Character Interview:Marie-Ange from Angel Heart by Marie Laval
A mysterious Templar relic.
A web of intrigue and lies.
A woman about to lose her heart.
Marie-Ange, the young widow of an English officer, accepts an inheritance in France only to find that everything in Beauregard is not as it seems. Why is the sinister Malleval so obsessed with her family? What exactly is this mysterious Templar Cross he believes Marie-Ange can lead him to? And could her darling husband Christopher still be alive?
Marie-Ange finds herself trapped in a dangerous web of lies, political intrigue and mystical possession, and the only person to whom she can turn for help is Captain Hugo Saintclair. Yet the enigmatic Hugo represents a danger of a different kind …
Angel Heart is a lavish mix of romance, adventure and a hint of the supernatural, largely set in France against the turbulent background of Napoleon’s return from Elba and his ultimate defeat at Waterloo.
Hello Cheryl and thank you very much for welcoming me on your blog again. Today I am interviewing Marie-Ange, the heroin of my debut historical romance ANGEL HEART, which was published in October 2012 by MuseitUp Publishing.
First, let's set the scene. We are in Paris, in January 1815. It is very late at night and a young woman sits alone in her bedroom at the Golden Pheasant, a small but respectable inn rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. Red embers glow faintly in the fireplace, the room is dark and the young woman shivers in her blue dressing gown, which is old and frayed, and far too big for her. I step closer. I would love to know who she is and why she looks so sad.
1) Who are you? I ask in a soft voice so that I don't startle her.
She looks up and I am struck by the intense, pale blue of her eyes. She pulls the lapels of the dressing gown more tightly around her body and lets out a deep sigh.
'My name is Marie-Ange Norton', she answers, 'and right now, I don't really know who I am anymore. Until tonight, I believed I was the daughter of Catherine Beauregard, a French aristocrat who fled the horrors of the Revolution, and William Jones, a lawyer from Plymouth.'
She lets out a deep sigh and stares into the dying fire. 'The thing is, I just found out that William Jones wasn't my father after all...'
2) Are you married?
'Yes!' she answers immediately, and this time her eyes shine and a smile stretches her lips. 'I married the love of my life, Christopher Norton six years ago. They all said he died when his ship sank at the battle of Corunna, but I knew it wasn't true, I knew he was alive!'
She leans a little closer and whispers. 'I saw him this morning, by pure chance, when he was visiting minister of police Fouché. I talked to him, but he didn't recognise me. Poor Christopher, he is much changed. He looks harsher, meaner. He must have lost his memory. These things happen in battle. I don't know why he was visiting Fouché, because there is no way my Christopher would work for such an evil man.'
She closes her eyes and adds in a fervent voice. 'I will find him again, and this time I will make sure he remembers me. Everybody told me to forget about him, but I never could.' She points to her old blue dressing gown. 'This is his, you know. I wear it every single night.'
3) Are you staying in Paris or going somewhere?
'I am travelling to Beauregard, near Lyon, to meet Uxeloup Malleval, a relative of my mother's who invited me to collect my inheritance.'
She shudders. 'I heard such dreadful things about his father Edmond - the ambitious, blood-thirty revolutionary man who married my grandmother. I can only hope Uxeloup is nothing like him.'
Pensive, she strokes the cover of an old sketchbook. 'I cannot wait to see Beauregard, where my mother grew up. She loved the chateau so much she made dozens of sketches of it.'
4) Is this her sketchbook?
'It is indeed. Uxeloup Malleval insisted that I brought it with me. I don't see why he should be so interested in old drawings and watercolours. It's not as if the sketchbook contains any important secret, is it?'
5) Who is the man I saw you with - the tall, dark-haired gentleman who looked very annoyed when you came back from the Opera earlier tonight?
'Capitaine Hugo Saintclair? He is always in a bad mood! He is a friend of Uxeloup Malleval's and my escort to Beauregard. He doesn't like me because I belong to an old aristocratic family whereas he had to fight every step of the way to get to the top and become a cuirassier officer.'
She shakes her head. 'The man is so arrogant. He believes that no woman can resist him! How wrong he is! I could never be seduced by a brutish, insufferable and bad-tempered man like him.'
6) It is very late and I must go now, but before I leave, I would like to ask one last question. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?
Marie-Ange joins her hands and answers. 'I simply must find my darling Christopher, and help him remember the love we had. Then I would like to spend some time in Beauregard and get to know the place where my mother grew up. Who knows, maybe I'll find some long lost treasure...'
Her cheeks flush and her eyes shine a little more brightly. 'My third wish would be to be rid of that awful Capitaine Saintclair, and never, ever, to see him again!'
(I can't help thinking that her voice is a little too forceful when she says that, as if she is trying to convince herself.) Thank you Marie-Ange, and good luck for the rest of your journey to Beauregard.
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie Laval studied Law and French History at university there, and developed a passionate interest in the Knights Templar and their association with the occult. She has used her specialist knowledge now to create this stunningly lavish mix of romance, adventure and a hint of the supernatural, largely set in her native France. Marie now lives in Lancashire, Northern England, where she tries to balance her passion for writing with her busy family life and her job as a foreign languages teacher. ANGEL HEART is Marie Laval’s debut novel. It is published by Muse it Up Publishing. Her second historical romance THE LION’S EMBRACE was released by MuseitUp in February 2013. You can meet Marie here: http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/ http://museituppublishing.com/