Last April, I reviewed “Progression Vol. 1 & Vol. 2: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice,” which were awarded a Just Jane 1813 Reviewer’s Favorite Award for JAFF Sequel Series. On June 1st, Jodi Covey will release “Progression Volume 3,” and today I am thrilled to offer my readers the first glimpse at the cover for this new book.
I think my readers will be very surprised to learn that Jodi Covey is not only the author of this book, she’s also the artist who has created this cover from her very own charcoal drawings. I think this adds a nice touch to her book since the cover conveys the exact essence of Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s relationship that Jodi is portraying through her writing.
Jodi has joined us today to tell us about this process.
Thank you for visiting with my readers to share your insights about this cover. It’s always a pleasure to share your work with my readers. I recently finished this book and I have to say it met my expectations for the characters in your series, including your devious, scheming Marquess Thornhaugh, who is one of my favorite new characters in JAFF. I can’t wait to see what eventually happens as a result of his actions!
Jodi, can you share with my readers your process for creating this cover?
The reason behind the cover is similar to how I went about writing the series. I wasn’t sure of exactly what I wanted until something spoke to me and said, “Do that.”
As I was searching through hundreds of images, I only knew I wanted a cover that was romantic, dramatic, and a bit different. I also wanted something that would grab a fan of the genre or this series. I finally landed on a modern image that reminded me of Darcy and Elizabeth. I decided to work with that one as a sort of template for the design I ended up doing.
For me, working with charcoal is a relaxing, enjoyable, and relatively easy medium to work with. I also think there’s a romantic and dramatic flair to black and white images. In the end, I added a bit of color to create an otherworldly effect for a couple that I find to be the ideal in every sense.
Progression Volume 3: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
Richard was still nursing his third pint by the time Darcy had finished his vivid recollection of that evening, one of many in his life he should like to forget, however crystal clear in his memory given his abstention from any and all spirits.
“In this very establishment,” replied Darcy. “I assure you, I’ve left nothing out. I don’t imagine this brought much comfort, but perhaps peace of mind…”
“Come, let us to the card room,” said Richard abruptly.
Before Darcy could open his mouth to ask why, Fitzwilliam was out of his chair and leaving the billiard room, his steps slightly uneven due to his tap-hackled state. Darcy followed, mystified by whatever was going through his cousin’s clearly troubled mind, but eager to ease it by any means feasible.
At this time of day, the card room entertained few members. In fact, only one table of four was occupied on this particular afternoon. The party of gentlemen scarcely noticed Fitzwilliam enter the room, even with his right arm bound to his side.
“Where sat you all?” asked Richard.
Darcy pointed to the very table Thornhaugh had managed to secure with a clever trick, and a rather impressive degree of bravado. “He even lit a cigar right there at the table.”
Richard was not amused as Darcy had been at the time. “And his bloody connections are such that no one bothers to correct his manners, or inform him of club rules?”
“I would ask you to remember how much rank and connections are valued over good manners and compliance, a fact Thornhaugh has undoubtedly exploited throughout most of his life. I gathered early in our acquaintance that the man cares little for neither rules nor the social contract. Quite simply, he plays by his own, does as he pleases, and damn the consequences.”
“And exactly where did he threaten my brother’s life with a dagger?”
Darcy gestured toward the wall just to the right of the table, still wondering at the purpose of this investigation. Richard stared at that place on the wall for an interminable amount of time before turning back towards Darcy.
“And the ledger?”
“Pray, indulge me, Will!” he snapped, drawing the attention of the four gentlemen for a moment before they went back to their game.
Darcy was well familiar with Fitzwilliam’s four distinct moods when tipsy, this one being the least pleasant. “Very well,” he muttered before crossing the room to the designated resting place of White’s betting book. As he was no card player, Richard would not have known which way to turn. Handed the prodigious log, he pulled up a chair and sat down to peruse it as Darcy waited patiently.
“‘June seventeenth, eighteen-thirteen,’” read Fitzwilliam. “‘Marquess Thornhaugh wagers Charles Bingley no thunder shall be heard in the span of one minute. Stakes: Should Thornhaugh lose, he must end his courtship with Mr. Bingley’s sister, Caroline. Winner is Charles Bingley after fifty-seven seconds. The…’”
Richard paused, his finger frozen on the page.
“What is it?” asked Darcy with sudden interest, noting the tension in his cousin’s jaw. Over his shoulder, Darcy peeked at the record, the last sentence scripted in a different hand both men knew to be Thornhaugh’s, but only because of what exactly was written.
The bitch is mine no more!
Even Darcy was surprised by the vulgar postscript needlessly added to the record. He sank into a chair next to his cousin, and watched him as he leaned back in his seat, his hard expression difficult to read.
“This man is far, far away now, correct?” Richard asked gruffly.
“That is correct.”
“How can you be sure?”
“I’ve made some inquiries, and he was seen boarding a merchant ship bound for the Cape of Good Hope – as you know the most common course for those en route to India – which confirms Bedford’s report.”
“And why made you these inquiries?” Richard clenched his fist. “Do not withhold anything, Cousin. At this ball, this Almack’s affair…did he go near Georgiana?”
“He never dared and was never sanctioned to, thank God. However…” Darcy swallowed. “He gave very special attention to Anne that evening, and she was clearly charmed.”
Darcy then told of how he’d witnessed Anne acquire the man’s handkerchief, at which point Fitzwilliam leaned forward, glaring at him. “And you allowed this?”
Though Darcy wanted to shout, he instead whispered harshly, “How dare you! Allow? Our cousin is a twenty-eight-year-old woman!”
“Her literal age is meaningless, and you know it,” replied Richard just as severely. “I don’t give a damn if he is in bloody India, or the Indochinese Peninsular! He has marked her. And he has marked her for a reason. And right under your nose. Are you so utterly daft you could not see it?”
Had they been anywhere else, Darcy knew he’d have punched his cousin square in the mouth in that instance. They had certainly come to blows as boys over less. But he was also mindful of the fact that Fitzwilliam was not quite himself at the moment, and answered him calmly after taking a few necessary breaths.
“Of course I saw it, which is why I followed through with further queries after the ball, rather than make a scene like a madman at a supper table, in a crowded dining hall, at bloody Almack’s. I even spoke to Anne herself. And she assured me she had no sustaining interest in the gentleman, that she was flattered in the moment by his attentions, but had not thought of him since. What else can I do but trust her word?”
“And the handkerchief?”
“She said she wished to keep it as a memento of the evening.” Fitzwilliam’s critical mien forced Darcy to add, “You must understand, Richard, that with Anne de Bourgh we must tread lightly. Now that she views herself as free from Lady Catherine’s power, we cannot simply take charge of her, not even to protect her. I tell you it is not wise at this juncture, and the surest way to have her lost forever.”
“Thornhaugh will come back to claim her,” said Richard. “I am certain of it.”
“And I say your certainty is unfounded,” countered Darcy, “and the future impossible to predict. For now, all that is certain is the blessing that is his banishment from the country. In time, he shall likely find an equally wealthy, more accessible prospect – perhaps an exotic, Indian beauty – and forget all about our shy, pale, sickly cousin. I think it more than reasonable to declare Anne in no real danger.”
“I’ll allow you this much,” said Richard. “There is nothing to be done for it now. But I tell you this, Cousin: I shall never forget how Stephen uttered that bastard’s name. I shall not forget what I now know about the man. And should I ever meet this Thornhaugh, be it months or years from now, I do not intend to ‘tread lightly.’”
Darcy nearly said “Fair enough,” but instead merely closed the ledger and remained in mute reliance on the likelihood that the two men would never set eyes on one another, and that all business having to do with Marquess Thornhaugh was forever in the past.
I’m also happy to share with my Just Jane 1813 readers that Jodi has offered a readers’ choice giveaway of one of her eBooks for my readers! Please leave a comment on this post and let us know what you think of this cover by midnight ET on May 30. The winner will be announced on this blog on May 31, 2017, and be able to select any one eBook from this series.
I want to thank Jodi Covey for her generous giveaway offer for my readers and for writing another volume in a series that I love so much!
You can also read my interview with Jodi Covey from last year and an excerpt from Volume 1.
You can visit Amazon to preorder Progression: Volume 3
This series is available through KindleUnlimited and will also be sold as one book containing all three volumes.
You can visit Goodreads to see what your friends are saying about this series