Good Morning Marie and thank you for visiting today. How excited I was to hear you are from Lyon, France–a place near and dear to me. My former exchange student and his family are from there. I have such wonderful memories of visiting them, but am afraid I did not explore the tunnels, the traboules. It is a pretty place along the Rhone and Saone rivers however. Ah well, next time, I’ll do better!
Marie is offering a FREE copy of her wonderful historical romance, The Lion’s Embrace, to one lucky commentator. Please leave a comment or question below and be entered to win!
Let’s get started…
“Hello Christine and thank you very much for welcoming me on your blog today. It is a pleasure to be here.”
Let’s talk about THE LION’S EMBRACE. I believe it is your second historical romance, am I right?
It is indeed. My first historical romance is called ANGEL HEART and for the most part is set in France in 1815. THE LION’S EMBRACE takes place largely in North Africa in 1845 and is a story of love, betrayal, dark secrets, and the discovery of a lost treasure in the Sahara. Writing it was a real adventure, I loved every minute of it!
Here is the blurb:
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?
The book was a joy to research and write. I was always fascinated by North Africa, where my mother grew up, and often felt I was travelling acrossAlgeriawith Harriet and Lucas and discovering with them the country, its people and its treasures.
How did you come up with the title?
It is more a case that the title came to me, at the time when I was still thinking about the characters and the plot even before I started writing a word. In fact, the title was so right for the story I never considered changing it. There were still mountain lions in some parts of North Africain the 19th century, and I wanted a title which evoked burning passion, so THE LION’S EMBRACE felt just perfect!
Where do you go for inspiration?
I get ideas from anything and everything, from poems, songs and music of course, but also a walk on a country path, a painting, a memory or a dream… Once I get an idea, however vague, characters start taking shape and assume a life of their own. Even though I am still working on my third historical romance, I have new characters ‘talking’ to me already for my next story – and the next three! In fact, I came back from a week in Devon with plenty of wonderful names for locations, settings and characters for future stories.
Where is your favourite place in the whole world?
To be honest, I haven’t traveled a lot and seen that much of the world, but there are two places that spring to my mind. The first is my home town of Lyon, particularly the old St Jean and St Paul districts which are now a World Heritage Site.
I love walking in the narrow winding streets, looking at the beautiful Renaissance houses, and exploring the secret passages between the streets that we call ‘traboules’ where silk workers used to carry their wares without getting them wet. The district is full of quirky shops and artists’ workshops, including stone masons and painters. I have a passion for books, and the Sunday market along the embankment of the river Saône is a great place to browse second hand book stalls.
My other favourite place is Devon in the South of England. I have just returned from a week’s holiday in Lyme Regis. It is such a lovely place, and there is something about being on the seaside that I always find exhilarating, in all kinds of weather!
Tell us a little about what you are working on.
‘Dancing for the Devil’ is my third historical romance and the story of Rose Saintclair, Lucas Saintclair’s younger sister. Rose is travelling to Scotland to be reunited with the husband she’s only just married in Algiers. Her ship is caught in a storm and finds shelter at Wrath harbour, where Rose is rescued by Bruce McGunn, the local laird and her husband’s mortal enemy. Alone in a cold, foreign, 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. But 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 – well?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see until I finish the book!
‘Dancing for the Devil’ is a little darker than my two previous novels and I hope to finish the first draft this summer.
Where can we find THE LION’S EMBRACE?
THE LION’S EMBRACE is published by MuseitUp Publishing and is available here: https://museituppublishing.com/
Also at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lions-Embrace-ebook/dp/B00BACDSK6
You can find me at http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/
Thank you very much Christine for hosting me today.
Don’t forget to leave a comment or a question for a chance to win a copy of THE LION’S EMBRACE!