Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Elizabeth Hall's Miramont's Castle, a gothic tale that draws inspiration from a real place here in my neck of the woods!
Like her grandmother before her, Adrienne has always had the gift of sight. But this gift is no gift at all. Instead, it's more like a curse.
After the death of her beloved grand-pére, the Compte de Challemelles, Adrienne struggles to keep her visions to herself. But her efforts are in vain. Her aunt Marie, a woman who has always worried about the village gossip especially as it pertains to Adrienne's odd behavior, arranges to take the teen to America. There the two women will take up residence at Marie's son's newly completed castle in Manitou Springs, Colorado. But as soon as Adrienne arrives, she realizes she is to be a prisoner rather than a guest. As she searches for a way to escape, her days at Miramont Castle become more and more bleak.
Soooo, yes. Miramont Castle exists. You can tour it, you can book it for a wedding, you can even enjoy lunch or high tea in the Queen's Parlor Tea Room. And though I've worked with authors who have written about Miramont before, the rumored sordid past was new to me. Hall very kindly includes afterword outlining some of the parallels between the real Miramont history and her tale (of course pointing out that the book is fiction).
And oh, poor Adrienne! Readers, this is a bleak story indeed. I supposed I should have known that - or at least had my suspicions about that - but I went into the book a little blind. I knew it was a gothic tale and I knew it was set at Miramont Castle and that was it. The rest was a surprise. Perhaps most surprising, though, was the fact that Adrienne doesn't arrive at Miramont Castle until halfway through the book. Instead, the first half is set in France and is set up for both her visions and her family situation.
I did love the historical setting! I'd thought that maybe Hall had set the story at Miramont simply for the sake of setting it at a castle. Not so, fellow readers! In addition to the above mentioned parallels between the real Miramont/Fr. Francolon history and the fictional Miramont/Fr. Julien, Hall also spends a little time setting the scene with other interesting tidbits including the Denver & Rio Grande Railway, cameos by General William Jackson Palmer, and bits about historic Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs.
So although the tale is admittedly pretty bleak, I have to say that I rather liked it. In the way that you can like a story steeped in dread and foreboding.
Thanks to the publisher I'm able to offer up a copy of Miramont's Castle to one of you lucky readers. (Open US/Canada only.) To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, February 23.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.