New Title Tuesday! ME! – La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess

On New Title Tuesday, you will find books that have been out for less than three months or will be released within two weeks in all different genres, with all sorts of authors. If you would like to be featured on NTT, use the contact form to let me know.

La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess
Genre: Regency Romance
Release Date: June 10, 2015
(Am I the only one who is this excited? No, wait. Don’t answer that.)

Please come celebrate with me at the Facebook Launch Party, June 10, noon – 8 EDT

PrintSired by a British peer, born of a paramour to Indian royalty, Kali Matai has been destined from birth to enthrall England’s most powerful noblemen—though she hadn’t counted on becoming their pawn. Finding herself under the control of ruthless men, who will not be moved by her legendary allure, she has no choice but to use her beauty toward their malicious and clandestine ends.

When those she holds most dear are placed in peril by backroom political dealings, she enlists some of the most formidable lords in England to thwart her enemies. But even with the help of the prominent gentlemen she has captivated, securing Kali’s freedom, her family, and the man she loves, will require her protectors stop at nothing to fulfill her desires.

Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
All Romance eBooks
Smashwords (After June 10)

Early reviews at Goodreads

Who first encouraged you to write, and how?
I don’t have a firm memory, but it had to be my mom. She was an artist, and spent a goodly portion of her time with me encouraging my creativity in myriad ways.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by the idea of a female spy, but the final result only has the vaguest hint of spying now. Along the way, I was amazed as the sources of inspiration that popped up out of nowhere. The most notable: I had no sooner thought, “Indian courtesan,” than information about the tawaif caste of noble courtesans appeared.

What do you think is the most important quality to cultivate to be a successful writer?
Thicker skin and stronger backbone.

About the Author
MarianaGabrielle copyMariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym of Mari Christie, a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience. Published in dozens of nonfiction and poetry periodicals since 1989, she began writing mainstream historical fiction in 2009 and Regency romance in 2013. In all genres, she creates deeply scarred characters in uncommon circumstances who overcome self-imposed barriers to reach their full potential. She is a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Her first Regency romance, Royal Regard, was released in November 2014.   |
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Book Boyfriends Cafe: Hot for Friday

Book Boyfriends Cafe‘s Hot for Friday Feature’s challenge this week was to post a section of dialogue containing a “swoon-worthy” line by the hero (which, admittedly, is rather subjective, and I’m not a swooner). This dance, however, made even me reach for my fan.

So, from Royal Regard:

(Excerpt from our hero and heroine’s first dance.)

Royal Regard cover3-02Bella’s slipper caught on the waxed floor. Taking advantage of her instability, he held her waist more firmly, drawing her close to encourage her shivers and gooseflesh.

“You said you had no designs on me! You swore by the Knight’s Creed!”

He leaned in to murmur, “I am not a knight, my sweet.”

With less wallflower and more worldly woman, she laughed, “Sir Satyr, I’m sure, charter member of the Order of Rakehells, pledged to lead me down the path to depravity.”

“You’ve caught me.” He stared down at her ripe mouth. “Would that we were not in a crowded ballroom.”

When Bella Holsworthy returns to England after fifteen years roaming the globe with her husband, an elderly diplomat, she quickly finds herself in a place more perilous than any in her travels—the Court of King George IV. As the newly elevated Earl and Countess settle into an unfamiliar life in London, this shy, not-so-young lady faces wicked agendas, society’s censure, and the realities of a woman soon to be alone in England.

Unaccustomed to the ways of the beau monde, she is disarmed and deceived by a dissolute duke and a noble French émigré with a silver tongue. Hindered by the meddling of her dying husband, not to mention the King himself, Bella must decide whether to choose one of her fascinating new suitors or the quiet country life she has searched the world to find.

Barnes and Noble:

Now, go get hot at the rest of this bog hop’s stops. 😉

Book Boyfriends Cafe: Hot for Friday (Rated R)

Book Boyfriends Cafe put out a challenge for Valentine’s Day: Share a scene in which characters find themselves entangled in a web of sexual tension.

For once, I’m not posting about Royal Regard. My next book, La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, will be released June 15, and since it is about an Indian courtesan in London, it is pretty much boiling over with sexual tension.


(Excerpt in which our heroine, Kali Matai, performs for her new lover.) [unedited]

LDN CoverShe clasped his hands behind the chair and asked him to keep them there, mischief and desire both undeniable in her eyes, and he agreed playfully to comply with her every command.

By the time he felt the silk of her sari across the back of his neck, he was more aroused than he had ever been. After a month of touching but not tasting, watching and waiting for this breathtaking woman, he immediately regretted his promise not to put his hands on her body more than any pledge he had ever made.

She had chosen a Persian-blue, gossamer-silk sari shot with gold threads for their first night together, which brought out blue-black candlelight in her upswept hair and the sparks of escalating need in her eyes. The shift and choli beneath the sari were also sheer, offering hints of her hidden treasures, but not detracting from his never-quite-fulfilled view of her succulent skin. The tiny bells tinkling along the edges of the yards of fabric wrapping her body, the music of the bangles she wore on her ankles and wrists, were as fairy dust clouding his senses. He couldn’t keep his eyes from tracking hers, even in the face of the rest of her glorious body.

As she sang slow, ancient ballads of tenderness and yearning, twisting her limbs in the steps of the mujara, she allowed the drape of the sari to drift over his legs, his shoulders, his face, his throat, never following with the weight of her flesh. She slid her skin, even her fingertips, only against the cool water of the loose, translucent silk, but kept herself between her lover and the few candles lighting the room, so he could always see the outline of her slender form, sinuously inviting his touch, moving away any time his hands twitched.

She lifted her knee and bared foot over his shoulder and shook the bangles circling her trim ankle, leaving him to only envision her inner thighs behind his head and still never touching him. He couldn’t help his mouth moving to taste the smooth skin of her calf, inhaling the scent of sandalwood, the trace of jungle rain. Her sharp intake of breath was like food to him, though she quickly moved to tantalize from a few feet away.

She hummed the haunting melody as she removed each pin from her hair, letting them drop onto the Turkish carpet, arms drawn up, full breasts and hardened nipples moving with each breath beneath the silk. Not one strand of her coiffure fell out of place until the entire thick length dropped to her waist like an ell of heavy satin. She moved toward him again, letting her long hair trace across his shoulders, fall around his face as though holding at bay the world around them, filling his senses with forests and spices and the music of mysterious ancients.

His jacket disappeared under her hands, fingertips dissolved his waistcoat buttons, vanished the complicated knots of his cravat. The feel of her nails on his chest, opening the ties of his shirt, made him choke on the force of his desire. She ran her fingers through his hair, into the hollow of his throat, over his shoulders, down his arms. She tugged the shirttails from under his waistband, over his throbbing cock and heavy bollocks, one slow inch at a time.

He found himself rubbing against the inside of his trousers, unable to keep his hips from following after her touch; when she traced her fingernail against his straining erection, the contact was so delicate and swift he would have missed it if not for the shuddering forced through the rest of his body.

He wanted to beg her to touch him—to let him touch her—but he couldn’t conceive of words, nor remember how to speak. He had entirely forgotten his insistence on keeping the upper hand. If she brought any part of her body into contact with his sex, he was certain he would release inside his clothes. When she turned away to shimmy her hips against the insides of his thighs, inches from his heated shaft, it would have taken no more than the vibration of the bells at her wrists, only half an inch closer.

“You so beautiful, Kali,” he forced out, his eyes fluttering closed against the ache in his gut. “Perfect… Oh, God… Exquisite.” Before he opened his eyelids again, she had moved out of his line of sight.

From behind his back, her hand ran down his chest, under his shirt, as she responded low and husky into his ear, “As are you, premi. I have never seen such a magnificent man. You arouse me by only your presence.” He scented her musk in the air, underneath the aroma of her skin that always teased him, and thought his head would rise like a hot-air balloon over the treetops, catch flame until only sparks and flakes of ash remained, drifting on the breeze.

When his head fell back, baring his throat to her, she parted the collar of his shirt and used both forearms to rip down the center, leaving it gaping over his chest. The sudden violence left him gasping, moaning when she used the unfettered access to touch every inch of skin she had bared, the locks of her hair, the edges of her nails, the pads of her fingers tickling his nipples, his stomach, the waistband of his pants, her breasts cradling the back of his head. The teasing left him groaning, growling, and finally begging. When his hands moved from their position behind the chair, trying to slide up the inside of her thigh, she stepped away.

He knew he had only to stand and follow her, assuming his knees would stay under him. He could drag her down to the floor or up against the wall, take her in any position he chose, but he had been keeping the promise for weeks not to molest her person; he could offer up no good reason to break it now. He slowly clasped his hands again, using the placket of his trousers to once more try to ease his desperate need.

When she knelt down before him, between his spread thighs, close enough to feel her heat, too far to touch no matter how he strained, he found himself keening, begging, “Please, Kali. Please touch me. Please.”

Her smile was inscrutable. “Do you not enjoy my attentions, premi? You need only say if I do not bring you pleasure. It is my fondest desire to please you in all things.”

She loosened one button of his trousers, placing a soft kiss on the bared skin, and all he could force from his throat was, “No, you… oh God.” When her tongue tip flicked across his hipbone, he barely, just barely, kept from climaxing without ever touching her. “Oh, dear God.”

By the time she reached the fourth button on the left side, he had found it within himself to pace his desire, worth every recitation of the kings and queens of England, as she rubbed her soft cheek against his skin, warm breath reaching under the fall to almost touch his straining member.

“Oh, God, buttons… more buttons… please,” he begged, his thoughts and words chaotic and jumbled. “Please… dying… touch…” He couldn’t even tell if he were forming words or speaking in tongues.

A bit faster, but only a bit, she loosened the right side of the placket with the same tender kisses as each inch of flesh appeared, sliding the satin lining against him as she finally freed his cock, surely larger, harder, more desperate than it had ever been, dripping with need, striving for any caress she would grant. Her hair drifting across the inflamed head found him thrusting against the air. Her tongue sliding up the underside set him throbbing and begging alternately for her to stop and to never stop.

Each time he moaned, “Don’t… oh, God… stop,” she pulled away. When he whined, “Please… touch me,” she traced the length lightly with her tongue tip again. He reverted to moans and whimpers, but still couldn’t help pleading. “Please, Kali, take… God… tongue… please…”

June 15, you can find out who he is and exactly how his tension is resolved… until then… well… if he can imagine it, you can. 😉

Now, go get hot and bothered again and again at the rest of this bog hop’s stops.