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Find Me In The Stars

Author Jules Larimore brings French history to vivid life

Find Me in the Stars: a Cévenoles Sagas novel – Book Two of the Huguenot Trilogy

I am happy to welcome author Jules Larimore to the blog today to give us a behind-the-scenes look at her fabulous new novel, Find Me in the Stars. Rich in historical detail and evocative world-building, this absorbing novel of the 17th century is set in a location dear to my heart: the rugged mountains of southwest France. Read on for a fascinating interview with the author.


“Larimore’s ability to engulf a reader into a tale… is brilliantly done.”

5-star Highly Recommended Award of Excellence ~ Historical Fiction Company

Separated by miles, connected by the stars, two healers forge their destinies in a quest for a brighter tomorrow.

Inspired by a true story, this refugee’s tale of sacrifice, separation, and abiding love unfolds in the Cévennes Mountains of Languedoc, France, 1697. A sweeping adventure during the time of Louis XIV’s oppressive rule and persecutions, this compelling narrative follows the intertwined destinies of two remarkable protagonists, Amelia Auvrey, a mystic holy-woman healer, and Jehan BonDurant, an apothecary from a noble Huguenot family, in a riveting tale of enduring love, faith, and the search for light in the darkest of times. 

Amelia and Jehan are fierce champions of tolerance and compassion in their cherished Cévenole homeland, a region plagued by renewed persecution of Huguenots. The escalated danger forces their paths to diverge, each embarking on their own dangerous journey toward survival and freedom. The Knights Hospitaller provide protection and refuge for Amelia and her ailing sage-femme grandmother, even as they come under suspicion of practicing witchcraft. And, to avoid entanglement in a brewing rebellion, Jehan joins a troupe of refugees who flee to the Swiss Cantons seeking sanctuary—a journey that challenges his faith and perseverance. Jehan arrives to find things are not as he expected; the Swiss have their own form of intolerance, and soon immigrants are no longer welcome. The utopian Eden he seeks remains elusive until he learns of a resettlement project in the New World. 

During their time apart, Amelia and Jehan rely on a network of booksellers to smuggle secret letters to each other—until the letters mysteriously cease, casting doubt on their future together. Jehan is unclear if Amelia will commit to joining him, or if she will hold fast to her vow of celibacy and remain in the Cévennes. Seemingly ill-fated from the start, their love is tested to its limits as they are forced to navigate a world where uncertainty and fear threaten to eclipse their unwavering bond. 

As a stand-alone sequel to the award-winning The Muse of Freedom, a bestseller in Renaissance Fiction, Find Me in the Stars is based on true events in the life of Jean Pierre Bondurant dit Cougoussac–an unforgettable adventure where love and light endure against all odds.

Interview with the Author

What’s the tagline or ‘elevator pitch’ for your book?

Separated by miles, connected by the stars, two healers forge their destinies in a quest for a brighter tomorrow during Louis XIV’s persecutions against Huguenots.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The idea started forming over twenty years ago when my uncle presented family genealogy showing we descended from Jean Pierre Bondurant dit Cougoussac—my 8th great grandfather—a French Huguenot ancestor from a minor noble family.

What inspired you to write about that particular era or character?

Since I was intrigued by Jean Pierre Bondurant, I’d say the era in this novel actually chose me. I’ve always had a love for the Middle Ages and Renaissance, yet felt a calling to write his story. Jehan’s motivation to give up the estate he inherited and flee the country always intrigued me, and I knew there were many sides during this divisive period that needed to find a voice. Once I dove into the research, I became utterly fascinated with this overlooked period in the late 17th century.

 How did you create a realistic setting for your story?

I found the best way to create realism in the setting was to place myself in the locale. I visited the Cévennes mountains in France to embody the place through its flora and fauna, geology and architecture, and to hear the voices of the people who lived during the era. I was fortunate to be invited by the current owner to visit the old Bondurant maison de ville in Genolhac who shared a few secrets about the house and what transpired there. It allowed me to experience the same sensations as my characters, to touch the same walls and windows, to walk across the same ancient stone floors, to look out onto the same garden. I also visited the Gorges du Tarn, a spectacular river canyon in the Cévennes mountains that is often shrouded in mists. My female protagonist, Amelia also known as “The Muse”, is from the town of Castelbouc which is a troglodyte hamlet built into a steep cliff along the river.

Also, the Museé du Desert along with a plethora of digitized French archives served as wonderful sources for learning about the tools, furnishings, clothing, weapons, and religious artifacts that were in use in the late 17th/ early 18th centuries.

What surprised you in the course of your research?

I did! Not to give away any spoilers, but one was a secret architectural detail at Jean Pierre’s townhouse in Genolhac that aided his family in conducting clandestine Huguenot prayer meetings which were outlawed by Louis XIV. Hopefully, readers will discover that detail when they read the first book in the Huguenot Trilogy, The Muse of Freedom.

Another surprise occurred after I connected with a distant French cousin who shared documents showing that Jean Pierre’s father had been imprisoned for a month in the Tour de Roi in Uzès. At the time, my cousin did not have the reason for the imprisonment, so I created a storyline saying he had tried to stop the destruction of Huguenot temples. Later my cousin discovered it was due to not paying new taxes that were required for noblemen. I can surmise that it was his father’s way of protesting Louis XIV’s authoritarian rule.

Do your research findings guide the plot, or do you plan out the plot first and flesh it out with research? (Or perhaps both?)

I developed the plot first out of a timeline of known events, not only those in the life of Jean Pierre Bondurant but also the real-life people he encountered during the years in the novel. Some of those individuals could only be gleaned by looking at documents from a few years in the future. Once that was established, I created the character arcs I wanted to use, which helped shape the plot from there. I also do something similar to Elizabeth Chadwick’s Akashic Records method, channeling the characters to fill in more details.

Do you completely plan out your cast of characters before writing, or do you sometimes add new characters as you go along? What are some of the reasons you’ve added new characters to a story?

Since novels with a bit of romance seem to attract more readers I had intended to develop a fictional love interest but I didn’t know, until I opened up to it, that it would be a free-spirited, mystic holy woman! I wanted someone Jehan could have something in common with, and since we know he trained as an apothecary, this seemed like a good place to start. Since Amelia is a “free-spirit” who does not avow to any one religion but embraces them all, she inspires Jehan to seek his spiritual path rather than letting it be dictated to him. I was able to use her to touch on ancient healing techniques — Greek, Gabali Celtae, and others — that might be considered magic or witchcraft by many. To my surprise, I found in my later research that these healers were common in the Gorges du Tarn and Lozère areas in the past.

Other characters were added along the way, most of which were real-life people. I used a few other fictional characters to add diversity and enrich the story.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with background music? If music, what kind and why?

I enjoy either writing on my patio, listening to nature’s music—the songbirds, the breeze through the trees. Or, if writing indoors, I put on some music without lyrics to suit the mood of the chapter I am working on. For the books in the Huguenot trilogy, sometimes it’s 17th-century classical, sometimes it’s lute music, sometimes it’s ethereal new-age music.

What do you have planned for your next writing project?

I am currently working on the research for two novels. One is the third book in the Huguenot trilogy which takes my characters to the New World in their search for “Eden”. The other is about Adelaide de Toulouse, Comtesse of Burlats, Carcassonne, and Beziers. She was the mother of the infamous Raimond-Roger Trencavel, a character in Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth and the Count of Carcassonne and Beziers who met his death during the crusade against the Cathars. Which of these books receives more of my attention and gets published first is yet to be seen.

Where to buy the book:

This title will be available on #KindleUnlimited. 

Universal Buy Link: 

Meet the author:

Jules Larimore is the author of emotive, literary-leaning historical fiction with a dose of magic, myth, and romance to bring to life hopeful human stories and inspire positive change. She is a member of France’s Splendid Centuries authors’ collaborative, a board member of the Historical Novel Society of Southern California, and lives primarily in Ojai with time spent around the U.S. and Europe gathering a rich repository of historical research in a continued search for authenticity.

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  1. Cathie Dunn says:

    Thank you for hosting Jules Larimore today, and for your fabulous interview!

    Take care,
    Cathie xo
    The Coffee Pot Book Club

    1. Amy Maroney says:

      Always a pleasure, Cathie!

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