My guest today is Mariana Gabrielle, one of the authors part of the Bluestocking Belles. The seven authors involved in the boxed set, MISTLETOE, MARRIAGE, AND MAYHEM, include Mariana Gabrielle, Amy Rose Bennett, Susanna Ellis, Sherry Ewing, Jude Knight, Caroline Warfield, and Nicole Zoltack.
’Tis Her Season: A Royal Regard prequel novella, by Mariana Gabrielle
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.
For a bit of fun, Charlotte Amberly and Alexander Marloughe, from ‘Tis Her Season, have graciously agreed to answer some questions for their readers.
Charlotte Amberly believes, as a viscount’s daughter, the world will do her bidding, but when she runs away from home to find a husband, her station in life can’t save her from the ton, her irate mother, or the wicked man who will try to win her against her will.
Alexander Marloughe, Earl of Herrendon, son of a disgraced British nobleman and reluctant heir to a marquessate, wants nothing to do with England or an adventurous debutante, but fate is not running in his favor.
Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
“Thank you very kindly for inviting me, Miss Kaye,” says Charlotte Amberly, daughter of Viscount Effingale and sisterly cousin to Bella Holsworthy of Royal Regard. “I am so grateful for the chance to talk a bit about my prequel novella.”
“Do you not mean our prequel novella?” asks Alexander Marloughe, Earl of Herrendon. “Of course, I must also extend my gratitude to you, Miss Kaye, for there are many in London who have not yet decided whether they will receive me. I am not even remotely baseborn, but in the eyes of the wealthy and ennobled, am as close as one can be and still be in line to inherit a title.”
What are a couple of random thoughts about yourself that will surprise the readers?
“After everything written about me in Royal Regard and now in ‘Tis Her Season,” Charlotte sighs, “and with my sister, Bella’s, far-too-public life in the Bluestocking Bookshop and her regular appearances in the gossip column in the Teatime Tattler, I hardly think there are any surprises left. I suppose that to some, it might be shocking that I would commit any act short of murder—and possibly wouldn’t stop at that—to save pain for the people I love. ”
“I have known you but a short while, Miss Amberly, and I could have guessed that,” Lord Herrendon observes.
“Many seem to think me an entirely self-centered ninny.”
“Well, I am not certain one negates the other, but I have the highest regard for your sense of filial duty. Ahem… well… yes… Something surprising about me? Your readers might not expect I would prefer nothing to do with inheriting a marquessate. I would rather be in Crete with my mistre—excuse me, Miss Amberly. I simply mean… I’d rather be in Crete.”
What makes you blush?
“Nothing,” Charlotte says, her eyes sliding to the left.
Alexander laughs. “You? Everything. I’ll wager half a pony on it.”
She proves him right, to her great consternation. “Can we move on to the next question, please?”
What upset your ordinary world and brought you into contact with each other?
“My first betrothal,” Charlotte says without hesitation. “Had my father not insisted I marry the Marquess of Firthley, I might never have met the Earl of Herrendon.” She turns her nose up and sniffs. “And I might be better off for it.”
“I heartily concur, my charming, little featherhead; we both might, indeed. In my case, the catalyst was Napoleon, though I hardly expect Miss Amberly to understand the causation. Had he not commandeered my family shipping fleet, I might yet be in Greece, not entertaining the unfortunate notion of being a British peer. And I would absolutely be better off for that.”
What was your immediate reaction to each other?
Charlotte twists her fingers in her skirt and tilts her head, twisting her forefinger through a ringlet of her hair. “I found him… rather…” she trails off.
“Fascinating,” he prompts, a sly smile tugging at the corners of his lips. “You can say it. And handsome… No one will think any less of you for telling the truth.”
With that, she spits out, “I found him crass, ill-mannered, and utterly lacking in social graces or good sense. Quite without redeeming value.” She nods her head decisively, clenching her jaw.
“What did I think of Miss Amberly?” he asks, chuckling. His glance caresses her shoulder. “I found her a stunningly beautiful liar and schemer, acting with no conscience or compunction, wearing the ugliest gown I have ever seen.”
What do each of the lead characters think about “love and romance”?
“Love and romance are rather silly, on the whole,” Charlotte says, eyes shifting away from Lord Herrendon. “Having a husband who loves you must be better than one who does not, but the goal of marriage is the joining of noble names and the production of noble heirs—the nobler the better.”
“I agree, in the main. Romance is an excellent diversion before one must buckle down and choose a noble bride. And depending on the bride one chooses, after.”
Who took the first step in heating things up between you?
“H…heating…? Charlotte stammers. “Mercy, you ask probing questions, do you not?”
“Do stop laughing at me, you horrid man.” She narrows her eyes and glares at him. “There is nothing warm to speak of between us.”
Alexander smiles with a sardonic shrug and arch of his brow, “I would never gainsay a lady. Miss Amberly is entirely correct. I truly am a horrid man, and she is glacial to me, no matter how my heart might burn for her.”
Would you rather be caught in a wild moment of passion or tied down and taken?
Charlotte snaps, “That is an entirely inappropriate question.”
Alexander nods and frowns. “I find I must agree with Miss Amberly.” A twinkle breaks loose in his eye, though, when he adds, “Though I do hope, for the sake of her future husband, whoever he might be, someone warns him to lay in an adequate supply of rope, for if her wild moments of passion are anything like her wild flights of ridiculous fancy, he will not be able to hold her down long enough to consummate the vows.”
Who made the first compromise in your relationship?
Alexander flushes to the tips of his ears and says not a word.
ABOUT MISTLETOE, MARRIAGE, AND MAYHEM
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.
Genre: Regency romance, historical romance, charity anthologies
Heat Rating: G to PG-13
Page Count: 400
***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***
OTHER STORIES IN THE BOXED SET
All She Wants for Christmas – Amy Rose Bennett
The Ultimate Escape – Susana Ellis
Under the Mistletoe – Sherry Ewing
Gingerbread Bride – Jude Knight
Dangerous Nativity – Caroline Warfield
Joy to the World – Nicole Zoltack
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ABOUT MARIANA GABRIELLE
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 all bring hearts 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 will soon release three Royal Regard prequel novellas and a mainstream historical, Blind Tribute.
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ABOUT THE BELLES
The Bluestocking Belles’ books carry you into the past for your happy-ever-after. When you have turned the last page of our novels and novellas, keep up with us (and other historical romance authors) in the Teatime Tattler, a Regency scandal sheet, and join in with the characters you love for impromptu storytelling in the Bluestocking Bookshop on Facebook. Also, look for online games and contests and monthly book chats, and find us at BellesInBlue on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Come visit at www.BluestockingBelles.com and kick up your bluestockinged heels!
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