For New Title Tuesdays from Oct. 13 – Nov. 24, you will be introduced to my fellow Bluestocking Belles and contributors to Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, our 2015 box set of Regency romance novellas, which will release November 1. Each Belle will introduce her own novella for the set, and answer holiday-themed interview questions. To get more information about the Belles or the box set, you can go to our website at www.BluestockingBelles.com.
‘Tis Her Season: A Royal Regard Prequel Novella, by Mariana Gabrielle
featured in: Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem
Genre: Regency romance, novella length
Release Date: November 1, 2015
Charlotte Amberly would rather eat a lump of coal for Christmas dinner than marry the Marquess of Firthley, so when her parents cancel her London Season in favor of a rush to the altar, the feisty debutante takes husband-hunting into her own hands.
Alexander Marloughe, reluctant heir to a marquessate, would rather not spend his holiday dashing through the snow after a flibbertigibbet just out of the schoolroom, but no woman before Charlotte has ever led him such a merry chase.
About the Set
In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.
***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***
Lord and Lady Effingale joined arms and led the two girls to the door. Immediately upon entering, before she had even removed her cloak, a familiar voice spoke in her ear as a set of large hands helped her off with her outerwear. She shuddered at the contact.
“You look charming, my dear, and so lovely in green. I believe this shade perfectly matches your eyes.”
Tossing his hands off her shoulders, spinning on her heel, she narrowed the eyes that matched her outfit and her jewels and snarled, as quietly as she could manage, “You do not have permission to touch me, Sir, and I do not appreciate your forward behavior.”
“But dearest…” He smiled in that infernally appealing way, one side of his lips turned up, and his eyes sparkling the way they did when he laughed. “Surely you cannot object to your betrothed merely touching your arm.”
She turned away from his low bow with a harrumph. When he offered his elbow to lead her to the ballroom, she stared at it like he was hiding a snake in his sleeve, until her mother grasped her hand and placed it under Lord Firthley’s arm, hissing in her ear, “You. Will. Not. Make. A. Scene. Smile, Charlotte Amberly, or I will make you wish you had.”
How did you fit the winter holidays into your novella?
The story begins a few days before Christmas, with Charlotte awaiting the arrival of the old man her father has decided she will wed. She runs away from Brittlestep Manor to London on Christmas night, because she knows her engagement will be announced the next night at her mother’s Boxing Day supper.
What was the best writing-themed holiday gift you ever received?
Every time I have ever been given a writing class as a gift, it has had profound results.
What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
It’s not a family tradition, per se, but it is my favorite, anyway. Every year, I put together a “Not-for-Mixed-Company Mari Christie-mas” 2-CD Holiday Music Mix, about fifty songs annually, representing a goodly handful of winter holidays and moods, from Christmas to Kwanzaa, cheerful to maudlin, heavy metal to Gregorian chants, traditional to extremely irreverent. I’ve been doing it since 2006; I keep thousands of holiday songs to pick from; and I collect more every year.
About the Author
Mariana Gabrielle is a pen name for Mari Christie, who is not romantic—at all. Therefore, her starry-eyed alter ego lives vicariously through characters who believe in their own happy-ever-afters. And believe they must, as Mariana loves her heroes and heroines, but truly dotes on her villains, and almost all of her characters’ hearts have been bruised, broken, and scarred long before they reach the pages of her books.
She is a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience, and a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She has written two Regency romances, Royal Regard and La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, and two Royal Regard prequel novellas (with more yet to come), and a mainstream historical, Blind Tribute, to be released in 2016).