I’m very happy, today, to welcome the delightful Marie Laval to my blog. I see Marie now and then at various functions (doesn’t that sound grand! Hah!) and she really is a lovely lady, so it’s a real pleasure to see the Five Photos that she has selected to share with us. Welcome, Marie.
I was delighted when Sharon offered me a slot on her very popular Five Photos Blog, but then panic set in… What photos could I select, and would anyone be interested in any of them?
I wasn’t sure what to post, and wondered whether I should post photos of the places I visit on holiday, such as Dorset or Northumberland, or again Provence or the Auvergne region in France, but in the end I realised that what really mattered to me was the people I love. My family.
So my very first photo is of my mother when she was about twenty and living in Algeria. She was always my role model, and I can truly say that she was the sunshine in our lives as my sisters and I were growing up. I still miss her terribly, even though it is now more than twenty three years since she died. Her stories of growing up in North Africa inspired some of my stories – the Lion’s Embrace and The Cemetery of the Two Princesses – and one of my dreams is to visit the place where she grew up one day.
My second photo is of me during a school trip to London and Windsor in the summer of 1977 – I know, such a long time ago! This was the defining moment for me since it was when I fell in love with England and everything English (except perhaps jelly!). After that school trip, all I ever did was read novels and plays set in England, and I ever wanted was to come and live here…which I did!
Nath et Moi, 1981
The third photo is of my friend Nathalie. We grew up together, living two doors down from each other in a small village near Lyon. We played dolls, wrote plays, poems, fake radio broadcasts. We wanted to be princesses, so we dressed up in silly costumes and went out wearing wigs that I would make out of yellow wool. We would play pranks on people, invented ‘fake friends’ so convincingly that people still ask us today how our friend ‘Josepine’ is! And later on we listened to the same songs over and over and cried together about the boys we fell in love with. This photo was taken in 1981 during a holiday in the Alps. All I can remember from that holiday is that we laughed from morning to night about absolutely nothing!
Repas Famille, 2003
When my two boys were little I used to go back home twice a year, and always in the summer. My fourth photo was taken during my last summer holiday at home before my father died. It was my birthday and my eldest son’s birthday, and I will always treasure the memory of this happy, wonderful day. My father was of Polish descent, his parents having come to live in the North of France after the First World War. My grandfather was a coal miner, and he died of the miners’ lung disease, and my Dad worked really hard to get a bursary and continue his studies. He had a strong personality, and we often clashed when I was growing up, but like my mother, he is still a major influence on me. My two sisters are on the photo too. We are very close and manage to meet up once a year, but I wish we could see one another more often.
My last photo is of my children. My sons are now young men, and my daughter is growing up very fast too, and I am very proud of them.
Thank you very much for reading my post, and thank you Sharon for hosting me today and prompting me to make this journey into the past. I feel a little nostalgic now. Times really does fly…
It was an absolute pleasure, Marie. I’ve loved seeing your photos and reading the memories behind them. Thank you very much for taking part.
More About Marie
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the beautiful Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for a number of years. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors, she writes contemporary and historical romance. Her native France very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!
Bestseller LITTLE PINK TAXI is Marie’s second contemporary romance and is published by Choc Lit. . Her other titles include A Spell in Provence, Angel Heart, The Lion’s Embrace and Dancing for the Devil. She also writes short stories, one of which features in the bestselling Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings, available here.
Little Pink Taxi
Take a ride with Love Taxis, the cab company with a Heart …
Rosalie Heart is a well-known face in Irlwick – well, if you drive a bright pink taxi and your signature style is a pink anorak, you’re going to draw a bit of attention! But Rosalie’s company Love Taxis is more than just a gimmick – for many people in the remote Scottish village, it’s a lifeline.
Which is something that Marc Petersen will never understand. Marc’s ruthless approach to business doesn’t extend to pink taxi companies running at a loss. When he arrives in Irlwick to see to a new acquisition – Raventhorn, a rundown castle – it’s apparent he poses a threat to Rosalie’s entire existence; not just her business, but her childhood home too.
On the face of it Marc and Rosalie should loathe each other, but what they didn’t count on was somebody playing cupid …
Little Pink Taxi is available here