When Baroness Bella Humphrey returns to England after fifteen years traveling the world with her husband, an elderly diplomat with only months to live, she has plenty of surprises in store: a new title and sizable fortune, the attentions of the marriage mart, and a budding friendship with the new King, George IV.
As she settles into her new life, this shy, not-so-young lady faces wicked agendas, society’s censure, and the realities of a woman who will soon be alone in England. With the help of her meddling, but well-meaning, husband, she must choose the dashing rogue who says he loves her, his charming nemesis with the silver tongue, or the quiet country life she has always wanted.
Royal Regard Prequel Novellas
’Tis Her Season
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.
The heavy hands and sharp tongues of Bella Smithson’s family have left her almost too timid to converse with a gentleman, much less conduct a husband hunt. Unfortunately, her overbearing aunt and managing cousin are determined to help her escape her black-hearted father and brothers.
Thanks to the Prince of Wales, retiring shipping magnate Myron Clewes has an ever-growing fortune, a fresh-minted peerage, a brand-new flagship, and an impossible set of requirements for a bride. Not least, she must be willing to leave England and everything she knows, possibly for good, in less than two months’ time.
Bella’s Happy-Ever-After in Royal Regard had its origins in a Happier-Than-She-Expected with her first husband, Baron Holsworthy, who gave her the confidence to steady her sea legs, take her life by the helm, and command her own voice, empowering a shy, young girl and unlikely adventurer to grow into one of King George IV’s trusted advisors.
Never Kiss a Toad
(Historical Romance; on-going serial; sequel to the Sailing Home Series; writing as Mariana Gabrielle with Jude Knight)
David “Toad” Northope, heir to the Duke of Wellbridge and rogue in the mold of his infamous father, knows Lady Sarah “Sal” Grenford, daughter of the once-profligate Duke of Haverford, will always hold his heart. But when the two teens are caught in bed together by their horrified parents, he is sent away to finish school on the Continent, and she is thrown into the depths of her first London Season.
Can two reformed rakes keep their children from making the same mistakes they did? The dukes decide keeping them apart will do the trick, so as the children reach their majority, Toad is put to work at sea, learning to manage his mother’s shipping concern, and Sal is taken to the other side of the world, as far from him as possible. How will Toad and Sal’s love withstand long years of separation, not to mention nasty lies, vicious rumors, attractive other suitors, and well-meaning parents who threaten to destroy their future before it has begun?
La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess
Kali Matai, La Déesse Noire, London’s most famed Indian dancer and courtesan, is keeping a lifetime of secrets. Her father a British peer, her mother one of India’s legendary tawaifs: dancers, singers, poets, and paramours who, throughout history, enthralled and influenced the subcontinent’s most powerful kings and noblemen. Under the iron control of malicious and influential men, securing her freedom, her family, and the man she loves, will require her protectors stop at nothing to fulfill her desires.
Lord Coventon’s Concubines: A short story sequel to La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess
When Lord Coventon returns to the Masala Rajah Gentleman’s Retreat, his marriage a shambles and dreams of reuniting with Kali Matai naught but ancient fantasy, Madame Mayuri Falodiya has a plan to take his mind off his troubles-Nayana Patel, in need of a protector, but unsure how to entice this taciturn nobleman.
Deena Karan has always had a soft spot for Lord Coventon, for years ago, after a vicious attack cut short her brief career as a tawaif, he helped her recover and establish a successful bakery to earn her living. Still, she vows to help her friend, Nayana, win his attentions, for she knows he could never look past her scarred face. Could he?
(Historical fiction; writing as Mari Anne Christie; Releasing July 28, 2017)
Harry Wentworth, Executive Editor of the Philadelphia Daily Standard, is a gentleman of wealth and distinction, and one of the most widely read journalists of his time. Nearing the end of his career on the first day of the American Civil War, he is forced to the biggest decision of his life: comment on the war from his influential position in Philadelphia Society, or return to a South he left long ago, where he was born and bred to the wealthy planter class. His choice undermines every assumption he has ever made.
An avowed centrist who built his career reporting on foreign wars, Harry’s calls for peaceful resolution fall on deaf—nay, hostile—ears. Tragedies on both sides of the War will change his mind, his health, and his purpose as a moral man. Through editorial commentary, personal papers, and his everyday life, Harry shows the high stakes of the moral high ground, as his family and friendships, North and South, are shattered by his acts of conscience.
The Lion’s Club
(Historical family saga; writing as Mari Anne Christie; series)
Serialized on this blog, beginning in February 2017.
Three children grow up on a turn-of-the-century Brooklyn street: Jimmy, an incorrigible teenage thug; Frankie, a fourth-grade math prodigy; and Flory, a sheltered little girl with a foolhardy plan. Each faces a tragedy beyond which their lives will never be the same, and as they struggle into adulthood, the ghosts of their tragic pasts follow.
From the corrupt New York Democratic Party to the underground crime culture of Prohibition, from New York to Europe, Africa, and South America, from endemic poverty to endless wealth, these three grow into terribly wounded adults, passing on to the next generation the traditions of the street where it all began.
(Book-length poetry; writing as Mari Christie; serialized on this blog)
The Mayan myths of the Popol Vuh are at once sensual and ruthless, none more so than the trials of Xibalba. In the oral and written traditions of this indigenous people, the road to the ancient underworld is well-marked, its fearsome tests legend. In a series of thirteen poems, a modern woman takes this time-honored journey through good and evil and what lies between, finding strength and refuge, union and reunion, and new purpose in primeval pleasures.
Recipes gathered, lettered, and illustrated by Christie Phillips (my mother). Originally published in black-and-white in 1972. Reissued in 2014 in color.