Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Under the Mistletoe Day 4: Christmas at Pemberley by Regina Jeffers


You know I love a good kissing scene, especially one between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. However, I enjoy it just as much when an author provides such amorous scenes between the secondary characters. In her Christmas novel, Christmas at Pemberley, Regina Jeffers does not let me down. Not only was I wrapped up in a perfect Christmastime story, but I was also smiling and sighing at the mistletoe scenes. Enjoy!

Excerpt from Christmas at Pemberley by Regina Jeffers

“And what of you, Georgiana? Is your heart engaged?” Elizabeth asked.

She watched as Darcy’s sister blushed thoroughly. For a moment, she expected the girl would deny her very noticeable attentiveness to the colonel. “Am I that obvious?” Georgiana said softly.

“Not too observable,” Elizabeth teased. “Your brother has taken no note.”

Georgiana’s agitation increased. “You shan’t tell Fitzwilliam, will you? Please, Elizabeth, my brother must not know.”

“I shall keep your secret,” Elizabeth assured. “And what of the colonel? Does Edward return your affections?”

Georgiana’s relief at being able to speak of her feelings became apparent with the girl’s sigh of relief. “Oh, how I wished I knew for certain. There are moments—one in the study a few days ago, for example—when it appears my cousin shares my interest. Then there are those when I doubt my sanity.”

Elizabeth reached for her sister’s hand. “I do not doubt it. Men are usually the last to realize their affections are engaged. I imagine the colonel is experiencing difficulty explaining his feelings to his rational mind.” She paused briefly. “Would you like to tell me of this moment in Mr. Darcy’s study?”

“Oh, yes,” Georgiana gushed. “May I truly?” Before Elizabeth could answer, the girl continued. “We spoke of my Come Out, and then Edward took me in his arms, and we waltzed. Without music. We swayed so close together, and I thought for a brief span that he would kiss me.”

“Would you have allowed his kiss?” Elizabeth squeezed Georgiana’s hand in a gesture of camaraderie, rather than to have the girl think Elizabeth sat in judgment.

“Is it wanton to say that I’d like my first kiss to come from
Edward?” Georgiana anxiously bit her bottom lip.

Elizabeth leaned forward. “It’s not wanton. It’s the natural progression of a relationship. Edward is a gentleman, and he will not take advantage. Again, he probably is experiencing some questions how your relationship has changed. May I make an observation?”

“Please do,” Georgiana encouraged.

“Tomorrow is Christmas, and Pemberley seems to have sprouted a large number of mistletoe berries.” Elizabeth’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “Surely, an intelligent young lady could find herself under said berries when the colonel passed.”

Georgiana giggled. “I love the way you think, Sister.”

* * * * *

“There you are,” Georgiana said as she entered the library.

Edward spun around in surprise. “I apologize, Georgie,” he said tentatively. “I was unaware that you sought me out.”

“My brother had asked me of your whereabouts.” For a moment, Georgiana paused on the threshold, but with a steadying breath, she set her plan into action. With satisfaction, she noted the approval in Edward’s eyes as she approached.

“Are you aware of your brother’s reason for my immediate presence?”

He took a step closer as if drawn to her, and Georgiana’s heart did a flip.

She frowned minimally. “Something to do with Her Ladyship and Mrs. Darcy.”

Edward smiled conspiratorially. “I’ve heard no shouting, nor have I observed the servants rushing to tend either lady.”

Georgiana purposely paused under the mistletoe ornament. “It is a miracle of sorts.”

“Am I to stand guard or to serve as a negotiator?” he asked casually as he stepped into the circle she had imagined as being part of the mistletoe’s magic.

Georgiana smiled widely at him, but her resolve wavered with Edward’s closeness. “Knowing Fitzwilliam,” she said with a breathy catch, “all contingencies are possible.”

Surprisingly, Edward moved closer still, and Georgiana quit breathing. “Well, in the absence of hysterics, I do not see a need to rush to your brother’s side,” he rasped.

“What shall you do instead?” she managed to murmur. Instinctively,
Georgiana’s chin rose in anticipation.

Edward’s palm cupped her chin, and his thumb stroked her lips. “I had thought to keep a Christmas tradition,” he said softly. “To kiss under the mistletoe the prettiest woman I know. That is, if she will have me.”

Georgiana’s heart sang. “Claim the berry, Colonel,” she whispered as she closed her eyes and waited.


Edward did not understand what had come over him. He had awakened this morning with thoughts of Georgiana, and those images had grown into full-fledged desire. Earlier, he had made a quick reconnaissance of the house to locate all the mistletoe balls that the ladies had hung yesterday. Then he fantasized throughout Winkler’s sermon about sliding his lips down the slender column of Georgiana’s neck. Therefore, he refused to permit this opportunity to slip away. He did not know when everything had changed between them, but it had, and he had to accept it and move forward.

Over the past few hours, he had obsessed over the softness of Georgiana’s lips, and Edward meant to taste them. Her warm breath brushed his cheek as he lowered his head to touch her lips with his. He recognized her innocence, and so, he made himself go slowly. A slight brush. Small kisses planted at the corners. A soft nibble on her bottom lip. The problem with this slow seduction was it was taking away all his self-control.

Edward slid his arms about her and pulled Georgiana closer. With one hand, he lifted her chin to position his mouth over hers. He rested his lips on hers, allowing Georgiana to experience his mouth’s pressure before deepening the kiss. As she leaned into him, Edward slid his tongue along her lips’ seam. When she gasped, he claimed her mouth’s soft tissues.

After a few seconds of pure pleasure, he forced himself to lift his lips from hers. However, Edward’s mouth hovered a breath away from hers. “Georgie, I would kiss you again, but if you do not wish it, you should leave this room now,” he rasped.

“I shall stay,” she managed to say. Georgiana slid her arms about Edward’s neck and rose on her toes to meet his lips again.

Edward groaned, and his mouth returned to hers. This time her lips parted eagerly. It was so intimate; more intimate than he would  have thought possible. He was not without experience, but Georgiana’s kiss felt perfect—even with her inexperience. His tongue entwined with hers, and she responded tentatively. The kiss deepened as she arched into his embrace.

Edward’s practical mind demanded that he cease kissing her, but for the life of him, he could not release her. Years of war had branded him as part of the unclean, but Georgiana’s goodness wiped all his dissipation away.

The sound of people moving about the hallway penetrated his desire-driven brain, and he reluctantly raised his head. “You are so beautiful,” he murmured as he kissed Georgiana’s head as it rested against his chest. He simply held her then as each recovered his breath. If someone would walk in on them, he would simply be Cousin Edward, Miss Darcy’s guardian. Oh, how he wanted to shed that designation and to assume another role in Georgiana’s life.

“Georgie, we cannot stay here any longer,” he said reluctantly.

Slowly, she drew her arms from around his waist. “It was perfect,” she whispered.

Edward smiled lovingly. “Yes, it was.” He caressed her cheek. “Meet me later in the conservatory,” he said. “We should speak privately, but that conversation will be delayed until I see what Darcy requires of me, and then there will be the usual gift exchange and an early supper. Will you wait for me that long, Georgiana—that
long before we can speak of what has just happened?”

“I have waited for this for over three years. A few more hours shall seem miniscule.”

Edward kissed her nose’s tip, before reaching up and claiming five berries from the overhanging ball. “Extra berries for when we meet privately,” he said teasingly.

“I shall bring a few of my own,” she said with a husky laugh. “In case we use all of yours and find additional ideas to discuss.”

*Sigh* I just love this scene. Sweet Georgiana receives her first kiss, and from the man she has been pining over for some time. What tenderness and passion Jeffers has created in this scene. I sure hope they have enough berries for later! 

*Excerpt provided by the author and used with author's permission



***GIVEAWAY TIME***

Regina Jeffers has kindly offered ONE paperback copy of Christmas at Pemberley to one lucky commenter! OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!! To enter, please leave a comment and fill out the Rafflecopter formWinner will be announced Tuesday, December 11!  Good luck! =) 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
From the Publisher:
Darcy has invited the Bennets and the Bingleys to spend the Christmastide’s festive days at Pemberley. But as he and Elizabeth journey to their estate to join the gathered families, a blizzard blankets the English countryside. The Darcys find themselves stranded at a small inn while Pemberley is inundated with refugees seeking shelter from the storm.

Without her brother’s strong presence, Georgiana Darcy tries desperately to manage the chaos surrounding the arrival of six invited guests and eleven unscheduled visitors. But bitter feuds, old jealousies and intimate secrets quickly rise to the surface. Has Lady Catherine returned to Pemberley for forgiveness or revenge? Will the manipulative Caroline Bingley find a soul mate? Shall Kitty Bennet and Georgiana know happiness?

Author Bio:
Regina Jeffers claims she has spent a lifetime in the classroom, as a student earning multiple advanced degrees, and as a teacher of forty years. She says, “I do not remember ever having Jane Austen as part of the curriculum… lots of Shakespeare, but little of Jane Austen in my schooling. But, I read Pride and Prejudice when I was twelve, and the world opened. Like many of you, I was Elizabeth Bennet– a girl with an above average IQ and a relatively pleasing face, but I had no other spectacular talents, at least, none I could recognize at that tender age. However, reading Austen, I became convinced that there would be someone who would not be intimidated by my intelligence, my quick wit, my sometimes-caustic tongue, and my love of twisting the King’s English. There would be a Mr. Darcy in my future. Naïveté: That is the only word for it. Yet, I still believe there is a Mr. Darcy. Maybe he is not Colin or Matthew or Elliot, but Mr. Darcy exists for each of us if we open our eyes and our hearts to the possibilities.”
In the late spring of 2007, one of my Advanced Placement students challenged me to “Just Do It.” So, I wrote Darcy’s Passions, self-publishing the book as a gift to my AP class and to me. Ulysses Press followed the sales on Amazon, and the rest is history.

Connect with Regina Jeffers
Read It Now!
Kindle | Nook

58 comments:

  1. Good Morning, Jakki. Thanks for hosting me.

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    1. It's my pleasure, Regina. And thank you for the wonderful giveaway and excerpt! :)

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  2. This book sounds lovely. I can't wait to read it!

    Kendal

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    1. I found it to be really lovely, Kendal! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I just passed it along to my mother to read this Christmas season.

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    2. Kendal, it remains one of my favorites of my many Austen adaptations. I hope you enjoy it.

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  3. I would love to read this! My kindle has made it so I don't go out and buy Paperbacks anymore, but I know a few authors I got some from! I love getting a copy direct from the authors! I have a shelf in my china cabinet dedicated to them

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    1. That's a special place to keep novels you receive from Authors. I cherish books I get from authors much more than ones I buy on my own. Good luck in the giveaway!

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    2. I just bought several Austen adaptations over the weekend (Christmas gifts to me). I am hoping I can convince my fellow AuAus to send me book plates for them so I can add them to my "special" shelf.
      All my books are on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.

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  4. I would love to read this! My kindle has made it so I don't go out and buy Paperbacks anymore, but I know a few authors I got some from! I love getting a copy direct from the authors! I have a shelf in my china cabinet dedicated to them

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  5. Regina has the touch, doesn't she? I normally don't care for sequels, but I always enjoy her writing.

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    1. Like you, Angie, I don't usually care much for sequels, but this book was an absolute delight! Now I just need to find time to read The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy!

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    2. Like most of us, "I'm Booked" for the holidays. LOL!!!

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    3. Perhaps, you and Monica P. can do a road trip when I am in Columbus.

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  6. Thank you for the kind words, Angie. I am anxious to hear your opinion of "The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy."

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  7. What a lovely passage! I would love to read more of this book :)

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    1. Hi Susied! I hope you get to read more of this book. It truly is a wonderful Christmas read!

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  8. Hello Susied. I appreciate your stopping by. This book was a finalist for the inspirational romance of 2012 for the Booksellers Best Awards.

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  9. Regina, what a delightful scene! I love the sequels to Pride and Prejudice. The characters are all so wonderful and we pine to see them all get their happy endings. Thank you for giving us a chance to do so!

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    1. Hi Caren! We do love seeing our favorite characters get their happy ending, don't we? And this book gives us so many!

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    2. Hello, Caren. I must admit, I did not like my first rendering of Colonel Fitzwilliam (in one of my earlier books). I wanted to see him in more depth.
      I appreciate your stopping by today.

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  10. Love, love, love, love this book. Well, I love all Regina's books that I've read so far but this one is so neat not just because of Lizzy and Darcy but because there is so much going on with everyone else, too. And of course it has that magical Christmas feel to it. I can't wait til TMDoMD comes out (that was just as hard to type as the whole title, I think).

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    1. Me too, Monica! The Christmassy feel is really felt through the Joseph's story. Regina writes so many interesting novels it is hard to keep up with them all! One of these days I will get around to reading her Regency romances! :)

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    2. I do tend to play around with several genres: Darcy's Passions and Capt. Wentworth's Persuasions are retellings; Darcy Temptation is a sequel. Then there's the paranormal, several cozy mysteries, and with this one an inspirational romance. I'm a "jack of all trades." LOL!!!
      Monica, I hope you saw my message that I'll be in Columbus in May. Hopefully, you are up for a road trip.

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  11. Replies
    1. Hello, Ella. Thank you for reading the excerpt. I hope everything is well in the U.S. VI. It has been a warm December in North Carolina. It's in the 60s and 70s. Ten years ago, NC was in the midst of a major ice and snow storm that shut down Charlotte for over a week. It is crazy.
      Talk to you tomorrow on Twitter....

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Ella! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt! :)

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  12. absolutely delightful - loved it! would love to win a copy of this in paper! ebooks are just not the same as holding a copy in your hand!

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    1. I agree, GranJan. I love the way books smell.

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    2. HI Jan! I have to agree with you. There is just something about holding and smelling a real book that makes the experience so much better than reading on an e-reader. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  13. Loved the excerpt of Christmas at Pemberley by Regina Jeffers. Would love to win a copy. Thanks for having this contest.

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    1. Good afternoon, cmgren. I am so pleased you enjoyed the excerpt.

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    2. HI cmgren! Glad you liked the excerpt. This is one of my favorite holiday reads! Good luck in the giveaway!! :)

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  14. I loved this book! You don't have to enter me in the giveaway because I already own this delightful book. I just wanted to stop by and say how much I enjoyed it!!=)

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    1. Hello, Kelli. If you win, I send you a different title from my stock. I hope you are enjoying the holidays.

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    2. Kelli!!! So glad you stopped by! I too really enjoyed this book! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas! :)
      Regina, that is very kind of you! Thanks!

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  15. Loved Christmas at Pemberly in July, I couldn't wait!! Loved it <3

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    1. Laurie, your kind words regarding the book were appreciated more than you know.

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    2. Laurie, I guess if one cannot wait to read Christmas at Pemberley at Christmas, reading it in July is just as good! ;) Glad to hear you enjoyed the book!

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  16. Sounds like a good book. I love Christmas books. I don't have this one but I have two other books by Regina.

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    1. Hello, Michelle. Thanks for stopping by. I think you'd like this book. It is tender and loving. Plus, it's the prequel to The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy.

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    2. Hi Michelle! I love Christmas books too! Best of luck in the giveaway! I hope you enjoy this one just as much as Regina's others.

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  17. Lovely! I love the cemistry between Georgie and the Colonel. And the way Gorgie seems to be braver around him, not as shy. Fits perfectly to the Georgie I imagine her wanting to be.

    Oh the mistletoe, I sould really go out and get some!

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    1. Greetings, Katrin! I also imagine Georgiana wanting to be a bit braver and bolder. I like it when authors depict her as such. It's nice seeing her come out of her shell.
      Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

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    2. Hello, Katrin. Georgiana is a bit of an enigma to writers. Do we leave her a the naive 15 year old who is duped by Wickham? I always like to think that Elizabeth's personality rubs off on Darcy's sister. She is still the very refined young woman to whom we are introduced, but that she learned from her encounter with Wickham.

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  18. Loved reading about a few surpises here like this book is a prequel to the Diappearance of Georgiana as well as her first kiss! Have to read this!

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    1. Yes, Margaret, "Disappearance" starts three months after Christmas at Pemberley ends. Waterloo separates Georgiana and Edward, and they must find their way back to each other.

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  19. I always thought that the Colonel and Georgiana would get together. This excerpt just further cements my belief that they would be absolutely cute together!

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!

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    1. I always enjoy it when an author has Georgiana and Colonel Fitzwilliam get together, RedRose! They do make a cute couple don't they? After reading this excerpt, it makes me really want to read The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy!

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    2. Hello Shirada. I am pleased that you enjoyed the excerpt. Georgiana requires a man who will protect her, but also allow her to grow as a woman. The Colonel is the perfect fit.

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  20. I so want to read more! One way or another I shall. I like Regina Jeffers's style.

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    1. Hi Veronica! I hope you enjoy this book and all its Christmas splendor when you read it! I really should find time to reread it this Christmas. ;)

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    2. Hello, Veronica. I am so pleased you enjoyed the excerpt. This books has won several recognitions for its Christmas simplicity. No materialization of the meaning of Christmas.

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  21. And another book going on the Christmas list! Lovely, just lovely!

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    1. Sarah, I wish there was more time to read Christmas novels as my list keeps growing too! I Must do a Christmas in July Christmas series next year! :) Maybe that way I will put a dent in my Christmas TBR list. ;)

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    2. Good afternoon, Sarah. Thank you for kind words. This book remains one of my favorites.

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  22. Jakki- Christmas in July sounds wonderful~ my reading slows down to a crawl between Thanksgiving and Christmas :( I generally spend most of January catching up with Christmas books!

    Regina, this excerpt is *swoon-worthy*! I can't wait to read it!

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