Meet the Exquisite Quill Authors

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Author Interview: Marie Laval

EQ Welcomes Marie Laval

EQ: Welcome to EQ! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Marie: Originally from Lyon in France, I studied History and Law at university there before moving to Lancashire where I am still trying to get used to the damp weather! I worked in a variety of jobs, from PA in a busy university department to teacher in adult education and secondary schools. Writing, however, was always my passion and I spend most of my free time dreaming about plots and characters and making up stories, mostly historical romances. I have however recently strayed away from historical fiction and signed a contact with Áccent Press for a contemporary romantic suspense set in Provence.

EQ: Tell us about your most recent release.

Marie: THE LION'S EMBRACE was published in February 2013 by MuseitUp Publishing. It is my second historical romance and is set mainly in North Africa in the 1840s.

Here is the back cover 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?

EQ: What are your top three guilty pleasures?

Marie: I know it isn't original but I do have a weakness for cake, especially many of the lovely cakes we have in France such as 'éclairs' filled with either vanilla or chocolate cream, and 'millefeuilles'. Every time I return to France for holidays one of my first stop is at a pâtisserie to pick a selection of lovely cakes.

I also love cutting hair and my poor children were my reluctant guinea pigs for many years and more than once had to go out with a 'wonky fringe'.

My last guilty pleasure is snatching a few minutes of reading time when I should be working or cleaning the house!

EQ: Describe how you create characters.

Marie: Characters seem to appear to me all of a sudden, and strangely enough and they usually come with a name as well, or at least a first name. I am also very lucky that I don't need to search through pictures of actors or models to get a very strong mental picture of what they look like, especially for the hero and the heroine. In fact I often dream of them just before coming up with the idea for a story.   

EQ: What kinds of female characters do you prefer to write?

Marie: I tend to prefer heroines with whom I can identify. I am not very self-confident or vocal therefore my favourite female characters are usually quiet and unassuming but they become more assertive as the plot unfolds and they have to face tricky and dangerous situations, and a totally irresistible hero of course. 

You will find Marie Laval at

THE LION'S EMBRACE, MuseitUp Publishing is available at

My debut historical romance, ANGEL HEART, MuseitUp Publishing is available at
and at


E. Ayers said...

Thank you for being a guest! Your story is fascinating and now I must add The Lion's Embrace to my pile! Why? Because it's different!

Ah, French pastries! They are as beautiful as they are delicious!

Waving hello from Virginia, USA.

Marie Laval said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today. And yes, you are right, French pastries are indeed both beautiful and delicious!

Anonymous said...

I agree about the French pastries! And I've read The Lion's Embrace and loved it, from the fabulous setting to the hero. Looking forward to your next release, Marie!

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

The Lion's Embrace sounds fascinating, Marie. Thanks for being here today.

Marie Laval said...

Thank you for visiting Helena and for your kind comment. I am looking forward to meeting you in Hebden Bridge!

Marie Laval said...

Thanks Jane! It's a pleasure to be on the blog today.