Into what kind of hell had I emerged from under those ruins?
Elizabeth Bennet anticipated nothing more than a pleasant day among friends and relations when the pleasure trip to the ruins of Bodden chapel commenced. But what began as mere diversion turns frightening when the walls of the ancient church tumble down around them, endangering lives, demolishing pride and propriety, and bringing a hero into focus.
As the earth begins to tremble, Fitzwilliam Darcy sees Elizabeth Bennet is in mortal danger and acts on instinct to save her. But when the dust settles, there are unforeseen consequences to his actions, including a serious injury to his eyesight.
I could not be married to a man who could need me the rest of his life, but never love me.
Bound together under the most strained circumstances, Darcy and Elizabeth embark on a future neither one of them saw coming. Time can heal all wounds but will time allow them to see through hearts made clear and eyes no longer blinded by prejudice?
Welcome to the blog Karalynne! Why don’t you tell us a bit about your new release?
Thank you, Melissa, for the fantastic opportunity to be hosted her at Probably at the Library! Release week is an exciting time for an author while also filled with a tremendous amount of nervous energy. It is my sincere hope that readers will love the book. This is the first time that I have written a novel entirely from the first-person point of view. And in Blinded By Prejudice it is from Elizabeth’s perspective. We as readers are left to interpret Darcy’s feelings and thoughts from what she observes. And given that Elizabeth is a rather headstrong, obstinate girl – we are forced to watch her at times misread Darcy. For a little treat, I thought I would write a short snippet of one scene from the book from his point of view. This scene comes from when the two of them are in the library together. Elizabeth enters laughing, having witnessed a rather shocking scene in the hallway involving Miss Bingley and, well…I don’t want to spoil that part. So instead, let’s hop into Darcy’s head from the point where she joins him in the library.
I might never have appreciated the little sounds that life brings if it were not for this exhausting, never-ending night that I was in. Rushing air against a gap in a warped windowpane, the crack and hiss of a log a it pops in the fire, or the fragile creak of a seat cushion as one adjusted their position in it; none of these ever garnered my attention before. Now that all I had were the sounds, they were both my dearest friends and my taunting foes.
It was the easiest thing to let the discordant melody of sounds around this empty library lure my already dark world even darker as self-pity crept in. Every day I battled between those dark thoughts that came so easily.
I heard the chime of the hallway clock a moment or two ago. I had counted the seconds for some time to keep my mind occupied and knew that Elizabeth ought to arrive soon. She was the only light for me now. Her voice, a beacon of brightness. Her scent, a trail of the senses that brought needed contentment.
And when she lent me her hand, when I was blessed with the anchor of her touch – I nearly could forget my lack of sight. For every nerve in my skin that connected with her silkiness sent fiery jolts of life through me. Gone where the doubts about my future, gone was the helplessness and unmoored drifting feeling.
I felt my smile spread wide when she entered the room. Her magical laugh literally had me standing and aching to go to her. I cared not at that moment what might be the source of her mirth but I was intoxicated by the delight that she cast at me in the dark, like waves of joy pressing ever deeper into me until they encountered and joined in the rhythmic beats of my heart.
My knee encountered something hard, sending a shock of pain radiating up my leg, but her laughter still rang through the room, and the minor distraction could not forestall my need to be nearer to her.
“What a delightful sound. I love your laughter, Elizabeth. Care to share with me the source of your amusement?”
She did not answer, and I might have felt a rush of longing for my sight had not her laughter continued once more to each my ears. I felt her light touch at my arm, guiding me back to the sofa. My heart lurched at the contact and it was difficult not to wish to capture the hand on my arm and pull it until the rest of her was within my arms.
I endeavoured to patiently await her answer, as the image emerged in my memory of her laughing at Lucas Lodge prior to our accident at Bodden Chapel. The joy had infused her lovely eyes with light then and I felt my soul surge with the desire to see it now.
“I could listen to your laughter for the rest of my days,” I spoke my thoughts without a care. Was I really so blessed that this would be mine all my life? Despite this blindness, I was a most fortunate man.
She went quiet, and I wondered at her thoughts. I wished I could see her face shift through expressions as she processed what was in her mind. Impatience got the better of me and I again inquired as to the source of her mirth.
God, what I would not give for the chance to study her face once more. Every useless pound in my bank, given gladly for one minute looking up on her features. If I never saw Pemberley, my beloved home, again in exchange for the ability to rest my eyes upon her bright eyes, full lips and lovely skin I should have counted it a fair trade.
The leather of the sofa stretched making an almost undetectable sound. Had my senses not already been heightened and attuned to my surroundings I might not have noticed it but with the almost silent sound came a charge in the air. I felt it surround me and cause my throat to constrict. Her body I felt shift nearer and by the time her scent came stronger to my nose, I was already heady with the intoxicating realization that Elizabeth, though speaking not a word, was near enough to kiss. Might I discover another of my senses captured by her. Taste.
I felt my heart skip at the thought of tasting of her lips.
By the time I felt the pressure of her hand land gently on my chest, my every nerve was attuned toward whatever clue I might gather of her acceptance should I find and claim her lips.
And in an instant, the pressure in the room dissipated, the sound of the leather this time hateful testament that she had distanced herself from me, breaking the spell that had captured us both for but a moment.
I cursed a thousandth time my eyes and their darkness. I wanted to, needed to see her! Desire was a caged beast with in me, pacing around inside. What had caused her to press closer and how I might encourage her to do it once more?
“Forgive me, I do not know what came over me just then, Mr Darcy.” Her voice shook and I felt the unsteadiness match the surges coursing through my body.
“I wish it might again!” I whispered to myself. With a clear of my throat meant to suppress the last of the heady feeling before consumed me, I spoke conversationally. “You are forgiven, of course, as long as you tell me what it is that had you so delightfully amused. When I heard you enter and then the bewitching sound of your laughter, I could not help but go to you. I wish only that I could have seen the sight also.”
The darkness was always alive. It was like my lack of sight was a living breathing creature. Reaching hands into my thoughts and turning them bleak with fear, frustration, and hopelessness. If I did not always push it away, I would one day be consumed by the madness my sightlessness wished.
Elizabeth took up my hand and the power of the act once again forced that ugly creature away with her light. The feel of her smooth fingers encapsulating mine banished the darkness, pushing anguishing self-pity away and warming me through. I breathed relief and focused all my attention to the feel of her skin against mine.
She made some ridiculous observation that some things were better left unseen but given the hunger I had for even a glimpse of her, I could not but disagree. I sent a fervent prayer, a plea really, one I had sent countless times since the collapse, for just a minute with my sight once again. I would memorise every inch of her.
I lifted my arm and soon found the curl at the edge of her hairline. The silky lock taken up in a dance with my finger as I spun it around in a waltz at her nape.
Occasionally I allowed my fingers the indulgence of resting upon her neck, where I felt the slight thump of her pulse. Every instance filled me with satisfaction and joy. For all the times I yearned for my sight again, it was this little tell-tale proof of her life – she lived! – that reminded me that what I had lost in the collapse was nothing when I considered what I might have lost.
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Leave me a comment if you are planning to read Blinded by Prejudice… or if you have already finished it. You can purchase a copy here.
KaraLynne began writing horrible poetry as an angst filled youth. It was a means to express the exhilaration and devastation she felt every time her adolescent heart was newly in love with “the one” and then broken every other week. As her frontal lobe developed, she grew more discerning of both men and writing. She has been married to her own dreamboat of a best friend, Andrew, almost 20 years. Together they have the migraine inducing responsibility of raising five children to not be dirt bags (fingers crossed), pick of up their socks (still a work in progress), not fight with each other (impossible task) and become generally good people (there’s hope). She loves escaping into a book, her feather babies (the regal hens of Cluckingham Palace), and laughter.
She has written five books, a novella and participated in many anthologies. Her works include: Falling For Mr. Darcy; Bluebells in the Mourning; Haunting Mr. Darcy: A Spirited Courtship; Yours Forevermore, Darcy; BeSwitched; The Darcy Monologues; Rational Creatures; & Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer.
Thank you dear readers for stopping by today. Please don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway to win an ebook copy of the featured book. Commenters at each blog stop will be eligible for an ebook copy of Blinded by Prejudice. International. Winners will be announced at the Quills and Quartos Facebook and Instagram pages a week after the blog tour is over.
Happy reading, Melissa