I’m delighted to be joined by Marie Laval for a quick author spotlight today. Her latest book, Escape to the Little Chateau, is published today by ChocLit. I do rather like the sound of her work in progress too set on the Isle of Skye. I loved Marie’s Christmas book last year, Bluebell’s Christmas Magic, and this new book sounds like a lovely read too. You’ll find buying options on the ChocLit website here: Escape to the Little Chateau
First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I am French and grew up in a small village near the beautiful city of Lyon where I went to university. The more I think about growing up, the more I realise how lucky I was. We were in the countryside, and I remember sunny days cycling with my best friend, and stopping for impromptu picnics in apple orchards – but always keeping an eye out for the farmer in case he spotted us – but we were also only a bus ride from the city, with all the shops, cinemas, and the nightlife. I came to live in England thirty one years ago, which I find hard to believe…
I first worked at the University of Manchester, then retrained as a teacher, and that’s what I am now. I was however always a dreamer and I loved nothing more than making up stories – romantic stories, in particular.
I will always remember the excitement of having my first short story accepted for an anthology – that was twenty-six years ago! – and later when my first novel, a historical romance, was published. I am still has happy and excited seven years later to see Escape to the Little Chateau being released by Choc Lit.
What inspired you to start writing?
I had a vivid imagination from a very young age, and used to make up stories all the time. I started writing them down when I was older, and when a few of my short stories were well received, I thought I could try to write a full-length novel. I then attended a brilliant one day writing workshop, which was organised by Calderdale libraries near where I live, and which gave me the confidence I needed.
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
Amy Carter is starting a new life in Provence where she bought an old and derelict farmhouse, Bellefontaine, that she’s had renovated and is hoping to turn into a guesthouse. Though she has big plans for her new home, none of them involves falling in love – least of all with Fabien Coste, the handsome but arrogant owner of a nearby château. As romance blossoms between Amy and Fabien, eerie and strange happenings at Bellefontaine hint at a dark mystery which dates back many centuries. Amy soon realises that it’s not only her heart which is in danger, but her life too…
How do you plan to celebrate publication day?
I will be at work all day, so celebrations will have to wait until the evening. A glass of Prosecco with my family would be just lovely.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I am working on several projects, as usual! I have too many ideas and not enough time… My current project is a contemporary romance set on the Isle of Skye. My heroine is a mobile librarian who has run away from a failed relationship and accepted a job at Mermaid’s Cove, working for the local laird. She falls in love with him, but the past has a way of catching up with both of them.
What are you reading just now?
I am reading, and loving, A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore. I had very much enjoyed Bringing Down the Duke and this new novel is just as wonderful! I am really looking forward to the next in the series.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
It would be a book of poetry, or perhaps an art book filled with photos of paintings…
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
More about Marie
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire and writes historical and contemporary romance. Best-selling LITTLE PINK TAXI was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit. A PARIS FAIRY TALE was published in July 2019, followed by BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC in November 2019. She also writes short stories for the bestselling Miss Moonshine anthologies, and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.
Her novels are available as ebooks and audiobooks on Amazon and various other platforms.