On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo
I am so pleased to welcome, Marie Laval to Sunday Brunch
Good morning, Jo, and thank you so much for welcoming me on your blog once again. Last time we had brunch together it was still summer and I remember that we had a picnic with lots of fresh summer food. Today however it’s absolutely freezing here in Lancashire and we still have snow on the ground, so we will definitely not venture outside!
🍴Welcome back, Marie. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
This winter has been so cold, and let’s face it, rather depressing, and I have craved solid, stodgy foods and plenty of carbs. So today I will bring scones – cheese and fruit - scrambled eggs, bacon and baked beans, which I absolutely love. We don’t have them in France and I remember eating them almost every day when I came to England as student to do a three month placement in Wigan. I will also have tomato and basil soup to eat with the cheese scones. For the sake of a balanced diet, I will also have some fruit – some grape and a few clementines, and let’s not forget the strawberry jam for my sweet scone!
🍴Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
Americano, but not very strong. I don’t drink milk but I have two sugars, even if I know it’s not very good for me.
🍴Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
The kitchen table. It’s the best place in the house, as far as I’m concerned.
🍴Shall we have music playing in the background? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you happy?
I will have Ella Fitzgerald, my all time favourite singer, singing ‘I’m Just a Lucky So and So’ in the background. I love that song! I would follow with some jazz and Jimmy Hodges’ fantastic sax…
🍴Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
Maurice Druon, who wrote the epic historical novels ‘The Accursed Kings’ in the Seventies, which some people have claimed were the ‘original Game of Thrones.’ The novels are the story of the French monarchy in the 14th century and start when Philip the Fair is cursed by the last Great Master of the Knights Templar. I devoured them all as a teenager, and they greatly influenced me when it came to writing ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, especially the subplot about the Knights Templar treasure.
🍴Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?
I am not sure I will have time to read as there is so much delicious food to eat, but I will bring a book I got for my birthday last year about living and travelling on a canal boat… which is research for a short story I am working on…
🍴When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet!
Unfortunately I have a full list of them, but THE BLUE MANUSCRIPT by Sabiha al Khemir is definitely my next read. It is the story of an archaeological dig in a remote part of Egypt that my eldest son gave me for Christmas, knowing my interest in the history of North Africa. First, however, I have to finish Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, which a work colleague recommended ages ago and which I have finally started this week!
🍴What’s the oldest book on your book shelf?
A 1923 Guide Bleu of Algeria and Tunisia published by Hachette. It was a present a few years ago and I cherish it.
🍴Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
My inspiration could come from anywhere and everywhere! A song, a road sign, a conversation, a television programme or just a childhood memory….I am currently working on a contemporary romance set on Skye, and the inspiration came from the photo of a yellow Scottish mobile library a friend posted on Facebook.
🍴Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
I find it easier to write in winter. We have a lovely small garden, and in the summer I love spending time out there, but I can’t bring my laptop because it overheats very quickly and the glare of the light on the screen makes it impossible for me to type. My favourite pace to write is my small, messy study.
🍴When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
I am very easily distracted, mostly when I do research. It is so tempting to follow an interesting thread and hop from one fun or fascinating anecdote to another, none of them having anything to do with my story! I must also confess that I am easily distracted by online shopping. I bring my focus back by giving myself a good telling off!
🍴Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs?
A notebook and a good pen. Access to the internet for research. And coffee! If am allowed another item, I would add chocolate…
🍴What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
My latest novel, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, will be released by Choc Lit on February 23rd. It’s a historical novel, and a new and completely revised edition of a novel previously published about six years ago. I loved writing that story, not only because I completely fell in love with the hero Hugo Saintclair, but because it is set in and around Lyon, the beautiful city where I grew up.
The novel is full of mystery and action, secret societies and political intrigue, and of course romance! Researching and writing the story was pure pleasure from beginning to end.
Here is the blurb for the novel:
When young widow, Marie-Ange Norton is invited to Beauregard in France by the mysterious Monsieur Malleval to collect an inheritance, she has no choice but to accept.
But when she embarks on the voyage with her fiery-tempered travelling companion Capitaine Hugo Saintclair, little does she know what waits for her across the sea in turbulent nineteenth-century France on the eve of Napoleon’s return from exile. When she arrives, she is taken aback by Malleval’s fascination with her family – seemingly inspired by his belief they are connected to a sacred relic he’s read about in coded manuscripts by the Knights Templar.
As it becomes clear that Malleval’s obsession has driven him to madness, Marie-Ange is horrified to realise she is more the man’s prisoner than his guest. Not only that, but Hugo is the only person who might be able to help her, and he could represent a different kind of danger ...
Marie, where can we follow you on social media?
More about Marie
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for the past few years. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels are published by Choc Lit and include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels LITTLE PINK TAXI and ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU, shortlisted for the Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense category of the 2021 RNA Awards, as well as A PARIS FAIRY TALE and BLUEBELL'S CHRISTMAS MAGIC.
Her latest novel, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, will be released in February 2021.
Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine's Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Marie Laval’s latest novel, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, is released on February 23rd by Choc Lit. It is available from amazon
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