The Regency era was complex and diverse. Regency novels tend to be fairly homogenized. I seek out more exotic settings for my Regency characters. My colleague, Mariana Gabrielle creates characters that actually demonstrate diversity in that world, as her latest release shows. Diversity is a passion with her. The book is available for pre-order now and goes on sale June 10.
There is information about a Giveaway at the end of this post.
About La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess
Sired 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.
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance, Multicultural Romance
Heat Rating: R for sensual content, 3 out of 5 flames
Kali settled her sister into a chair at one end of the long, rough, kitchen table, warming her toes before the fire Kali reignited from the last embers Cook should have extinguished before leaving Kali’s employ a few hours before. Kamala tucked into the remains of a loaf of bread and wheel of cheese, the crumbs of the final supper Kali had eaten here.
Finally, Kamala’s chewing slowed enough to satisfy Kali that her sister was in no danger of starvation, so she once again demanded, “Why have you left Lord Hestinbrook?”
In a low voice, tapping her manicured fingernails on the tabletop, Kamala admitted, “He’s turned me out.”
“He’s turned me out, and I count it a blessing.”
“A blessing? A blessing?!” Kali stood, slapping her hands onto the table so hard her palms stung. “How will you live?”
“I will live,” Kamala snarled, eyes narrowed and lip curled, “without a fat, ugly, smelly old man slobbering on me whenever he isn’t telling me how stupid I am! A man who barely passed his examinations at Harrow calling me stupid—a woman who speaks five languages!” Kamala turned her shoulder against Kali and stuck her pretty nose in the air. “He is the stupid one, for who will lie and tell him he is handsome now?”
Kali rolled her eyes and shoulders in unison. Nothing would sway Kamala, short of someone boxing her ears. As had been true since they were children, Kali had no objection to doing the deed, should it be required. Dropping back into her seat, she tried to take Kamala’s hand but was rebuffed.
“You haven’t said anything so hurtful, have you, Kamala? Please tell me you haven’t told your protector he is stupid or ugly.”
Kamala huffed, “Of course not! But I was not so lucky as to be sold to man like Lord Fitzmarten. If I had, you may be sure I would be in his bed right this moment and never leave it.”
Just the thought of another woman in Fitz’s bed, least of all her sister, nearly tore a scream from Kali’s throat. Only by viciously ripping the heart from her chest was she able to continue to listen to Kamala, and even then, the sound was muffled through a heavy curtain of grief.
“I will not listen to him say I am an ignorant lightskirt one more time, and I’ll not have you tell Mayuri anything. I shall manage on my own. I’ve fifty guineas I stole from his desk.”
At that, the fog was blown from Kali’s mind by a strong wind. Kamala’s next words were ludicrous, but no longer sounded like they were being spoken underwater. “I will move to the country where it does not cost so much to live.”
“You stole from him?” Kali leapt to her feet once again, wanting the advantage of height. “You stole money from Lord Hestinbrook?! Kamala!” Newgate beckoned, and there would be no mercy for a half-caste.
Kamala hung her head, suddenly shy. Now, Kali could see, they would finally get to the heart of the matter. Kamala only had to get all of the false bravado out of the way first. Whatever else had happened would be even more ruinous.
“It is not as though I wished to, Kali. It is only that… he said he would tear up my contract when I… it was only… he owes it to me, Kali, and to his—” She stopped short and jammed her mouth full of bread, avoiding her sister’s eye.
“His what, Kamala?” Kali’s fists jammed into her hipbones, arms akimbo, toe tapping, waiting for an explanation for Kamala’s disgraceful behavior. “Why has Lord Hestinbrook turned you out? What reason have you given him to put you into the street with no money?”
Kamala finally looked her in the eye, but every time she swallowed, she took another bite of bread, the same tactic she had used with their mother after Rohana finally trained her not to speak with food in her mouth. After two more bites, Kali grabbed the bread and threw it down the length of the table, followed by the cheese.
“What have you done?”
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About the Author
Mariana 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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