My Friday Reads this week is The Dream Catcher, the first book in the darkly romantic historical trilogy Dancing for the Devil, by fellow Accent author, Marie Laval. Doesn't the cover look hauntingly atmospheric?
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?
The Dancing for the Devil trilogy is now available as a box set and includes THE DREAM CATCHER, BLUE BONNETS and SWORD DANCE - download it from Amazon here
5 Star Review for THE DREAM CATCHER
̒I love Marie Laval's atmospheric writing - especially in her historical novels - and this latest release didn't disappoint at all! From the very first sentence I was hooked. The heroine, Rose, is travelling from north Africa and has arrived at Cape Wrath in stormy seas - a forbidding location off the coast of Scotland, with an even more forbidding hero in the form of the Scot Lord McGunn, who proceeds to hold her hostage.
This is an arresting and original story, full of suspense, well-researched, with great descriptions of the Scottish setting and a wonderfully likeable heroine. This is the first book in the Dancing with the Devil trilogy and it ends on a cliff-hanger. I can't wait to read the next book (Blue Bonnets) to find out what happens next to Rose and her brooding Lord "McGlum"!̕
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the beautiful RossendaleValley, Lancashire, England, for the past few years and likes nothing more than dreaming up romance stories and handsome, brooding heroes. She writes historical and contemporary romance. Her contemporary romance, bestselling A SPELL IN PROVENCE, as well as her historical romances, ANGEL HEART, THE LION'S EMBRACE, and the DANCING FOR THE DEVIL Trilogy (which includes THE DREAM CATCHER, BLUE BONNETS and SWORD DANCE) are published by Áccent Press. Her short story SONS OF THE WIND was her contribution to LETTERBOX LOVE STORIES, a romantic anthology by international bestselling authors, which was released in July.
I asked Marie to tell us a bit more about herself
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes! From as long as I remember I was always scribbling in my diary or a Clairefontaine notebook. As a teenager, I used to write short stories and silly play scripts with my best friend that we would then act out with much laughing and giggling. To this day I still remember our masterpiece, entitled 'In the Silence of the Jungle'! A few years after moving to England, I became more self-confident about my ability to write in English and started writing short stories first, then novels.
Has any author inspired you?
I always read a lot and across many genres, and there are many authors have greatly influenced me, including French authors Barbey D'Aurevilly and Maupassant, and the wonderful Joseph Kessel and Colette. But it was Delly which sparked my love for romance. You probably have never heard of Delly, the pen name for a brother-sister writing partnership in the 1950s but even if they were quite old-fashioned, I used to devour their historical romances as a teenager, and dream of strong, dark and brooding heroes...I still do!
What do you like writing most?
I love writing romance with a touch of mystery or paranormal.
Do you have a special place for writing?
We moved house a few months ago and after years of writing on the dining room table, I now have a study and it's absolutely wonderful. The only problem is the view since I overlook the drive, but it doesn't really matter. My ideal writing space would be in a room overlooking the sea...Perhaps one day.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
A complete pantster, I'm afraid. Like my characters, I never know what's going to happen next. Not planning enough may be fun, but it also causes me to waste quite a lot of time. Every time I start a new story I resolve to plot more and not rush into things, but every time it's the same and I end up backtracking, deleting, rewriting...
Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?
Many of my short stories and much of the background to my historical romance THE LION'S EMBRACE were inspired by my mothers' childhood in Algeria and her incredibly exotic family, in particular her maternal grandfather, an impoverished Italian aristocrat who emigrated to North Africa in the nineteenth century, leaving behind the family castle near Turin and a casket of jewels that was rightfully his (well, that's the story, I am sure the reality was very different!). My mother would tell us about her brothers' crazy stunts, especially my uncle Roger who would go fishing with a spear, dressed - or rather undressed - in a loincloth to emulate Johnny Weissmuller who then starred as Tarzan at the cinema. She also had wonderful tales of superstitions and ghostly encounters that used to scare my sisters and me to death!
What a fascinating family, Marie. No wonder you find them inspiring.
What are you writing at the moment?
I have different projects on the go, as usual. I am writing a Christmas novella set in the Lake District which I am hoping will be the first in a series. I am also researching the background to a romantic suspense novel set in Paris. I would also like to revisit a historical romance which is almost finished, if I have time.
What inspired you to write this book?
The idea for my Christmas novella came from a short holiday in the Lakes earlier in August, and as usual, from spotting a couple of quirky names on a map! From there I started thinking about a village and different people who might live there and dreaming up a Christmas story...
What time of the day do you write best?
Any time, basically. As a full-time teacher, I can't write very much during the week in term time, although I do try to set aside at least half-an-hour every evening. I tend to write early in the morning at weekends, and of course, holidays are pure writing heaven.
What are your hobbies?
Can day-dreaming, eating cake and drinking coffee be classified as hobbies? If not, then I'm a bit boring, really. I do love walking. Living in the beautiful RossendaleValley in Lancashire, I only have to step out of my house to find myself in the hills. I think that nothing beats being outside in the fresh air to de-stress and find ideas for my plots. My other hobby is, of course, reading.
What advice would you give to other writers?
To carry on doing what you love.
Good advice, Marie!
You can find out more about Marie here:
and lastly on Facebook Facebook Author Page
Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your fascintating trilogy, Marie. Wishing you lots of sales!