Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mistress of Pleasure is finally here! Purchase a lesson...if you dare.

Today is a very exciting day for me!!! Why? Because my first book, MISTRESS OF PLEASURE, officially hits stores. (Gleefully clapping hands here). Instead of the usual throwing of pitches and excerpts and what not, I decided to keep it simple.

Behind every book, there is a story. And needless to say, behind my upcoming debut, MISTRESS OF PLEASURE, which centers around a school that educates men on the topic of love and seduction, there are several. Because I don’t want to write a book about THE book, I’ve decided to elaborate as simply as I can about the inspiration behind the creation of MISTRESS OF PLEASURE. That inspiration first coming from my research, when I stumbled upon Ninon de L’Enclos, a French 17th century courtesan.

Truth be told, I find it rather astounding that this fascinating woman somehow disappeared into the shadows of history. She is but a ghost whenever the topic of courtesans arise. For we usually hear of the same old, same old courtesans like Kitty Fisher, Cora Pearl or Harriette Wilson. Let me be the first to tell you, however, that none of these women could possibly rival Ninon de L’Enclos or her life. But don’t take my word for it. Research her on your own and come to your conclusion. Bottom line, Ninon’s thoughts, philosophies, and her approach toward men and sex went beyond anything I have ever seen in a woman of her day.

Much like other courtesans, she kept her bedroom door open to aristocratic men, yes. But unlike other courtesans, she kept that bedroom door open for more than just sex. This woman actually held meetings and classes in the confines of her bedchamber where men of all ages would come to visit in order to discuss topics of sex, philosophy and love. These so-called meetings fascinated me and in turn, began to create the growing threads of what is now Mistress of Pleasure. The more I researched, the more excited I became. For there was almost too much to work with. For instance, Ninon had various lovers, as you might imagine. But to one lover in particular, she birthed a son. A son who was raised apart from her to never know who she was due to her being a courtesan. Then one day, when her son was a grown man, he happened to one day meet Ninon. And fell madly in love with her. (And no, I’m not bloody making this up…). Though she had sworn to never reveal her identity to her son, because his advances were growing more and more passionate and he altogether outright refused to leave her be, she finally told him the truth. That she was in fact his mother and that was why there would never be a sexual relationship between them. Her son was so overwhelmed and distraught by the confession, that he left her house and committed suicide by falling onto the blade of his own sword. Another story, somewhat less morbid, was about one man who begged and begged Ninon to admit him into her bed. She refused him time and time again and finally told him, “Return when I am eighty. Then I shall bed you.” The besotted fool took her words quite literally and arrived on her doorstep many, many years late, when she turned eighty. Ninon was so amused, she ended up bedding him, after all.

As you can tell by the stories I am selecting, it is the older Ninon that ultimately fascinated me. Which created a dilemma for my writing. Because my heroine couldn’t possibly be an elderly lady. It would never sell. But then I got to thinking. What if she were a grandmother of the heroine? Now THAT had possibilities. At about the same time I started writing AN IMPROPER EDUCATION (which is what I called it before the publisher changed it), MY grandmother re-appeared in my life. After 20 years of complete and utter silence. Which is a whole other story I don’t have time to go into… Soon, I discovered that the grandmother I never knew was actually an opera singer who had married into American Aristocracy and was living the life of a queen. My grandmother had an air of royalty to her and was quite beautiful for a woman her age. She had a heavy accent, walked with a sashay and always used amusing little words that I’d never heard before. For instance, she referred to sex as “Poom-poom.” She amused me so much so, that I could not help but morph her and Ninon together to create the fictional character that ultimately became Madame de Maitenon, who is both the creator of the School of Gallantry and the grandmother of my heroine, Maybelle de Maitenon. And so, I ended up with a story about a retired French courtesan who opens up a school that educates men on the topic of love and seduction, and the granddaughter who is unexpectedly forced to take over the operation of the school and educate all the men. Even though she has very little personal experience. Life certainly makes for some interesting fiction. And I have to say, I’m glad for it. At least in the case of this book. For an excerpt, more information or to sign up for my newsletter, please head over to my website,
www.DelilahMarvelle.com In the meantime, anyone who posts today will be entered to win an autographed copy of my book, Mistress of Pleasure. So don't forget to post!
Cheers,
Delilah Marvelle

23 comments:

Patti P said...

I can't wait to read it!
Patti P

Renee Knowles said...

Congrats, Delilah! I am picking up my copy tomorrow! Can't wait!

Kudos!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Kathy said...

Wow! This is so cool! I love the way your research sparked your imagination. I particularly love hearing how stories have been created. The process is so magical.

Good luck with your debut book. Can't wait to read it! :-)

Minnette Meador said...

Have a fabulous release week, my dear. You so deserve all the success...can't wait to read this!!! Minnette :)

Louisa Cornell said...

Wow, Delilah! Ninon sounds fascinating! What an incredible life she lead - tragic and triumphant and everything in between. No wonder you were inspired. I can't wait to read this book!!

And your grandmother is especially interesting to me as I am a retired opera singer. We DO tend to be a bit full of ourselves ! LOL I think the word "eccentric" has been spoken by my niece and two nephews all too frequently when referring to their opera singing aunt.

Congratulations on your release, Delilah. Enjoy every minute of this, the first of many to come. You've earned it!

Meagan Hatfield said...

Major Congrats on your release day, Delilah!! It's great to hear about your inspiration. :-)

Here's to many sales!!

Hugs,
Meagan~

Angie Fox said...

Congratulations, Delilah! It's an amazing feeling to have that first book hit the shelves.

And I have to say your research is fascinating. What I wouldn't give to sit down to lunch with someone like Ninon de L'Enclos.

Your book sounds wonderful!

Delilah Marvelle said...

As you gals all know, you are all officially entered to win a free autographed copy! I will be posting the winner later tonight. Patti, thank you so much for posting!!! :D Renee, thank you, although if you win a copy you might not have to head out to the bookstore, LOL. Kathy, I totally believe the whole writing process is magical. To this day I still can't tell you where this stuff comes from. Thin air! Minnette, girl, THANK YOU. My week is already fabulous, to say the least, being surrounded by people like you who cheer me on. Louisa! You are also a retired opera singer?! How fabulous! Hopefully, you're not all like my grandmother, "Me, Me, Me." (Get it?! Heh...ehm). Thank you for stopping by! Meagan, thank you so much for posting and for the congrats! It means so much to me. Angie, thank you on not only posting but for the kudos on my research. I am wickedly obssessed with collecting research books. It's paid off, though :D

Leah Braemel said...

Congratulations, Delilah.

That story is amazing - and your grandmother sounds like an absolute hoot.

I'm sure this is just the start of great things to come.

Carrie Lofty said...

Congratulations, Delilah. I'm so happy for you, and so glad we got to talk at Nationals! Can't wait to share in the awesome accomplishment when I hold mine in my hands too. Enjoy your success!

Maire Jolie said...

I am doing a happy dance as I clutch my two copies of Mistress of Pleasure to my bosom! How proud can I be! I've read Mistress many many many times, being the lucky girl to be Delilah's CP, but I have every intention on reading this hot saucy book again.

Rock on Delilah!!! No one deserves it more.

Louisa Cornell said...

Me Me Me !!! Love it, Delilah!

Yes, I sang with many sopranos who were legends in their own minds! However, the worst were the tenors who were convinced the world revolved around them. In fact, I walked off a stage during rehearsal and refused to sing with a certain tenor because, as I told the director, "I refuse to sing with a man who is a bigger bitch than I am!"

Anna said...

Looks fabulous! Can't wait to get a copy!

TJ Bennett said...

Utterly fascinating history, Delilah. How could you NOT write a book about this is what I ask? Can't wait to read it!

TJB

Delilah Marvelle said...

Again, you gals are amazing!!! Thank you so much for posting and making my launch date so special. Every single one of you know how to flutter a girl's heart :D
I had my husband randomly choose a winner, so that there was no partipation on my end. And so the winner is...Louisa Cornell!! How utterly fitting. Louisa, please e-mail me at Delilah@DelilahMarvelle.com to collect your prize! And thank you to everyone who posted!

Louisa Cornell said...

Huge operatic SQUEEEEEE! that can be heard from Alabama! Thank you, Delilah! I am delighted and can't wait to read this fabulous tale!

Christine Wells said...

Delilah, I know I'm woefully late, but I just wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful debut. I heard great things about this book long before the release date, so I'm looking forward to reading it. And your story behind the story has whetted my appetite even more:)

Here's to a fantastic debut and many more wonderful books to come!
Christine x

Sarah Parr said...

What an amazing story! Congrats on your debut :).

~Sarah

Delilah Marvelle said...

Christine, thank you. Congrats back at you on your release :D Which is already on my to be read pile. I am dying to read it after the review and KISS award you got from RT.
Sarah, sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction :D Thank you for the congrats!!!

Kirsten said...

Delilah, Sorry to be late for the party, but huge congratulations to you for your release, and I loved hearing the story (and i love "poom-poom"!). :-) I can't wait to read this book!!

hugs,
Kirsten (aka Inara)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!

Valerie Bowman

Delilah Marvelle said...

Kirsten (aka Inara :D) I love poom-poom, too. So much so I use it in my story. Thank you so much for the congrats and for posting!
Valerie, thank you!!! So wonderful of you to stop by.

silvermage2000@yahoo.com said...

Hi Thats sounds cool and Your book sounds interesting also. Could you please email me a contest code. The courtazean type of thing sounds kind of interesting to for your book.