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What if death
a second chance ?
This year's revelation
THRONE OF BOOKS
A tour de force
I adored this book
A masterful and complex novel
A LITTLE MATTER WHATEVER
My favorite book this year
LE CARNET DE LECTURE DE NINIS
Magical and enthralling
SIXTINE: The Prequel
An abandoned warehouse in Berlin.
An ancient Egyptian curse.
A discovery that will change the world.
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I never dreamed of becoming an expert in Aztec human sacrifice.
Destiny decided otherwise.
Spending a decade travelling the world looking for stories for BBC Television’s documentaries unit will do that to you: knowing stuff you never wanted to know. Like how to walk on Pompeii’s forbidden paths without setting off unexploded WWII bombs. Or the secret ingredient for the bushmen of Namibia’s deadly poisoned arrows. Or the spell to protect yourself from evil spirits when you enter a lost city in northern Peru.
What’s a girl to do with those useless, incredible facts? Nothing – even after I left television to raise my son and write novels. By 2013, I was an award-winning, bestselling author of women’s fiction and romantic comedies. But the pull to revisit what I had encountered on cordoned-off archaeological sites and in nocturnal visits to museum basements was strong.
The story all came to me in a flash on a stormy summer day while looking at the cover of an old National Geographic. Murder in the Great Pyramid. A master forger and a cursed mummy. A blood-soaked love story. A girl named Sixtine. The completed trilogy was first released in France, my home country, where it reached the Top 5 on Amazon and sold 20,000 copies. I can’t wait to share it with English-speaking readers!
As for me, after a trip around the world with my family and building a contemporary wooden house in a forest in France, I settled for the quiet life in majestic Cape Town, South Africa. These days, my thirst for escape, ancient knowledge and art is quenched by visits to museums and libraries, haunts better suited to my resolutely non-Indiana Jonesy constitution. I still write light novels, because I am a militant optimist, I am obsessed with colourful fashion, interior design and French patisserie, and I LIVE for Christmas.
But the dark side is where the fun is at, my black cat Solo knows it all too well. A new SIXTINE series is planned for 2020. Ideas for spin-offs are filling my notebooks. And don’t tell my son Oscar, but my retirement project involves buying a castle and studying contemporary witchcraft.
Whichever shade you pick – the light or the dark – my books have the same purpose: to sweep you off your feet to faraway places alive with mystery, imagination and wonder. And, well after you have turned the last page, to remind you how extraordinary the real world that has inspired them truly is.