Back in May, I published a spotlight on Sword Dance by Marie Laval, the third in the Dancing For The Devil trilogy that started with The Dream Catcher and Blue Bonnets – you’ll find the feature here, with an extract from the book. Dancing For The Devil is now available as a box set for Kindle from Amazon here, and I’m delighted to welcome Marie to Being Anne to tell us more.
Can her love heal his haunted heart? – Cape Wrath, Scotland, November 1847. Bruce McGunn is a man as brutal and unforgiving as his land. Discharged from the army, he is haunted by the spectres of his fallen comrades and convinced he is going mad. And he is running out of time to save his estate from the machinations of Cameron McRae, heir to the McGunn’s ancestral enemies. When the clipper carrying McRae’s new bride is caught in a violent storm and docks at Wrath harbour, Bruce decides to revert to the old ways and hold the clipper and the woman to ransom. However, far from the spoilt heiress he expected, Rose is genuine, funny and vulnerable – a ray of sunshine in the long, harsh winter that has become his life.
Rose is determined to escape Wrath and its proud master – the man she calls McGlum. Will she be reunited with Cameron McRae, the dazzlingly handsome aristocrat she married after a whirlwind romance in Algiers, or will she risk her heart and her honour to help Bruce discover the truth about his past and solve the brutal murders committed on his land?
Hello Marie, and welcome to Being Anne. Would you like to introduce yourself?
Bonjour, Anne, and thank you so much for welcoming me on your blog today. I come from Lyon in France, a beautiful town with a rich past, fantastic architecture and gorgeous food, and have been living in the Rossendale valley in Lancashire for quite a number of years now. I write both historical and contemporary romance, always with a ‘French twist’! My latest historical romance is a trilogy set in the far North of Scotland, and which is published by Áccent Press like my other titles.
Now why would a French woman living in Lancashire decide to write a historical trilogy set in Scotland?
I always dreamt of going to Scotland and have read a great number of historical romances set there, so it was inevitable that I should want to set one of my stories there. The déclic, as we say in French, happened one day when I was looking at a map of Scotland. I very often find inspiration from maps, and that day was no exception. I saw the name ‘Cape Wrath’ and something clicked in my mind. That was where my hero would be from, where he had his lonely castle and where my heroine would arrive on a stormy winter’s day.
Why the switch from contemporary to historical – wouldn’t life have been so much easier if you’d stayed with the contemporary, like A Spell in Provence?
I enjoy writing both genres immensely, Anne. I have actually written another contemporary romantic suspense set in Scotland which I am in the process of editing, but I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of writing historical romance. My latest historical romance is a short story entitled Sons of the Wind which is set in Provence near Arles, and was released last July in an anthology, Letterbox Love Stories. I am currently writing another historical short story for an anthology to be released in March next year, as well as a contemporary romance. I have too many ideas, and not enough time!
I always think history and romance go together rather well though – which element do you enjoy writing the most?
I enjoy everything about writing a story, but I do love the research. I always find great nuggets of information, or quirky facts that send my story into a new direction, or deepen my understanding of a character and his or her motives.
Tell me a bit more about your research…lots of time in Scotland? Or more books and the internet?
Unfortunately, it was books and the internet. I have only been to Scotland a couple of times. Once was a family holiday near Dumfries, and we loved it so much we promised ourselves that we would go back. Sadly all we managed since was a short break in Edinburgh, and I didn’t even see half the things I wanted to see. My sons kept moaning about their sore feet and all they wanted to do was eat!
I am however determined to travel to the Highlands some day, and experience all the majestic landscapes I have only seen in documentaries or on photos.
Having said that, I feel very lucky to have access to the internet. There is so much out there. It’s a wonderful research tool. I am also fortunate to be able to access research material both in French and in English, which was really useful since a story line is centred around the Ouled Nail dancers of Algeria in North Africa, and a lot of material about Algeria is in French. If you are interested in the research I carried out for Dancing For The Devil, I blogged about some of the resources I used on my blog here.
Thank you so much for welcoming me today, Anne. It was a pleasure talking to you!
Thank you Marie – it was lovely to meet you, and I do look forward to doing so properly at our Book Connectors Christmas lunch!