Hello all! I’m excited to be making my very first appearance at Probably at the Library today! Thank you, Melissa, for welcoming me and for being a part of the blog tour for An Unexpected Harvest.
I’m sharing a deleted scene today, and I’ve purposely saved this particular scene for the end of the tour. Be warned that it’s a SPOILER in some ways… I mean, there’s always a happy ending for Darcy and Elizabeth in my variations of Pride and Prejudice, but this scene goes a bit beyond the happily ever after, and shows our favorite couple as they’re moving into the future. An Unexpected Harvest doesn’t have an epilogue, per se, but if it did, this scene probably would have been a part of it. I hope you enjoy it!
Will’s heart pounded as he sped up the on-ramp and merged onto the turnpike, his truck already nearing seventy miles an hour. He ignored the blaring horn of the car behind him and gunned the engine as he cut into the high-speed lane, his truck edging him toward ninety in no time at all.
His mind replayed Adriana’s phone call over and over.
It’s Lizzy. You should come now.
He’d stopped what he was doing in the barn, ran to the house, changed, shoved some clothes into a duffel bag and left. He needed a shower, but he needed to get to his wife more.
It wasn’t supposed to happen this way; she was supposed to be in Stockbridge when the baby came, not four hours away in Boston. He was supposed to be with her, not Adriana; and the baby was not supposed to come three weeks early.
He called his parents from the road and told his mother as much. Her response had been a gentle reassurance that everything would be fine, along with a bit of wisdom: Babies rarely entered the world on anyone’s schedule but their own.
Thankfully, Elizabeth had made arrangements with a physician in Boston for this very reason. She was still working at CMA’s offices two days a week and had been since they moved into their own home four years ago. They argued periodically about how long she would continue to make the commute to Boston; Will had wanted her to stop as soon as she began her third trimester, but she’d had a fairly easy pregnancy and insisted on continuing right up until the very last month. Still, having a doctor in Boston was mostly meant to be an appeasement for Will.
It wasn’t supposed to be Plan A.
Today was to be Elizabeth’s last day in the office for a long time, and he woke up this morning feeling relieved that she’d be home by dinner, relaxing on the porch with him or maybe nesting in the baby’s room, finishing up the few tasks left to do.
He swallowed heavily and called her via Bluetooth, and when her phone went to voicemail he called Adriana.
“Hi,” she answered immediately.
“Is she okay? Can I talk to her?”
Her voice became muffled and he heard her speaking to someone else—presumably Elizabeth.
“What’s going on, Adriana? Can I please just talk to her?”
“They’re hooking her up to a machine at the moment. She said to tell you to, um, relax, and that she’s fine and she’ll call you as soon as she’s settled.”
“She wants me to relax?” he repeated flatly, ignoring the trickle of sweat that ran down the back of his neck.
“Her words, not mine.”
He sighed, easily picturing the expression on his wife’s face as she issued that directive. “She’s really okay? I can’t–I’m not going to get there for at least a few hours, and—” He fought the lump in his throat and the rising swell of emotion in his chest.
“Will, she’s beaming at me right now. You’d think she was here for a pedicure.”
He exhaled heavily. “Okay. Just…tell her I love her and to call as soon as she can.”
He ended the call and tried to focus on driving, and on the fact that in a very short while he wouldn’t just be a husband and a son and a brother and an uncle anymore; he’d be a father.
His mind wandered back to when Elizabeth had told him she was pregnant. It was early on a Sunday morning in January and he was sitting at his desk in their office, sipping his coffee and looking over some paperwork, though his eyes kept wandering to the windows and the snow that was steadily piling up outside. She’d walked in clad in her robe and slippers and had silently climbed into his lap, burrowing into him and sighing contentedly. He’d said nothing, just set his coffee down and wrapped his arms around her, absorbing her warmth and inhaling the comforting scent of sleep that still clung to her.
“What’s up?” he finally asked, placing a light kiss on her head.
She sat up and kissed him before producing a white plastic stick from the palm of her hand, her green eyes probing his. “This.”
He’d been speechless, unable to do anything but hug her and kiss her to within an inch of her life. When he finally regained the power of speech, he asked her to tell him, to actually say the words, and then say them again and again. He couldn’t hear it enough. They were both elated at the turn of events, and the course of her pregnancy had run smoothly. Until now.
His phone rang, jarring him from his thoughts. “Lizzy?”
“Are you okay?”
“Mm-hmm, I’m fine. Everything just happened so fast.”
“What happened so fast?”
“Well, my water broke, but since I’m not having any contractions… It’s a long explanation, I’ll fill you in when you get here. But to make a long story short, they won’t let me leave.”
“Is the baby okay?”
“Yes, she’s absolutely fine and still using my bladder as a trampoline. She definitely didn’t get those legs from me.”
“And you’re not in pain?”
“None. Really, sweetheart, I’m fine.”
He expelled a sigh of relief. My girls are okay. “Is Adriana staying with you?”
“Yes, she’ll stay until you get here.”
“Good. I don’t want you to be alone.” He paused. “This is not how things are supposed to be.”
“I know, but since when have things ever gone the way they’re supposed to with us?” she asked softly. “It’s just a little bump in the road.”
“I know, you’re right. It just feels like a really big bump.”
“It’s just location. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.”
“I’m not, babe. I promise.”
“Good. Now get that sexy bottom of yours here safely so you can greet your daughter when she enters the world.”
FROM THE BACK COVER:
Elizabeth Bennet left her affluent New England home at the age of sixteen and never looked back. She’s built a fabulous life in Boston and loves everything about the city—especially her dream job as creative director at an advertising agency.
Will Darcy has never lived anywhere but in rural Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He lives the quintessential small-town life and loves everything about the country—especially his family’s farm, which he’s doing his best to modernize and return to prosperity.
When her older sister moves back to New England, Elizabeth reluctantly pays a visit to the hometown she left behind. Soon enough, the city girl meets the country boy and the insults and misunderstandings fly—but so do the sparks.
No one is more surprised than Elizabeth and Will when those sparks turn into a brilliant flame, and the 300 miles between them that once felt far too close suddenly turns into an unbearable distance.
The city girl and the country boy know a good thing when they see it—even if they don’t see it nearly enough. Can they overcome their greatest challenge and find common ground—and their happily-ever-after?
Note – This novel is a modern variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but with a slight spin on the usual cast of characters. It contains adult content and is meant for mature readers.
A huge thanks to Cat for stopping in today and sharing her latest release with us! Leave a comment below with what you are currently reading. Make sure you leave a comment to be entered in the GIVEAWAY! (US residents only)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cat Andrews has always been an avid reader, but didn’t discover Jane Austen until her love of a certain British actor led her to the BBC’s 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, because she just had to know—why all the fuss over this Darcy guy? What followed her viewing of that glorious miniseries was an inhalation of and immediate fixation on all of Austen’s novels, though Pride and Prejudice remains her favorite.
Her discovery of Jane Austen Fan Fiction opened up a whole new world, and thus began her addiction, and months and months of sleep deprivation, as she immersed herself in JAFF. After reading a modern Pride and Prejudice variation that she fell in love with, she was inspired to begin a cautious but earnest foray into the world of writing.
In real life, Cat has spent thirty-plus years working in healthcare. She enjoys life on the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts where she grew up, fell in love with her own Mr. Darcy, and raised a family (and a three-legged dog). More often than not, you can find her at the beach with a book in her hand and her toes in the sand.
An Unexpected Harvest is her second novel.
Happy reading, Melissa