A Magical Shop in Paris Generates a Novel

deyrolleToday is release day for Lark Brennan’s second book in The Durand Chronicles. This is a series based on the psychic skills of the powerful Durand family and their war against the evil faction in the world; the Dissemblers, who thrive on creating chaos and death. IRRESISTIBLY YOURS is Adrien’s story, the most powerful member of the Durand family. What’s compelling in this fast-paced adventure/thriller is the inner demons he faces and the critical decisions he’s forced to make for the family’s survival. It’s a riveting read, and I’m pleased to welcome Lark back to KaT today!

Tell us where did you got the idea for IRRESISTIBLY YOURS?LarkBrennan_IrresistiblyYours_HR

On a rainy January day in Paris, my husband and I were strolling down the rue du Bac when a window display of framed insect specimens caught his eye.

We went into the charming little garden shop, browsed for a few minutes, and were about to leave when the woman behind the counter told us we absolutely must go upstairs.

We weren’t expecting much, but it was raining and cold outside so we climbed the worn stairs and emerged among Deyrolle’s incredible collection of taxidermy animals—featuring every species from elephants and giraffes to donkeys, wolves, rabbits, and even mice–all posed as though they are having a jolly time in the elegant townhouse. Then and there I fell in love with the place and every creature in it.54

I joked to my husband, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the man who owned Deyrolle could bring the animals to life when no one was around?” That imaginary man later became Adrien Durand, and IRRESISTIBLY YOURS is his story.

It was important that Adrien Durand’s ability to animate the taxidermy animals of the Maison d’Ermonie have a plausible and serious purpose that makes him uniquely qualified to be head of the family. The last thing I wanted was to write a Night at the Museum Meets Doctor Dolittle comedy.

Instead, the entire structure of the psychic world evolved around what the ‘animals’ are and the enormous stakes the family has in protecting them. Although the paranormal elements are an integral part of the world, the story includes suspense, international intrigue, a bit of pseudo-science and, of course, a love story.

Tell us a little about Adrien and Tate.

Adrien2 (2)

Lark’s inspiration for Adrien

One of the most powerful telepaths in the world, Adrien loved being a covert agent in the Durands’ war against their ancient enemies and hates being trapped in Paris running the family’s worldwide business empire. The one thing he treasures is his ability to connect with the beings who inhabit Maison d’Ermonie’s taxidermy animals—until Tate shows up and his world is turned upside down.

Tate is an animal telepath and empath from Indiana who has hidden her abilities in order to protect herself. The joy in her life comes from volunteering in animal rescue organizations where she can help animals with her unique abilities. When she meets Adrien, for the first time she doesn’t need to hide who she is–which makes it far too easy to fall hopelessly in love with him.

Are The Durand Chronicles a continuous story or does each book stand alone?

The books can definitely stand alone although I think they’re more fun to read in order. Each is a complete romantic suspense with a different Durand cousin as the hero or heroine.  There’s an over-arching story that threads through the series but it’s very easy to pick up at any point. Some of the characters from Book 1 appear in Book 2 and readers are introduced to new family members–all navigating tricky family dynamics.

LarkBrennan_DangerouslyYours_2500px

Released last year

The Durand Chronicles have been called a mash-up of suspense, romance, adventure, and paranormal. How would you describe the stories?

You forgot science fiction. 🙂 I call them romantic suspense with a psychic element. The series takes place in the present in the Real World but unbeknownst to the general population, some people have genetic-based psychic abilities. The Durands are among the most powerful of those psychics.

Each book has a fast-paced suspense plot. For two centuries the Durands have been waging a covert war with a faction of psychics bent on controlling non-psychics by creating chaos, destruction and terrorism, and that conflict is always in the background. In IRRESISTIBLY YOURS, a new, unsuspected enemy sets out to destroy Adrien and his entire family using both psychic and legal manipulation—and manages to throw suspicion on Tate and divide the family in the process. 

Could you give us a short excerpt based on your visit to Deyrolle, so the readers can see the charming humor the animals bring to the story? (Readers: There really IS a horse to greet you as you reach the top of the stairs!)

Excerpt

Tate’s smile wilted as Adrien led her through the gallery of stuffed animals to reception. He was sorry to disappoint her but the sooner she was gone, the better. What had passed between them when he touched her was out of his control, and nothing in this place could ever be out of his control. That was who he was and what he was.

“Thank you,” she said. You and this enchanted place are what I’ll remember of Paris.

He’d read her thoughts and his instincts went on high alert. She sensed too much. “Would you like to have lunch?” he asked.

“I wish I could. I’m due at the convention center at one.”

“Tomorrow, perhaps? Here at twelve thirty?”

Her eyes lit up and he was rewarded with a lovely smile.

“I’d like that.” She stroked the horse’s neck on her way down the stairs. “It was nice meeting you, Maurice. Au revoir, Mr. Durand.”

His reply lodged in his throat. “Bye,” he managed as she disappeared down the stairs.

When the door below closed he whirled on the horse. “Maurice? How the hell did she know your name?”

The horse’s ear twitched. A good guess?

“I don’t think so.” He turned so he could address the room. “What’s going on here?”

Louis, a huge African lion, replied. Don’t you like her?

“I don’t even know her. And anyone showing up here with empathic abilities that strong is suspect. What if she’s a Dissembler?”

She isn’t, Maurice replied. She’s completely untrained and unguarded. You know that. You were in her head the entire time she was here.

“Forget it. I’m not looking for a woman.” Especially an empath.

The llama replied, Tate is different. She felt us. She likes us.

“That is not good. Even if she isn’t a spy, someone sent her here.”

Victor appeared in the doorway. “So who was the empath?”

“Some American tourist,” Adrien snapped.

“What’s your problem?”

He’s taking her to lunch tomorrow, a cheetah confided.

Victor grinned. “Really?”

Adrien groaned. “You’re on my side. Humans stick together.”

“She looked pretty hot to me—in a wholesome sort of way.”

“Drop it. What do you have for me?”

Victor handed him a business card. “His camera crew is due at two o’clock to plan the video shoot. In the ballroom.”

Which was in chaos. Adrien chuckled. “Then let’s go put it in order.”

They entered the ballroom and Victor leaned against the wall, awaiting directions.

Adrien crossed to the center. He stood among the stuffed animals and breathed deeply, focusing on tapping into the power of the Source below. The energy swirled and pulsed until the air crackled. Soon the power surged through him, growing, pounding, expanding until it filled his body and mind with light. Slowly he lifted his arms.

The energy flowed from the Source through him to the Guardians, pure spirits who had taken possession of the stuffed bodies over the past three centuries.

The animals began to move.dss

Thank you so much for sharing the incredible story-behind-the-story. Because I’ve been on this particular book’s journey with you from the first time you handed out pages in a critique group, I made a point of visiting Deyrolle a few years ago, and it was as magical as you described! The most remarkable part of wandering through rooms of vibrant, astonishingly alive-looking animals in the most darling poses was thinking: “Lark nailed it!”

On behalf of my eleven-year critique partner, I’d like to gift 5 digital copies of IRRESISTIBLY YOURS to 5 lucky commenters!

QUESTION: What quirky way does your pet communicate with you? (Can be an animal from your past.) 

Winner will be announced on Friday, June 25th!

 

 

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Lark Brennan

– Author Bio, Social media & Buy Links

 

Lark Brennan’s love of reading, writing and travel — including a few years spent sailing and diving in the Virgin Islands –has led to a string of colorful jobs and a well-worn passport. Her travels have also inspired her romance series, The Durand Chronicles, which takes place in some of her favorite destinations—Paris, British Virgin Islands, New Orleans and Scotland. Lark dreams of one day moving to Paris, and in the meantime lives in Texas with her brilliant husband and two adorable canine “children.”

You can find Lark Brennan at: www.larkbrennan.com

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About Sarah Andre

Romantic Suspense That Keeps You Up All Night! I live in sunny FL, love daydreaming, reading and chocolate. I write in the wee hours of the morning before my helpless hubby and 2 male Pomeranian pups awaken with their demands. :) My debut LOCKED, LOADED and LYING is available now.

Posted on June 21, 2016, in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, book recommendations, Sarah Andre and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. Congrats on your new release, Lark! I agree, David Gandy is very inspiational 🙂
    Loved the excerpt and look forward to reading the novel. Hope you’re celebrating in style!

  2. What a fascinating premise, Lark! I love how you were inspired in Paris, one of my favorite cities. I can’t say my dog Donut is quirky as much as obnoxious. If he wants something, he comes up to me or the kids and jumps on our laps or tries to reach up and jump into our arms. No subtlety there! But I have to admit it works. 🙂

    • You really must visit Deyrolle next time you’re in Paris! I also highly recommend a visit to the Parc Zoologique de Thoiry outside of Paris which was the inspiration for Valtois.

      Glad to hear you dog has “trained” you as well as mine have trained us! They certainly seem to get their point across!

  3. What a fascinating premise, Lark! Since I write contemporary books, I’m always so impressed with authors who create such vibrantly unique worlds. As for pets, we had an imperial cat once who liked to look us in the eye as she casually strolled across the mantlepiece and swatted off frames and vases. It was her quirky little way of saying, Best not close your eyes when you sleep. 🙂

    • Thanks, Erika! I love your rock star books!

      Imperial Cat–I like that. Cats can be diabolical! I can visualize the swatting–hope nothing valuable got broken. You might want to shut your bedroom door at night!

  4. Good morning, Lark and HAPPY RELEASE DAY! This amazing tale captured every reader’s attention throughout the years and I’m thrilled the world gets to share in the story now. Best of luck in sales- my prediction? Buckle up!~
    🙂

  5. Personally, Lark, I find your entire concept fascinating, fresh, and so much fun!

    Wonderful interview, ladies, and I love,love the excerpt.

    I’ve had some amazing pets—dogs, cats, horse, rabbit, mice, turkey (named Peckerhead), and even a tarantual—all with unique personalities. I once had a fat black and white tuxedo cat who would walk on my hair, which has always been long, to wake my up in the morning. If that didn’t work, he’d pat me on my face until I did. I sure do miss him.

    Great post! Congrats on your new release, Lark.

  6. What a wonderful way to begin the day 🙂 Coffee at the computer, reading this very interesting post. I loved the premise for your books and really enjoyed the photos of the animals in the shop in Paris. Placing them around a table was hysterical as well as whimsical 🙂 Of course, I’ve now found another series to read! Which is great, I love falling into the worlds created for us by authors…

    • Thanks, Loretta! Deyrolle really is a wonderful place! Unfortunately, Adrien is a product of my imagination and not a David Gandy look-alike proprietor.

      I hope you like the series! It’s been a lot of fun to write.

  7. What a fabulous scene! Love it. And congratulation with Prosecco flowing on your release!

  8. Reblogged this on Book Smart TV and commented:

    Author Lark Brennan takes us on a magical journey behind her newest novel today on BookSmart. Thanks to Sarah Andre and Kiss and Thrill for this post.

  9. Happy Book Birthday, Lark. Adrien fascinated me in book one, so looking forward to reading his story.

  10. Great post ladies! I really enjoyed the excerpt and now I’m dying to visit Paris.
    We used to have a cat who would jump up and cling to the screen door when he wanted in. If it was the middle of the night, he’d jump on our bedroom window, going around the house until he roused someone. We forgot to warn guests about his habit and they were shocked awake in the middle of the night by an orange furry creature flinging himself at their window. Our current cat paces outside the window and meows. Which works for him in the summer, but not so well in winter. 😉

  11. Lark this story sounds fascinating and totally unique! Looking forward to the read. Congratulations on another book birthday!!
    Our sweet Beagle, Duke, who recently passed away, was not much of a barker (thank goodness.) When he needed to go outside, he’d just come stand in front of me and stare at me without blinking for as long as necessary to get my attention. I’m sure he was sending me all kinds of psychic messages and just concluded that I wasn’t very smart. 🙂

    • Thanks, Amy! I hope you enjoy it!

      Your dog sounds hilarious! They all seem to learn how to communicate. We think we’re so smart but they know a lot of English while we don’t know a bit of Dog. 🙂

  12. Happy book birthday, Lark! The Deyrolle sounds magical. What a wonderful inspiration for your fascinating series.

    My chocolate Lab Rosie is a skilled communicator 😉 Her favorite technique is the stare and wag. She stares at me and wags her tail, then stares at what she wants–usually, the treats in the cabinet–and wags faster.

    • Thanks, Krista! It was a lot of fun to write.

      How is your sweet Rosie? All grown up I’ll bet. She sounds darling and Labs love their treats as do my pups. The staring and wagging is probably pretty effective. It wouldn’t surprise me if one day they learned to say “treat!”

  13. Love this story behind the story and the excerpt. Congratulations, I can’t wait to read it!

  14. When I lived in Houston and the pups were really pups, one of the neighborhood boys taught Bo to ‘give him five!’ It was darling to see Bo slap the boy’s hand. Now Bo uses that gesture to tell me he’s ravenously hungry, and he’s not gentle with that paw slap either! And he’ll slap any part of me…over and over until I get up and go get him dinner. Sheesh!

    • How funny! Lucky he’s little!

      Mine don’t pester me for dinner but all I have to do is say “Kong” or even spell it (yes, they know how to spell Kong) and they stop whatever they’re doing and run to their houses and wait. Their idea of heaven is a Kong with some peanut butter inside. Such funny dogs!

  15. Thanks, Diana! I hope you enjoy it. And I appreciate you reposting to your blog!

  16. Lark–

    Your book sounds awesome!

    My husband has to wake up at 4am for work, so he ends up with the morning dog duties of letting them out and feeding them breakfast while I still sleep. Our one pup–Brindle–loves getting back in bed with me after she’s got a full tummy, but the first thing she always does is tickle my face with her whiskers until I wake up and lift the covers for her to crawl under.

  17. kim hunsberger

    Wow! The book sounds like an amazing adventure!
    I have a rottie. His name is Jake. He’s 11 yrs old now and I’ve had him since he was 12 weeks old. So I know him pretty well and his little quirks too.
    Jake stares at me. Sounds weird but I can tell by the way he stands and stares what he needs or wants. Form of communication? Not sure but perhaps.
    Thanks. I enjoy the blog very much.

  18. Lark, Congratulations on the release of your second book! And this sounds fabulous! I confess I’m already itching to go find and buy it – sounds exactly up my alley. 🙂

    My cats communicate with me through my dreams (well, sometimes it seems that way – if they’re actually able to, I’m in trouble.) 😉 My one cat frequently shows up in my dreams, though she often seems to stare at me long and hard, as though she’s working on her mind control. Fortunately all she wants so far is food! 😉 Another cat, no longer living, also sometimes shows up, and sometimes I swear I feel her curled up on my feet at the end of the bed in a feeling so uncanny, sometimes I’ve looked, and it’s usually when I need comfort (our current cats are locked downstairs for the night since they like 3am wake up.)

    • Thanks, S.C.! Glad you stopped by. I hope you enjoy Adrien and Tate’s story.

      I love the idea of animal telepathy. I wish I knew what my dogs were thinking–guessing it’s “Kong, Kong, Treat, Kong, scratch me here”. Not sure I want them hijacking my dreams though. They take enough of my attention when they’re awake!

  19. Thank you SO much for being our guest, Lark! IRRESISTIBLY YOURS is such a unique and enthralling story that I know word-of-mouth will ignite a sales streak!

    Thank you to all the commenters! We’ll announce the winners in a post this Friday, to give international readers a chance to participate in their time zones.

  20. Lark your series sounds amazing. I’m definitely adding them to my TBR pile.
    We had a white cat who always knew when we were going on vacation. We’d make plans to take her to friends who would look after her, but she would disappear hours before. I swear she read our minds.
    Wishing you mega-sales
    Jo-Ann

    • Thanks, Jo-Ann! I hope you enjoy the Durands!

      Smart cat! I think a lot of dogs and cats clue into the trip thing when their people pull out suitcases. And cats are so much better at hiding than dogs!

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