Friday, April 10, 2020

Undoing...L. L. Diamond

How are you doing? I hope everyone is staying well and keeping some semblance of calm in these extraordinary times in which we find ourselves. It is all a bit surreal, isn't it. When weather permits, I spend time in my yard, communing with nature and listening to the birds. For them, life goes on as usual. The birds are building nests, mating, and raising their young. Watching them brings me much peace, and it is restorative to my soul in this world with an invisible enemy. I've done some baking, and it has been fun. That is something I used to do a lot, but not so much of late, until this past week. What are you doing to keep things as normal as possible? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. I hope each of you is faring well mentally, as well as physically. Stay safe. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 

It's so good to have L. L. Diamond visit again. You've probably been seeing her around the blog world lately and my place is her stop today. Her new release, Undoing, sounds like a really good read. (the cover is lovely too) Leslie is sharing an excerpt with us, and I feel it is one that each of you will enjoy. Thanks, Leslie.

Thank you for having me! I’m so excited that Undoing is finally out for everyone to read. My dearest wish is that everyone can lose themselves for just a little while in Darcy and Elizabeth’s story. Today, I have an excerpt for you. We’re off on a trip to the theatre! I hope you enjoy it!

     Elizabeth stepped out of the carriage with the support of her husband’s hand and surveyed the building before her. The Lyceum was not as opulent as the Theatre Royal, but since the fire, the Lyceum was certainly grander than a pile of cinder.
     “Have you never been here before?” asked her husband, offering his arm.
     She shook her head but made certain her expression remained pleased. “No, I have not. My aunt and uncle have taken me to the Theatre Royal in the past, but my uncle did not seem inclined to attend an event here.”
     “Perhaps due to the variety of shows?” He glanced at the building and then back to her face. “For a time, it was used for a circus, then a concert hall, and last I had heard, Madame Tussaud displayed her wax portraits here.”
     Her chin hitched back a little. “Wax portraits?” How odd?
     “Yes, they resemble sculptures.”
     They began to stroll to the large doors as a footman followed.
     She laughed, glancing over as he watched her curiously. “I attempted to imagine my uncle in such an exhibit. He attends art exhibitions in order to keep my aunt happy. I do not think he would consent to a show featuring wax statuary. I do wonder if Lady Vranes would find them worthy of her time?”
     One side of his lips quirked as he disengaged his arm within the doors for the footman to remove his coat before the servant stepped forward to take her cloak. As soon as their coats were carried away, they started towards the stairs.
     They were only a few steps inside when her husband’s name rang across the hall. “Leeds!”
     “Aah, Sir Isaac,” her husband replied. “I do hope you and your wife are well.”
     “Yes, we are quite well, as you see.” Sir Isaac’s wife strolled up, and her husband’s arm tensed. “We heard you had returned to town,” said Sir Isaac, “but it seems we have not attended the same soirees.” The gentleman’s air was jovial, but his wife was another story. She nodded to the duke upon her approach, then appeared to be interested in everything in the room but Elizabeth.
     Her husband leaned slightly towards the wife. “Lady Beatrice, I would like to present my wife, Her Grace Elizabeth Osborne, The Duchess of Leeds.” Lady Beatrice pursed her lips and crinkled her nose, appearing as though she had been made to drink dirty bathwater.
     She curtsied as Elizabeth did. “Your Grace,” she responded. She still never looked at Elizabeth’s face.
     Sir Isaac froze in place and swallowed hard. His head jerked to the side. “Ah! There are the Clarkes!” Sir Isaac glanced back to her husband. “Pray, forgive us, but we were to meet them here.”
     Her husband gave a curt nod. “Of course, we understand.”
     Elizabeth curtsied. “It was lovely to make your acquaintance.”
     Sir Isaac’s head bobbed. “Yes, we were pleased to make yours as well. I hope you both enjoy the play.”
     She pressed her lips together to prevent a giggle until they were far enough away. “He reminds me of Sir William Lucas.”
     “Yes, they have much in common.” His voice was lower than was his wont. “He is an agreeable fellow. I do not care to be in company with his wife.”
     “You did not appear pleased to see her.”
     “No, once upon a time, I protected Darcy from her schemes. She made no secret of her disappointment when his engagement to Lady Anne Fitzwilliam was announced. Lady Beatrice was the laughing stock of society for the remainder of that season.”
     “Why had she set her cap at Mr. Darcy, do you think?”
     “Her father married her off to Sir Isaac a year following Darcy’s marriage. Her father’s estate and a few other holdings were sold not long after. His debts were severe. I believe she coveted George’s wealth. The Darcys’ reputation for managing their assets is well-earned.”
     She peered over her shoulder at Lady Beatrice, who smiled as she spoke to whom Elizabeth assumed was Mrs. Clarke.
     “Your Grace, we are pleased to join you tonight.” Elizabeth turned at the familiar voice, smiled, and returned Lady Matlock’s curtsey. Lord Matlock and Viscount Carlisle stood at the lady’s side chatting with her husband, so Elizabeth removed her hand from her husband’s arm to stand a bit closer to the countess.
     “Your dress turned out lovely,” complimented Lady Matlock. “I still adore the colour.”
     Elizabeth glanced down at her new evening gown. The rich apple blossom red velvet clung to her chest with a very high waist before it flowed down in long, elegant waves. A delicate lace trim adorned the top of each tiny puffed sleeve at the shoulder. The lady on the fashion plate wore a feathered monstrosity, but Elizabeth insisted on the excess velvet to wrap through her hair, fashioned like a Greek statue. A flower necklace of garnets graced her neck with matching drop earrings from the Leeds collection. Her mother would faint if she saw her.
     “Thank you, I am pleased with the result. I appreciate your help in selecting the material at the drapers that morning. I had not noticed the bolt in the corner.”
     Lady Matlock gave her a motherly smile. “That colour suits your complexion and hair very well. I heartily approve of the wrap over the feathers.”
     A hand rested upon her arm, drawing her attention to the Darcys who had joined their group. “It seems all of our party has arrived. Shall we make our way to the box?” 
     Elizabeth nodded, and her husband led her towards the stairs, halting at the sound of someone calling Lady Matlock from behind.
     “There you are, Mother!” Colonel Fitzwilliam squeezed sideways through the last of the crowd and stopped before Lady Matlock.
     Elizabeth’s gaze shifted to Fitzwilliam as he rolled his eyes to Carlisle. Carlisle closed his eyes and sighed.
     The colonel took no notice. “Harrison said you and father had come to the theatre, so I decided to join you.”
     Lady Matlock coloured and opened her mouth twice before she could utter a sound. “B . . . but, Richard, we are here at the invitation of the Duke of Leeds.”
     The colonel showed not the least appearance of remorse or embarrassment. “I had not realised.” His smile faltered slightly, but he recovered without pause. “It is no bother. I shall return to the barracks . . .”
     “Colonel, you are welcome to join us this evening,” said her husband in his usual voice. “I am certain we have a seat for you.”
     The earlier grin instantly returned to the colonel’s face, and he executed a quick bow. “I would be most grateful. I am so often at my duties. I rarely have a spare evening at the theatre with my parents.”
     Her husband merely dipped his chin before he resumed their way to the boxes. Fitzwilliam Darcy’s assessment of his cousin must have been correct. Her husband surely indulged the colonel out of respect for Lord and Lady Matlock since her husband’s tight expression certainly did not appear as though he was pleased to see the colonel.
     Once they arrived at their box, the colonel offered to procure refreshments, excusing himself for a glass of wine. They had arrived early, which allowed them to visit with the other guests before taking their seats. Lady Matlock strolled over and took Elizabeth’s arm, leaning towards her ear.
     “I am terribly sorry Richard has imposed himself.”
     His behaviour had indeed been rude. Lady Matlock, however, had been a kind friend to Elizabeth, and she knew from experience one could not always control or influence their most unruly of relations.
     “Please do not make yourself uneasy. He confessed himself that you did not invite him. I would not be comfortable if you were unable to enjoy the evening out of worry that you have offended us.”
     Lady Matlock took her hands and squeezed them firmly. “You are too kind. I fear I am too indulgent with him at times. You see, Nicholas—Viscount Carlisle—was actually the younger of a set of twins. His elder brother, Albert, died of a fever when they were but three.”
     How terrible it must be to lose a child! No one aware of her misfortune could blame Lady Matlock for her indulgence. Elizabeth pressed her hand to her chest to express her condolences, but Lady Matlock forestalled her by speaking first.
     “I hope I did not upset you too terribly. I wished you to understand if I seem to indulge my sons from time to time. I was devastated when Richard joined the army rather than taking orders. I do worry for him so. I fear I give in to him far more than I should.” There were tears in the countess’s eyes, but she swiftly choked them back. “Tonight is for us to enjoy. I apologise if I rendered the mood melancholy.”
     “Not at all, Lady Matlock.” Elizabeth squeezed the lady’s hand.
     “No more Lady Matlock. I should like you to call me Evelyn.”
     Elizabeth balked. She should address her as society dictated, should she not?
     “I insist,” said Lady Matlock.
     “But . . .”
     “I do hope we are friends. My friends address me as Evelyn.”
     Her husband and Lord Matlock joined them as Elizabeth nodded.
     Lady Matlock released her hands to clasp hers in front of her. “I intend to pay some calls early next week. Would you care to join me?”
     The duke grinned. “I think it is a wonderful suggestion, Elizabeth. You have received callers, but have not yet returned any of the visits.”
     The countess’s adamant eyes returned to hers. “Then let us plan on Monday. I am willing to wager we have a few of the same names on our lists.”
     She could not refuse such an earnest offer of friendship. “I would be pleased to join you. But, if I am to call you Evelyn, you should call me Lizzy.”
     The colonel’s voice heralded his return, and he stepped forward with his brother and the younger Mr. Darcy hovering nearby, which unsettled Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy wore an odd expression that made the hair on her arms stand on end, and whenever she happened a glance in his direction, he stared at her. What could he mean by such behaviour?
     A bell signalled the performance would soon begin. Her husband steered her towards the first row of chairs, seating her beside Fitzwilliam, yet her husband did not sit to her opposite side. Instead, he took a seat almost behind her at the end of the row. He smiled at her, and she returned the gesture. Lady Matlock took the chair to her right with Lord Matlock to the opposite side of his wife. This was non-sensical. Lord Matlock sat beside his wife, but her husband was seated on an entirely different row? Would she ever understand him? He remained as much of a mystery now as when they first wed.

Author Bio:

L.L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans before following her husband all over as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and now England have all been called home along the way.

After watching Sense and Sensibility with her mother, Leslie became a fan of Jane Austen, reading her collected works over the next few years. Pride and Prejudice stood out as a favourite and has dominated her writing since finding Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art, but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. Her most recent endeavours have included certifications to coach swimming as well as a fitness instructor. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolour is her medium of choice with one of her watercolours featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Leslie also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!

Leslie’s books include Rain and Retribution, A Matter of Chance, An Unwavering Trust, The Earl’s Conquest, Particular Intentions, Particular Attachments, Unwrapping Mr. Darcy, It’s Always Been You, It’s Always Been Us, It’s Always Been You and Me, and Undoing, which releases April 1st.

Visit Leslie’s website Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @lldiamond2

To purchase your own copy of Undoing, click on the link below.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

It is always so nice to have Leslie stop by. I hope you enjoyed her visit and excerpt as much as I did. Do you have any questions about Undoing for Leslie? We would love for you to have your share in the conversation. What did you think of this excerpt? Does it make you want more? Please tell us what you are wondering or thinking in the comments below.  Don't forget to share what you are doing during your time sheltering at home. 

Leslie, since you mentioned being off to the theatre, and this post was sent to me quite a while back, how was the theatre? I'm glad you got to go and enjoy it before everything was shut down.

Now for a giveaway! Yay! Everyone will like this for sure! Leslie is giving away two eBooks and the giveaway is international. To be entered, leave a comment below. Be sure I have a way to contact you, in case you are one of the winners. The giveaway will end at midnight on the 15th of April. Good luck to all! Thanks to everyone for stopping by. 


  1. I've loved my trips to the theatre here in the UK! My amazing editor, Carol S. Bowes, and I had the opportunity to attend the Theatre Royal in Bury St. Edmunds, which is the only surviving Regency theatre. It was great to see how the theatres were arranged and to sit in that piece of history just like Darcy and Elizabeth would have (though in London, I'm certain it was much larger!).

    Thanks to everyone for their amazing response to Undoing. It's been so great to hear the comments of everyone who enjoyed it so much.

    And thank you again, Janet, for hosting!

    1. It is my pleasure, Leslie. I can only imagine how it would have felt to sit in the Theatre Royal. I bet the two of you had a great time.

      Thanks for including my blog in your tour and best wishes.

  2. I’d love to have more books to read during quarantine!

  3. Obviously Elizabeth is not received happily by everyone! But at least she’s welcomed by the people who matter! Alas Richard doesn’t appear to be welcomed by his brother or cousin!
    At least Elizabeth wasn’t sitting next to him so can enjoy the performance.
    I’ve never been to a London theatre and I certainly won’t now as I would struggle with the seating. (I don’t think they have the facility to sit with my legs up!)
    This book is definitely highly recommended, I absolutely love Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth!
    I’m occupying myself with reading and crocheting with an occasional puzzle in between - pretty much normal! :) :)
    I hope you and your families stay safe and well!

    1. Thanks Glynis, for letting us know what you are doing. What do you crochet? That sounds so awesome. I never learned to crochet, but I learned to sew and made all my clothes. That stopped years ago, sadly. Maybe I need to take it up again. :)

      It's always a good time to read more Darcy and Elizabeth. I'm glad to hear you highly recommend this book. I've had others do the same. I look forward to reading it soon.

      I hope you and your families stay well too.

  4. Puzzles sound like fun, Glynis! Stay safe!

  5. I'm pleased that the Duke is good to Elizabeth, at least, even though I still don't understand his purpose in marrying her. I'm eager to find out all though!

    1. His reason is just too important to the story to giveaway just yet :) Hope you get to read it soon! Thanks, Ginna!

    2. Me too, Ginna! Sounds good, doesn't it!

  6. Well, this certainly is a different story-line. I can't wait to read it so I can have all the answers to my MANY questions. Like... how... or when... did he... em... will he... does she... why??? I mean LA! Questions, I have lots of questions. Guess I'll just have to read it. I am so excited to see what the heck happened and what happens next.

    1. I'm desperately trying not to give anything away!! I'd love to write my real-life inspiration behind the duke's character, but I just don't want to spoil anything. Hope you get to read it soon! Thanks!

    2. I love all your questions, Jeanne! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Sounds great. I'd love to read more.

  8. Love the story. It's good lizzy has friends. Richard sounds a little evil though. Love it.

    1. She definitely has some wonderful friends. Thank you!

    2. Sounds like you have read the story! Glad to hear you love it!

  9. So I think that I will finally buy a Kindle to be able to read this. I've been meaning too but now that we're in lockdown in The Netherlands I need a bit more escapism. .

    The story definitely sounds intriguing and I'm always interested in stories where Elizabeth mixes with the Ton. Of to order a Kindle!

    1. I believe this is a good time to have a Kindle with lots of eBooks on it! Thanks for stopping by, Renske.

    2. It's a great time to have a Kindle or own the Kindle app. I'm definitely flattered that you would buy one for my story. Thanks, Renske!

  10. Hmmm! Why would the a Duke not wish to sit beside his beautiful young wife abc show the world what a well matched and happy couple they are?
    And why choose to lead her to sit beside Darcy?
    The plot thickens.

    Best of luck with your book,Leslie. 🍀
    Janet,thank you for hosting.

    1. That is a good question! I agree, Mary. I don't understand that one. Guess we must read the book soon, so we can find the answer! Glad you stopped by.

    2. It's definitely a question, Mary! Thank you!

  11. I remember that little theatre in Bury St. Edmunds and our fun evening together. There were no boxes there that I recall, though. I've seen loges in modern theatres I've attended and I imagine the boxes looked like that as I haven't seen another historical theatre. I can imagine Elizabeth's discomfort hanging out with all these judgmental rich people. At least those in her box will be accepting towards her. But readers are wondering what the duke's motives are!

    1. Interesting comment, Carol. The more I read, the more fascinated I become with this book. Thanks for stopping by.

    2. The boxes were behind us and elevated. It's more obvious when you look at a photo from above. Elizabeth was very uncomfortable! Thanks, Carol!

  12. Intense! Elizabeth married to the duke! Love this excerpt. Thanks for featuring! Congratulations once again, Leslie!

  13. I love Leslie's books and this one looks very good. As much as I dislike either Darcy or Elizabeth being married to someone else, I've read some very good stories with this theme. I'm looking forward to reading this one. Congratulations on the release Leslie.

    1. I love her books, too, Kate! I know how you feel about Lizzy or Darcy being married to someone else, but this one does sound really good. Good luck!

    2. I hope you get to read it soon! Thanks, Kate B!

  14. The excerpt through me off a bit... I thought Elizabeth was married to Darcy and thought what an odd introduction! Eek, I can't wait to read the story and find out how Elizabeth is married to someone else and how D&E get their HEA! Congrats on your newest release Leslie!

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