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Marie Laval on her Historical THE LION'S EMBRACE - GIVEAWAY

Today, I welcome historical author Marie Laval to MBB.  Marie is the author of two beautiful historical novels, ANGEL HEART and her recent release THE LION'S EMBRACE.  Both books are totally enjoyable reads in which one can just lose oneself and never want to come out again.  Her writing has a French flavour about it, and a touch of old world elegance. The astonishing thing about Marie is that although she's  French by blood, birth and upbringing, she writes  beautifully and naturally  in the English language.  In this post, Marie has answered all the questions I asked her about her work and writing.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of Marie's giveaway is Maria McKenzie.  Congratulations, Maria


MARIE LAVAL ON THE WEB:

Blog/Website   Goodreads

Hello Maria, and thank you very much for welcoming me on your blog today. It is a real pleasure to be here.


You were asking me what made me a writer...It has to be, first and foremost, my passion for reading. As a child growing up in Lyon, France, there was nothing I liked more than losing myself in a story and fall in love with its characters and atmosphere. Although I wrote stories (and very bad poetry) in French for years, I only started writing in English after moving to Manchester. For many years, I lacked the confidence to show my stories to anybody, until one day I entered a competition... and I was short-listed. I will never forget the feeling I had when I read the letter telling me my story was to be published! When a few years later another short story won first prize in a local competition, I thought that maybe I could write well enough in English 
after all! 

The real catalyst, however, was attending a one-day romance writing workshop just over four years ago. Exchanging ideas with other would-be writers, getting advice and tips from multi-published authors such as Jean Fullerton and June Davies was so inspiring that I started writing my first novel as soon as I got home that evening...and I never stopped since. 

Writing is a peculiar occupation, Maria. The three things I need most are time, quiet and space - all three in very short supply in my case. I don't set myself a specific target or fixed number of words to write, but I do try to research, write or edit my current project every evening. I have a full-time teaching job and a busy family life, so it isn't easy to keep up with my writing. There are depressing, frustrating evenings when it's really hard to get into the plot of my work in progress, when I feel I'm losing the connection with my characters and I fall asleep at the keyboard.



If I am in a bit of a rut, going for a long walk early in the morning at the weekend usually helps get my ideas flowing. The only problem is that I live in a lovely green Lancashire valley which seems to have a microclimate of its own, and where it often pours down with rain, so escaping outside isn't always possible. 



I have published two historical romances with MuseitUp Publishing. My second novel, 'The Lion's Embrace', is set in North Africa in 1845. Although I do not tweet (I barely have time to blog and keep up with Facebook as it is!), I will try and give you a tweet size outline of the plot. 



Bookish Harriet Montague hires selfish, arrogant and dangerous Lucas Saintclair to rescue her archaeologist father from a gang of Tuareg fighters. During their journey to the mysterious Hoggar mountains she discoverspassion, lost treasures and deadly secrets... 

'The Lion's Embrace' was a joy to research and write. I was always fascinated by North Africa and often felt I was travelling across Algeria with Harriet and Lucas and discovering the country, its people and its treasures with them. 

My next novel, 'Dancing for the Devil', is another historical romance, this time with a hint of paranormal. It is set in the far North of Scotland, near Cape Wrath - don't you just love that name? I wanted to stay with the Saintclair family a little longer, and my heroin is Rose Saintclair, Lucas' younger sister. As Rose sails to Scotland to be reunited with Cameron McRae, the man she married in Algiers a few weeks before, her ship is caught in a violent storm. Rose is rescued by Bruce McGunn, Wrath's local laird and her husband's mortal enemy. 

Alone in a cold, foreign and brutal land, and a virtual prisoner in the old keep haunted by the mysterious dark lady, Rose discovers that her husband isn't the man she believed him to be, and becomes increasingly attracted to the dark and tormented Bruce McGunn. Will she risk her marriage, her honour and her heart to help him discover the truth about his past, solve the brutal murders committed on his land and 
mend his broken soul? 

'Dancing for the Devil' is darker than my two previous novels and I hope to finish the first draft this summer.  

Thank you again Maria for hosting me today. It was a pleasure talking to you.


THE LION'S EMBRACE


Arrogant, selfish and dangerous, Lucas Saintclair is everything Harriet Montague dislikes in a man. He is also the best guide in the whole of the Barbary States, the only man who can rescue her archaeologist father from the gang of Tuareg fighters that has kidnapped him. As Harriet embarks on a perilous journey across Algeria with Saintclair and Archibald Drake, her father’s most trusted friend, she discovers a bewitching but brutal land where nothing is what it seems. Who are these men intent on stealing her father’s ransom? What was her father hoping to find in Tuareg queen Tin Hinan’s tomb? Is Lucas Saintclair really as callous as he claims—or is he a man haunted by a past he cannot forgive? Dangerous passions engulf Harriet’s heart in the heat of the Sahara. Secrets of lost treasures, rebel fighters, and a sinister criminal brotherhood threaten her life and the life of the man she loves.

Does forever lie in the lion’s embrace?


Get this book:   Amazon    Amazon UK   MuseItUp Publishing

Giveaway:  Marie will give an ebook copy of the novel away to one lucky commenter, so please leave a comment before you go.


Comments

  1. Thank you for coming to my blog today, Marie! It's lovely to have you here....

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Maria for hosting me on your beautiful blog today. I am really looking forward to reading comments...and giving away a copy of The Lion's Embrace, so don't forget to leave your email address!

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  2. This is a very interesting book.

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  3. An enjoyable post....

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  4. Sounds like you've got 2 great reads :) There are so many fascinating places on earth and pockets of time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jemi, I know. Thank you for your visit and comment....

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  5. Thank you very much Manan, 'LifeasYouLiveIt' and Jemi for visiting and leaving a comment. I am delighted you found the post enjoyable! Don't forget to leave your email address for a chance to win a copy of The Lion's Embrace!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marie, I thought your way of answering my questions in a post written by yourself was really different and enjoyable.

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  6. I love reading how you got started and how you keep yourself in the creative mode. The Lion's Embrace sounds like a great book~

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting Shelly. It's not always easy to stay focussed on a story, especially when you have a day job! Going out for walks is essential to clear my mind and find inspiration and I usually come back with something,if only a snippet of dialogue or an idea for a scene.

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    2. Hi Shelly,

      Good to see you over here.

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  7. The Lion's Embrace sounds interesting and intriguing! Thanks for a great interview.

    Congratulations Marie on the release!

    Thanks Maria!

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  8. Enjoyed your interview. This is such a great line...Secrets of lost treasures, rebel fighters, and a sinister criminal brotherhood threaten her life and the life of the man she loves. Does forever lie in the lion’s embrace? planecrz@frontier.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you very much for visiting and for your kind comment, Victoria. I love the 'Does forever lie in the lion's embrace?' too and I have my great content editor Julie Hayes to thank for it!

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    2. Hi Victoria,

      Thanks for your visit and comment.

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  9. Wonderful interview, Maria and Marie! Marie, best of luck with your new release--your books sound amazing! The Lion's Embrace has quite a breath-taking plot with archaeolgy, the Sahara, friction between Harriett and Lucas that'll lead to lots of other hot stuff:). I'd love to read it!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Maria. I do hope you enjoy the book!

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    2. Hi Maria,

      Another wonderful historical romance author! Good to see you here!

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  10. Did you find your bad-boy hero a challenge to write, Marie? I once posted an article on my blog about why women are attracted to them.
    Very best wishes,
    cherieleclare@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Cherie, I think the contradiction is intriguing. I wonder what Marie has to say?

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    2. Hello Cherie and thank you for stopping by. I absolutely loved Lucas Saintclair as a character. He does appear a bad boy, cynical and selfish, but the reality isn't quite so simple...As for women being attracted by 'bad boys', I think it is a question far too complicated for me to answer. Has it got anything to do with loving the hard, alpha male type, or hoping to be the one woman who will soften and reform them? The thing is romantic novels are full of them!

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  11. interesting sounding blurb

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, bn100 for your visit and comment.

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    2. Thank you bn100! I hope you enjoy the novel.

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  12. Great Interview, the book sounds really good !!!

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    1. Hello Nancy, and thank you for your comment!

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  13. Hi Maria, Hi Marie, thank you Maria for introducing me to an author who write historical novels, I love them, i'll be adding this to my list for sure!

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    1. Hi TashNz. Thank you so much for visiting. I hope you enjoy the novel!

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