I don’t think many folks will be surprised that I love Jane Austen and have a fondness for Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Long before I wrote romance, I read it. It is still one of my go to genres to make myself feel better. So when someone tries something new with the stories, I’m so there.
I loved Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies and Jane Austenland. And I love fellow author Ginger Monette’s version that graphs it onto one of the most under represented eras in romance, the First World War.
The best thing with talking to other authors who write in your genre, you can ask for help with those hard to find answers about every day life. Ginger asked me if I had anything on VAD (Voluntary Aide Detachment) training, i.e. nursing assistants, and I asked her about how the men cleaned up when they left the front to go on leave. I sent her articles the information I had from Vera Brittian’s Testament of Youth (and a few others), and she sent me public domain of pictures of the soldiers showers. They reminded me of gym class, but there were some ahem naked men in the photos. Of course, since we both write clean historical romances, it was important we knew about hygiene on the front lines.
But enough about that, here’s an extract from Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey:
Elizabeth bolted from the chair. “Fitzwilliam, wake up!” She nudged his arm in the darkened room, but he continued writhing with great heaving breaths. “Captain!” She squeezed his hand, but he jerked it away, whimpering.
On impulse, she slid her arms under his shoulders and held him close. Instantly his thrashing ceased.
Gently rocking him, she massaged the unbandaged hair at his temple and whispered against his cheek, “It’s all right. Just a dream.”
He breathing slowed, but his body remained tense. “My ribs…hurt.”
She lowered him back to the pillow, then tapped on his hand, Try to relax. All right now?
“Mmm…. Water. And morphine.”
She squeezed his hand and poured water into the hospital cup. She touched the pill to his lips then offered the porcelain straw.
He swallowed. “Who are you?”
Elizabeth froze and closed her eyes. How she longed to tell him the truth, then brush a kiss on his lips, assure him of her love, and promise to stay by his side.
She took his hand and spelled, Miss Thomas.
“Thank you…Miss Thomas.”
Elizabeth sank into the wing chair and released a heavy breath. Could she bear to be so close and yet so far away from Fitzwilliam?
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