I am so happy to see my historical romance QUEEN OF THE DESERT published by Choc Lit UK this February, and just can’t stop admiring the book’s gorgeous cover! This novel is very dear to me, and not the least because of the love story between the brave and unconventional heroine Harriet Montague and the seemingly harsh and mercenary hero Lucas Saintclair, but because of its setting – North Africa – which has always fascinated me.
My mother grew up in Algeria and she told me and my sisters so many stories of her childhood there that ever since I was little I have dreamt of going there for myself. Algeria is a vast country, stretching from a beautiful coastline to the Sahara desert in the far South.
Visiting Algiers’ Kasbah with its ancient mosques and ottoman palaces, seeing the stunning Roman ruins of Timgad or Tipaza, the fortified villages – the ksars and beautiful oases of the Sahara, and the peaks of the Hoggar mountains (or Ahaggar as it is sometimes called) and stunning rock art paintings is an ambition I may probably never fulfil, but at least I had the joy to travel there by using my imagination as I wrote QUEEN OF THE DESERT.
I loved every minute of writing Harriet’s and Lucas’s story and of researching some of the history, myths and legends of the Tuareg people, as well as their culture and traditions, and finding out about their mystical queen, Tin Hinan. Whilst writing QUEEN OF THE DESERT I discovered a fascinating culture, read beautiful poetry and listened to some wonderful musicians who accompanied me in my imaginary journey, among which Bombino, Imzad-Ténéré or again Tinariwen. Music really does bring people and hearts together.
About the book:
Sometimes the most precious treasures exist in the most barren and inhospitable of places … Harriet Montague is definitely too much of a gentlewoman to be frequenting the backstreet taverns of Algiers. But her father has been kidnapped whilst on an expedition to the tomb of an ancient desert queen, and she’s on a mission to find
the only person who could save him. It’s just unfortunate that Lucas Saintclair, the man Harriet hopes will rescue her father from scoundrels, is the biggest scoundrel of the lot. With a bribe in the form of a legendary pirate treasure map, securing his services is the easiest part – now Harriet must endure a treacherous journey through the desert accompanied by Saintclair’s band of ruffians. But on the long, hot Saharan nights, is it any wonder that her heart begins to thaw towards her guide – especially when she realises Lucas’s roguish façade conceals something she could never have expected?
Buying links for Queen of the Desert:
Apple Books: https://apple.co/33C9nk2
About the Author:
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire and writes historical and contemporary romance. Best-selling LITTLE PINK TAXI was her debut contemporary romantic novel with Choc Lit. A PARIS FAIRY TALE was published in July 2019, followed by BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC in November 2019 and bestselling romantic suspense ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Award. HAPPY DREAMS AT MERMAID COVE is her latest contemporary romance. QUEEN OF THE DESERT is Marie’s second historical romance, following on from ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE which features another member of the Saintclair family.
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.