Jianne Carlo Manacled in Monaco

Posted by Jianne Carlo | 10:30 AM | 7 comments »

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the Pink Fuzzy Slippers group, and I thought I would introduce myself by giving an excerpt of what I write, and giving you a little bio about myself.

I grew up on a 60 by 40 Caribbean island, Trinidad and Tobago (11 by 22 in case you're interested), but I've now lived in North America longer than my formative years in Trinidad. I met and married my husband of 31 years in Canada while attending college. We have three very handsome sons, Jodan, Jarin, and Josun, who are all (thank the Lord) over the age of 20 and all are (killing their parents finacially) enrolled in scattered Florida Universities. In our house, we have me, A U of M graduate and a Hurricane's fan, my oldest son - a Gators Fan, and a Seminole fan who's at FSU. Needless to say, college football dominates the household.

My first novel, Manacled in Monaco, was published by Loose-Id in June, and I've received wonderful reviews for the book. I've two more coming out this year, T is for Temptation, and D is for Desire, due in October and December respectively. I tend to write series, MM is the first in the Mambo Mediterranean series, and T and D are the first two in my Witchy Women series.

Okay, I think that's enough of an intro and I hope I haven't bored you to death.

Here's an excerpt from Manacled, which explains the Hindu festival of Diwali, a wonderful and beautiful celebration of the conquest of light over darkness.

Rolan didn’t notice anything on the way back to the docks. Immersed in sorting out the deep insecurity the mere presence of Rizzo generated, his crazy reaction to Sarita, the future awaiting the three of them, the two miles to the dock seemed to take mere minutes. But in actuality, dusk set before he reached the Glory and he halted on the pier, transfixed by what he saw.

Outlined in flickering light, the yacht glowed like a Cinderella’s castle from a fairy tale. Tiny flames covered every inch of the ship’s railings on the lower, middle, and upper decks.

And the scent of coconut assailed his nostrils.

It took some time before he registered the limo’s arrival, and only when he heard the murmured voices did he turn to note the passengers exiting from the vehicle.

“Wow,” Suresh exclaimed. “All the way here we heard murmurs about the fairy boat. Your wife is nothing short of astounding. I know what this is and she’s won me over completely. You are one lucky son of a bitch.”

In what seemed like slow motion, they made their way on board the Glory. Tiny clay circles filled with coconut oil displayed a thick wick burnishing a glowing flame. Hundreds of pots lined the boat’s railings and decorated the tables scattered about the lower deck.

“Hi boss,” Austen greeted him, tipping his usual two-fingered salute. “This way.” He gestured to the stairs leading to the entertainment area.

Rolan didn’t realize he had held his breath until he sighted the dining table. He exhaled then, taking in the exotic dishes lining its surface, and inhaled absorbing the hint of cumin, coriander, and curry in the air. Hibiscus flowers, orchids, and bougainvillea accentuated the white plates holding here, jumbo shrimp dotted with red pepper flakes, there, what seemed like square tortillas sprinkled with chopped parsley, and in the center of the table, a massive silver dish displaying cubes of beef in a cream-colored sauce.

And then he spotted Sarita and his lungs refused to function, his limbs refused every mental command. She wore a fuchsia-colored outfit decorated at its edges with tiny embroidered silver flowers. The sleeved midriff top fitted her petite form like a second skin and her nipples punctuated the silk material. Partially obscured by the soft textile, her navel held the pink diamond he’d given her and an intricate pattern of brown symbols outlined the round indentation.

Of their own volition, his feet moved and he stopped only when mere centimeters separated them. Amber eyes manacled his and once again organs refused to function. One finger traced the ornate silver headband decorating the bronzed skin of her forehead and he realized he had no control left. None. Instinct alone drove him.

“We should get married again, and you should wear this. What is it?”

“It’s a sari, traditional dress for Indian women.”

He fingered the transparent material curving over one shoulder. “I never seen this before, but it looks familiar.”

“It’s a lotus, the national flower of India. The flowers are hand embroidered as a border for the whole outfit. This piece came from my paternal grandmother who did the embroidery herself.”

“I like it. A lot.” He fitted his hands around her waist and one thumb traced the hennaed pattern around her belly button. “Did you do another mehndi? Where I suggested?”

Sarita dipped her chin in an almost imperceptible nod. His manhood surged to firing point and she was fully dressed. “And I like where this is.” One finger touched the pink diamond nestled in her navel.

“Hey Dad.” Tony careened into the room and screeched to a halt besides them.

Rolan’s lips curved and all his doubts and diffidence dissipated.

“What’d ya think?” The young boy waved a hand down his body.

“Interesting,” Rolan said. “What is it?”

“It’s a dhoti,” Sarita answered. “Traditional Hindu dress for males. The vest is Arabic. Tony refused to wear the traditional kurta.”

“It’s too hot, Mom,” Tony complained. “’Sides, this looks more like what Orlando Bloom wore in Pirates of the Caribbean. Look, Dad, I even have a fake machete.” The young boy slashed a curved silver plastic sword through the air.

“Sarita.” Suresh hipped Rolan aside and clasped his wife’s fingers in both hands. He touched her fingertips to his lips. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Tony and I celebrate Diwali every year.”

“Diwali?” Geoff asked as he joined their little group.

“The festival of light, it signifies the triumph of good over evil. Those clay pots are called diyas or deepas, and people line their driveways with hundreds of them so that the light overcomes the darkness. It’s a symbol of the lifting of the spiritual darkness within each human being.”

“Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals. It’s the equivalent of your Christmas, Rolan,” Suresh said. “I’m honored, Sarita. And all these Indian dishes.”

He dropped her hands and Rolan’s neck muscles unknotted.

“Most are vegetarian, but I did do a couple of beef dishes for the meat eaters.”

Transfixed by her bare feet and the delicate rings on her toes, Rolan curled one arm around her waist and held her stationary. She glanced up at him and he read uncertainty in those amber eyes. Drawing her closer, he bent his head and gave into his initial instinctive reaction, sipping at her mouth, nibbling, tasting.

“Jeez, Dad, do you have to do that all the time?” Tony poked him in the back and added, sotto voce, to his audience. “They’re always into nooky-nooky.”

She broke the kiss by pushing at his chest.


  1. Beth Trissel // September 5, 2008 at 11:33 AM  

    Ooooh, enticing read. Glad to have you on board with the Fuzzies, Jianne.

  2. Lynn Lorenz // September 5, 2008 at 2:50 PM  

    I really enjoyed Manacled and I just love the glimpse you gave into the culture.
    It was a wonderful, sexy read.
    Can't wait for the next one!

  3. Nightingale // September 5, 2008 at 6:35 PM  

    Welcome, Jianne. Your formative years in the Caribbean sound interesting. I have a crush on Andreas of Monaco, so I jumped right in at your title! Sincerely I enjoyed the excerpt.

  4. Mary Ricksen // September 5, 2008 at 8:17 PM  

    Having firsthand knowledge, I'd say that Jianne, is one hell of a writer.
    When you pick one of her books to read, you can be sure you will forget the time, where you are, and that you missed dinner.
    She's that good.

  5. Mary Marvella // September 5, 2008 at 10:29 PM  

    Welcome! What a great way to introduce yourself and give us a glimpse into yourself. Wicked woman!

  6. Anonymous // September 6, 2008 at 12:58 PM  

    great excerpt.

    Growing up in the Caribbean - what a great background for romance writing! :)

  7. Anonymous // September 6, 2008 at 1:27 PM  

    Glad you joined the pink fuzzies. I hang out here all the time, it's a great place. MM and I are great friends, so she lets me post now and then!

    Love the excerpt, can't wait to read the whole thing. I love exotic locations and learning about their culture and customs. Hope to visit Monaco someday.

    The Scarlet Pumpernickel