An Affair of the Poisons Book One
Dazzled by Versailles. Broken by tragedy. Consumed by revenge.
When Fleur de La Fontaine attends the court of King Louis XIV for the first time, she is soon besotted with handsome courtier, Philippe de Mortain. She dreams of married life away from her uncaring mother, but Philippe keeps a secret from her.
Nine months later, after the boy she has given birth to in a convent is whisked away, she flees to Paris where she mends gowns in the brothel of Madame Claudette, a woman who helps ‘fallen’ girls back on their feet.
Jacques de Montagnac investigates a spate of abducted children when his path crosses Fleur’s. He searches for her son, but the trail leads to a dead end – and a dreadful realisation.
Her boy’s suspected fate too much to bear, Fleur decides to avenge him. She visits the famous midwife, La Voisin, but it’s not the woman’s skills in childbirth that Fleur seeks.
La Voisin dabbles in poisons.
Will Fleur see her plan through? Or can she save herself from a tragic fate?
Hello, and thank you for hosting me today. It’s a pleasure to be here and to share a bit about my writing life.
When and where do you prefer to write?
I have an office upstairs, with a view – in the distance – of the walls of the citadel of Carcassonne, so I enjoy spending time at my desk, gazing out over the town towards the old walls. It’s incredibly inspiring. But I also happily write in our porch or in the garden.
The best time, for me, to write is in the afternoon into the evening. I’m not a morning person at all! I need three cups of coffee to get started…
Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?
Sometimes. It’s usually quiet at home as hubby’s also working, but I do love to take the laptop to a café once in a while. It’s surprising how much you can get written without the temptation to ‘quickly’ check emails or social media. The noise usually fades into the background when I get into the ‘zone’.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Oh, that’s a good one! I’m quite stubborn, so I best work alone, but if I had the chance, I’d love to have worked with the wonderful Sharon Penman.
Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
Hahaha, I’d love to be the ‘bad one’. I find antagonists so much easier to write. I love their flaws. So yes, I’d definitely prefer to be a ‘baddie’. Perhaps a poisoner??
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
Hmm. There are so many. For ‘real’ historical people, definitely Eleanor of Aquitaine and Hildegard of Bingen, two of my great heroines. As for writers, I’d love a chat with Matthew Harffy or Elizabeth Chadwick about their research.
Where can I find you when you are reading?
Usually in my bed. It’s the calmest place to be to read and relax.
Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
I’ll be exploring castles and ruins! Where I live, around Carcassonne in the south of France, there are so many medieval ruins, I’m spoilt for choice. But I’ve also visited many in Scotland, Wales, England and Germany. I’m a bit obsessed by old, crumbling buildings…
What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
It’s a very special moment, that. So exciting. You get a real sense of achievement. But my mind’s already on the next book!
How do you come up with a title for your book?
It’s not easy at all. Some titles reveal themselves, like my dual-timeline story Love Lost in Time did. It was just ‘there’.
But at other times, you have to think really hard, playing with various options that fit the theme, timeframe and style. For example, with The Shadows of Versailles, I had to bear the whole series in mind, keeping the title in style with subsequent novels (I have four titles in the series already, whilst working on Book #2, The Alchemist’s Daughter).
How do you pick a cover for your book?
It depends. Some of my covers I spotted on cover art sites, and I’ve found some really reliable ones. But I’m fortunate in that my husband is a cover designer (one of his many publishing-related talents). He has a great eye for a good, eye-catching image. I’m woefully bad at imagining my covers, so I tend to call on him for help.
Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. I really enjoyed your questions, and I hope your readers will like my answers.
Thank you, Cathie Dunn and The Coffee Pot Book Club
About the Author
Cathie Dunn writes historical fiction, mystery, and romance.
Cathie has been writing for over twenty years. She studied Creative Writing, with a focus on novel writing, which she now teaches in the south of France. She loves researching for her novels, delving into history books, and visiting castles and historic sites.
Her stories have garnered awards and praise from reviewers and readers for their authentic description of the past.
Cathie is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors.
After nearly two decades in Scotland, she now lives in the historic city of Carcassonne in the south of France with her husband, two cats and a rescue dog.
Amazon Author Page: https://author.to/CathieDunn
Universal Link (if you have it): Amazon: https://mybook.to/ShadowsVersailles
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B08LHC27F7/