Guest & Contest: Sharon Lathan

Allow me to introduce you to….

I have been exploring some of my favorite characters from Miss Darcy Falls in Love this week at two previous blogs: The Good, The Bad, and The Unread and Reviews by Molly. I have such a wealth of great people inhabiting my pages that my character analysis is becoming a series! To read what I had to say about Georgiana Darcy among others, visit my blog for the direct links.

Today I shall continue here on Romancing The Book, beginning with my hero. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to…..

Sebastian Butler: 23 years of age, tall and thin, tousled curly blonde hair, grey eyes, and a slightly crooked smile is the basic physical description of Mr. Butler. I have often compared him to Simon Baker of The Mentalist. Nice, huh? Technically Sebastian is the Viscount of Nell, although he prefers not to wear his courtesy title (much to his father’s annoyance) because he wishes to be accepted on his own merits. He is also the future Earl of Essenton, his familial estate called Whistlenell Hall in Staffordshire. Titles, ancestral estates, and duties of the aristocracy are very important to Sebastian, but at the present those future concerns are secondary to his passion for music.

You see, Sebastian is a gifted musician and composer. He studied at Oxford before embarking on a Grand Tour through Europe where he has furthered his education with the greatest masters of the era, including Beethoven. His prime goal is to be accepted as a student in the prestigious Conservatoire of Music in Paris, a school primarily for French musicians so thus difficult to get in to. He is a man driven. A man with talent, purpose, and a lifetime of obstacles to overcome, some of which is revealed in this excerpt—

Sebastian’s hands were visibly trembling, his eyes locked onto the sender’s address for several seconds before turning it over to break the seal. He read the enclosed letter slowly, his face impassive for a long while. Lord de Marcov was about to rip the sheet out of his hands impatiently when Sebastian finally broke into a brilliant smile and looked up.

“I have been accepted.”

“I had no doubts,” de Marcov responded blandly, but his smile was nearly as broad.

“For the fall session. Do you know what this means? How… happy… honored… how… I do not have the words,” he ended simply.

“You have met Herr Beethoven numerous times, taken lessons even, studied with Franz Schubert, and worked with the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, yet this overwhelms you?”

“I was overwhelmed by those as well.” He shook his head dazedly. “My good fortune continually staggers me. I keep anticipating the streak to break, yet it only soars higher. A whole year, perhaps more, at the Conservatoire de Musique in Paris is the pinnacle of my dreams, Adrien. Imagine what I shall learn. The talent I will be surrounded by and playing with and learning from.”

“They are the fortunate ones, as far as I am concerned.”

“Your devotion touches my heart, but you know that is not the truth.”

“I beg to differ! You are incredibly talented and will be an asset.”

Sebastian again shook his head, this time in amusement. “Be that as it may, I will persist in lauding my luck and striving to prove my worthiness. I have a great deal to prove, first, as an Englishman admitted into a primarily French school and, second, to my father.”

“How do you imagine he will respond to this development?”

“With his typical scathing remarks at how I belong in England at Whistlenell Hall and not wasting my time on pointless dalliances with ridiculous music. Sometimes I think he would prefer I was philandering with women of ill repute or gambling away my fortune, as if those are legitimate activities for a man my age.” He shrugged and chuckled, eyes bright as he looked at his friend.

“Well,” de Marcov countered, stretching his legs, “I cannot argue with that philosophy! I have been encouraging you to do more of that for ages, but you have no respect for your elders’ advice.”

“You are one year my senior, so you do not count.”

“Perhaps chronologically, but in the joys of living, and women, I trump you by decades. So, are you going to share the fabulous news?”

“I may avoid my father from time to time to preserve my sanity and the peace, but I have never cowardly retreated. He knew I applied at the Conservatoire, so it will not be a shock. Even if I had been rejected, as I am sure he was supplementing the saints above to arrange, I would not have returned to England yet. Italy beckons me still, and I would have chosen traveling there as an alternative. No, I will tell him, unless you would rather I delay until after the wedding? I do not wish to distress Vivienne.”

As you can see, Sebastian has a dear friend to support him. Allow me to introduce you to…..

Marquis Adrien de Marcov: This Frenchman was sent to Oxford where he met Sebastian, the two instantly forming a friendship. A true Regency Era bro-mance! Eventually de Marcov was introduced to Sebastian’s family (probably at a Thanksgiving dinner – LOL!) where he met the eldest Butler daughter, Lady Vivienne. Instant sparks flew, love and a betrothal following. The death of Adrien’s father postponed the nuptials, but as my novel begins the wedding in Lyon, France is days away and offers the perfect opportunity for a ball to be held where people can meet.

On Monday the 28th I will wrap up my character analysis at Fresh Fiction. For now, share your thoughts to be entered in the drawing for a copy of Miss Darcy Falls in Love.

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Synopsis of Miss Darcy Falls in Love–

Noble young ladies were expected to play an instrument, but Georgiana Darcy is an accomplished musician who hungers to pursue her talents. She embarks upon a tour of Europe, ending in Paris where two very different men will ignite her heart in entirely different ways and begin a bitter rivalry to win her. But only one holds the key to her happiness.

Set in post-Napoleonic Empire France, Miss Darcy Falls in Love is a riveting love story that enters a world of passion where gentlemen know exactly how to please and a young woman learns to direct her destiny and understand her heart.

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Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Her previously published novels are: Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, Loving Mr. Darcy, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, In the Arms of Mr. Darcy, A Darcy Christmas, and The Trouble With Mr. Darcy. Miss Darcy Falls in Love is Georgiana’s tale of love and adventure while in France. Complete with a happy ending. In addition to her writing, Sharon works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides with her family in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. Visit Sharon on her website: www.sharonlathan.net and on Austen Authors, her group blog with 20 novelist of Austen literature: www.austenauthors.com

Thanks to Sourcebooks, we have a print copy of Miss Darcy Falls in Love for one of our readers.  Sourcebooks has asked that the contest be limited to US & Canadian residents only.  To enter, please leave a meaningful comment or question for Sharon.  The winner will be chosen on Monday, November 28th.

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