Darcy’s Decision Giveaway

Going back to my very first book this month! 

Comment on this post for a chance to win an ebook. 

Congratulations to winner Kristine Shore.

Darcy’s Decision: Given Good Principles Vol 1

The compassionate wisdom Darcy finds in his counselor keeps him returning for guidance even though it causes him to doubt everything he has been taught when he discovers his father’s darkest secret. Pushed to his limits, Darcy must restore his tarnished birthright.

Early spring, 1812

They are gone …
The first fiery rays of daybreak blazed behind the marble cherubim guarding the graves. Despair contorted Darcy’s face, threatening to defeat his last fragile threads of control. He gulped in the morning mist, fists balled, arms shaking. Ragged gasps tore from his chest; he opened his eyes and blinked the burning moisture away.

Backlit against the dawn, two headstones filled his sight. The one on the right listed slightly, its inscriptions half-covered by a creeping vine that, come summer, would erupt in delicate white flowers. The other gravestone still stood solidly upright. The neat soil mounding before it bore no new growth, though the barest signs of green were there, if one looked closely.

John Bradley contemplated the familiar vigil from a window of the nearby stone church. He shrugged on his coat, fingers pausing over the threadbare patch at the elbow, and reached for his wide-brimmed hat. Cane in hand, he shuffled toward the heavy door. The chill wind buffeted him when he stepped into the morning.

They stood together silently, taking in the sunrise.

“Someday I must take my place here beside them.” Shadows masked the inscriptions: George Darcy … departed this life anno domini 1811 … Lady Anne Da— vines obscured the rest.

“I would prefer a situation in the shade. Over there, I think.” Bradley pointed to a grassy spot near the church wall. “I held you in my arms to baptize you into the church, and I will keep watch over you even from there. You cannot rid yourself of me, you know.”

Darcy chuckled, but his shoulders slumped, and he stared into his empty palms. “I miss him, Mr. Bradley. Father always knew what to do. Everyone trusted him.” He rubbed the back of his neck, sighing out the emptiness that churned within. “I trusted him.”

A cold gust blew through the graveyard. The iron gate clanged, the sound echoing against the stones.

“How can I take his place as master?” His guts twisted, the words burning his throat.

“Your father doubted himself, too.”

“He did?”

“Many evenings, over tea, we talked of his misgivings.” The corners of Bradley’s mouth lifted and his eyes twinkled. “He had an excessive fondness for my cook’s shortbread.”

“He went to you to find wisdom. Father valued your advice and insight above all others.”

Bradley dipped his head, blinking.

“I am not like him.” Darcy grimaced and swallowed hard against the rising bile. “I lack his wisdom, his discernment.”

“But you were given good principles, the ones your father stood on.”

he wind whipped his coattails and scoured his face. “Are they enough?”

“He found them so.” Bradley clapped his shoulder.

They locked in a penetrating gaze. Finally, Darcy released a deep breath; a slow smile spread but did not quite reach his eyes. “Join me for breakfast this morning? I must mediate a tenant quarrel today and need my father’s wisdom.”

“I would be honored.”


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    • Glynis on March 30, 2017 at 4:14 am
    • Reply

    I feel so sorry for Darcy in this excerpt. I would love to see what happens after this. I find that I don’t seem to enjoy books unless I do feel for him. Even when he seems arrogant and proud most authors make his shy and vulnerable side evident and I do like that. Thanks for this post Maria.

    1. Thanks so much, Glynis.

    • Danielle C on March 30, 2017 at 4:54 am
    • Reply

    Oh I really LOVED LOVED this series! For those that have not read them yet, you are in for a treat! Looking forward to many more of your books Maria!


    P.S. I already have all the books so please don’t enter me in the giveaway. 🙂

    1. 🙂

    • DarcyBennett on March 30, 2017 at 8:45 am
    • Reply

    Great excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. 🙂

    • Carole in Canada on March 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm
    • Reply

    Yes, I too enjoyed this series. I have the first two in paperback and the rest on Kindle. I hope to eventually own the whole series in paperback! I still have to get ‘To Forget’ though! No need to enter me in the giveaway either!

    1. Thanks, Carole. I don’t have To Forget in paperback at the moment. I may include it in a short story collection in paperback yet though.

  1. I adore this series; I often go back and re-read it when I need “comfort food for the soul.” 🙂

    I love John Bradley; he reminds me of our own rector although my Father John is younger (just turned 58 yesterday).

    Thank you for sharing these lovely opening scenes. This is my favorite book/series of all time! (Although Austen’s Dragons is a close second!)

    Thank you!!

    Susanne 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Susanne!

    • Suzanne on March 31, 2017 at 2:36 pm
    • Reply

    Poor Darcy, in spite of all his arrogance, he still has doubts. What he needs is a good woman! (enter me in the giveaway!)

    1. 🙂

    • Theresam on April 4, 2017 at 10:29 am
    • Reply

    Interesting excerpt! Thank you

    1. 🙂

    • Katherine Schmitt on April 4, 2017 at 12:03 pm
    • Reply

    While it would be easy to admire your research on its own, I like your compassion for your characters most of all. (Of course, fantasy dragons aren’t bad either!)

    1. Thank you so much!

    • Talia on April 4, 2017 at 12:21 pm
    • Reply

    Poor Darcy! I am surprised to find that I did not read this one yet. Yet! Thanks for the give-away.

    1. 🙂

    • Kristine Shore on April 4, 2017 at 1:19 pm
    • Reply

    The excerpt seems very in character for Mr. Darcy. Despite his pride I have always imagined him a very dutiful son.

    1. Congratulations on winning the book!

    • Anji on April 6, 2017 at 3:18 am
    • Reply

    Darcy’s Decision was the first of your books that I read. Well, I actually listened to the audiobook rather than read it. Hadn’t realised it was your very first. It drew me in so much that I then binge-listened to the entire series one after the other! I now also own a Kindle copy, so no need to enter me in the giveaway. Must get around to a re-read sometime. Definitely a series I’d recommend to others.

    1. 🙂

    • KateB on April 6, 2017 at 8:04 am
    • Reply

    Poor Darcy. But in truth nobody is without fault, even if their children would love to believe so. the book looks intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway, Maria 🙂

    1. 🙂

    • Dung on April 11, 2017 at 9:11 pm
    • Reply

    Loved the series…at least the first three. I haven’t read the 4th in the series yet or “To Forget”. But looking forward to reading them!

    1. Thanks, Dung!

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