting her grandfather's grave, but Darcy has his own reasons...

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  2. So glad you said "yes" to the blog tour, Tina! Thank you again for hosting an excerpt and giveaway.

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  3. Thanks for the excerpt, can't wait to read more.

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    1. So happy you're intrigued! It won't conclude this story, but the next excerpt is 12 May from "Neither Slumber Nor Sleep."

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  4. So intriguing! Must. Read. More.

    And Vesper, excellent question!

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    Replies
    1. If you have a chance to read the beginning of "Words in the Wind" in the preview sample at Amazon or Goodreads, that at least will answer the question of why they were in the graveyard (more or less).

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  5. Love the excerpt. I can't wait to read the rest of this collection!

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