Excited for Karalynne Mackrory's New Release "Blinded by Prejudice" ~ Preview + Giveaway

Hi everyone! I am excited that the Jane Austen State of Mind blog gets to kick off the new release tour for Karalynne Mackrory. She is an author whose books I've really enjoyed over the past couple of years, She has selected an excerpt from latest book, Blinded by Prejudice, to share with my readers, and I hope it pulls you in!

Before I get into the book, I wanted to provide a short personal update. It's been nearly a month since I've posted to the blog. The dreaded COVID hit our household, and we're just now getting back to our school and/or work routines after an extended period of quarantine/isolation. Luckily, my husband and I only felt rotten (no serious complications), and our 5-year-old daughter did not so much as skip a beat. Although I didn't feel much like reading during my bout with COVID due to a persistent pounding headache, I was pumped to have been gifted a physical copy of this beautiful book. It will be creased and well-loved soon enough! Thanks again, Quills & Quartos!

Karalynne's books are always memorable and unique. Looking back over her body of work, it looks like I've read them all! Thinking back on those titles, one thing I love about Karalynne's books is how she writes her Darcy; he's more  romantic and debonair that others' more reserved, haughty characterizations. I look forward to learning whether the Darcy in Blinded by Prejudice follows this pattern.

Let's see if the book's blurb provides any clues...


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 a 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 either 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?

                  
Now that we've read the blurb, I'd like to formally welcome Karalynne to the blog! I'm always extra interested in reading excerpts that are hand selected by the author...

Thank you, Paige for hosting me and my book release blog tour! I appreciate the  title of this blog more than you know as I always find my creating thoughts floating in and around Jane Austen's works. Home girl knew how to write, amiright? The excerpt for today is the first scenes of this journey to happily ever after for our dear couple. As Blinded by Prejudice is written in the first person point-of-view from Elizabeth, we are placed immediately with her as she awakens after a horrifying accident.


Chapter 1:

I woke with a gasp, my chest burning for air. Air that was denied to me. Tentatively, my tongue edged out to slake the dust that coated my lips, chapped and bruised as the felt. The small effort was too much the exhaustion pressing down on every part of my body, and my eyes fell closed again. It was useless to try to see anything anyway, for it was black and pitch whether my eyes were open or not. The relief of closing them, though, of succumbing to the sleep that beckoned me down to my bones, was nearly impossible to ignore. My mouth felt gritty with an earthy taste of moss and soil, yet I was too weary to care. At first I did not know the source of the heat. Other than to know that the heat was the reason that I could not draw breath, its source did not press for space in my consciousness. 

Caught between the cold and the heat, I felt constrained between the two in a battle for dominance. The heat brought with it and oppression against my breast like nothing I had ever before felt, allowing only the slightest of breaths imaginable, each precious pull of air not enough, never enough. I felt the seductive pull of sleep grasp me again, and I went willingly this time. Dirt from above fell on my face and brought me back to consciousness for a second time. Or was it the third? It was difficult to keep track when my mind felt buried in sludge. 

The ground shifted slightly, moaning in a way I wished I could. Low rumbles of grinding, flexing earth-and then silence. I never knew until then that such a silence could exist. AS if every sound was forbidden and sucked into the darkness surrounding me. This time my mind was more able to hold the edges of my awareness into a whole to evaluate what happened. Like whispers of a breeze against my skin, I recalled parts of a picture now coming to my memory. After days of incessant rain, the skies had cleared enough to venture out, and a pleasure trip to Bodden Chappel ruins was proposed. For several hours, the skies remained dry, but soon a gentle rain began again. 

If I had been alone, I would not have minded the rain so very much. It was perhaps not proper for a lady to enjoy a cleansing drizzle, but I had been known to stand among the trees on many a walk, facing up to the sky to catch the cool mist of rain upon my features. Suddenly, the fire in my throat raged to a conflagration. My tongue was thick in my mouth, and the want to taste a bit of rain to slake my thirst was a most primal impulse. 

A choked sob escaped me, followed quickly by a shuddering breath, shallow and mocking the scream in my lungs for air. I forced myself to thin my breaths, to relegate my heart into subsisting on the little my lungs could draw in once again. Calm. It was necessary if I wished for the edges of my mind to hold fast and not suck me back down into the depths of senselessness. And I did wish for wakefulness-despite the awareness of my injuries that came with it - for the rest of the day was forming in my memory. 

Before the trembling began, we six had just stopped to seek a meagre shelter from the ruin walls. It would do little to truly keep us dry, especially as the drizzle turned quickly into a downpour. Yet there we stood again the uneven blocks to wait out the rain. I had felt it silly to take cover when we were not bu ta walk down the hill--perhaps 500 feet for less--from the carriages. The ruins were placed halfway up an incline of some significance for our usually lazy Hertfordshire hills, which were why they were an object of interest to visit. The old chapel ruins were tucked into the side of the slope, earth and bracken had been long ago begun to swallow up the remaining walls as if the earth was determined to erase the unjust touch of man on its contours. Now it truly had swallowed up up. 

Jane! The thought of her and where she might be pushed away the ever present seduction of sleep. I discovered to my relief, with effort, I could free an arm from where it had been trapped at my side. Though the energy it took to do such a nominal task left my head feeling light again, and had I been able to see anything in the dark, I was sure that my  sight would have wavered. How long had I been thus trapped?

Once I recovered my wits, I practiced the simple movement of my fingers, feeling thousands of currents of pain shooting along the length of my arm as my blood once again found its way into it. Finally, with a bend at the elbow, I prepared myself for the impossible task of moving the great burden weighing upon me, stealing my breath and trapping me against the cold of the rocks. When my hand encountered the supple leather of a great coat, I froze--the final moments rushed back into my memory and stunned my fevered mind. 

Mr. Darcy had been walking with Miss Bingley, Mr. Collins paired with me, and the only satisfied grouping among us, Jane with Mr. Bingley, walked ahead. It was with this unhappy part that I was spending the afternoon, waiting against the ruined wall for the rain to subside. At one point, Mr. Collins, whose conversation was as steady as the incessant rain, blessedly stepped away from our party, ostensibly to inspect some bushes some thirty paces off. I shuddered to contemplate this business in the shrubbery nevertheless I was pleased to have him leave my side. It was not long after he had begun his return walk to us that the trembling began. 

The earth moaned a low, ghastly sound. Mr. Darcy looked about as if to explain it. We all did, yet nothing appeared to provide clarity. Mr. Collins was seemingly insensible, still trudging his way back up the hill to us with laboured breaths. Mr. Bingley held my sister's arm close to his side and looked to his friend for guidance. 

"Darcy..."

I still remember the odd way Mr. Darcy looked up, then at the chapel ruins wall, his focused eyes traveling beyond it, up the steep incline of the earth behind. The stern line of his brow showed the rapidity of his thoughts. I did not know why but I could not tear my eyes off of Mr. Darcy as he surveyed our locality. The rest happened so quickly--it could not have been more than mere seconds--that the memory of it forced me to shut my eyes tightly as if I could replace the recollection assaulting me now. 

I knew. I knew in my heart that something awful was happening. When lead settles into your stomach while your heart ascends to choke you, you know. Instead of searching out what it was that Mr. Darcy focused on so gravely above our heads, I could do nothing but watch him. His face halted in horror, and then his eyes locked with mine. I saw his mouth open to shout, but the rushing in my ears prevented me from hearing what instruction left his lips as he forcefully pushed a startled Miss Bingley some distance into my cousin's arms and leaped at me with the coiled grace of a lion. The rest had been blackness and noise and pain. 

Oh, good God! 

My hands still pressed against dirt-covered leather, turned to ice as I realized the weight that had pressed upon me, the source of the warmth seeping into me, was none other than Mr. Darcy. And he was dead. 
Ok, I'm hooked! There's no other course of action but to read it all! Do you agree?

Remember, this is just the first stop on the Blinded by Prejudice blog tour. Over the next four days, you'll have the opportunity to learn more about the book through reviews and preview excerpts. 

Even better, one person who comments on each blog post will be awarded an eBook copy of Blinded by Prejudice! Giveaway winners will be announced one week after the end of the blog tour on the Quills & Quartos Facebook and Instagram pages.







Comments

  1. I also have read all of Karalynne’s books and love them dearly! I agree that her Darcys are always very romantic. Perhaps that is why her books are so good. This book has a new premise that I haven’t seen before, and I’m looking forward to reading it!

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  2. I think this is Karalynne's best work. The book is beautifully written and it's interesting to see how both Lizzy and Darcy overcome blindness. I never wanted it to end! Please do not enter me in the giveaway.

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  3. Great review!
    I cannot wait to read it so I will skip over to Amazon and order my copy.

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  4. Congratulations on your new release. I read the first five chapters this morning--actually I wanted to stop at two chapters, (chores to do) but the words kept drawing me, so I kept telling myself, just one more chapter! KaraLynne's book "Bluebells in the Mourning" is one of my favorites--I even bought the paperback! There are so many favorite scenes contained in the pages of that story. Looking forward to continuing to immerse myself in this story.

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  5. Wow! That is an unusual premise, that I don't think I've seen the like before. I eagerly look forward to enjoying it.

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  6. Congratulations on the new release and on all of your success! Thank you for sharing your story and stories with us. 🤗🥰🙌🙏❤️

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  7. I love JAFF that presents fresh scenarios for ODC. Thanks to Karalynne for giving us something new and intriguing to swoon over. Definitely something to look forward to!

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  8. Yikes! What a place to leave us in the excerpt. Congratulations on the release.

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  9. Interesting idea! I’m looking forward to seeing how it’ll be executed.
    Thanks for the giveaway--now I’m highly intrigued!
    The question is: do I have the patience to wait or should I just grab my copy? ;-)
    Alexandra

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  10. I love KaraLynne’s books, so I have a feeling this will quickly become a favorite too! Thank you for sharing this excerpt!

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  11. Glad you all are ok. Nice to rest, with headache gone and lose yourself in a good book.

    Congratulations Ms Karalynne on your new book. Thank you for the excerpt. I felt Lizzy's fear. Looking forward to rest of the story. Thank you for the giveaway

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  12. I would love a chance to win this book. Cannot wait to read it.

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