Thursday, October 22, 2015

#MMBBR Showcase: The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

The Sisters of Versailles
A Novel
Sally Christie

A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed.

Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear.

Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters—Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne—four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail. 

Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best feet—and women—forward. The King’s scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King.  Over the following decade, she and her sisters—ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne—will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.

The Sisters of Versailles is a treat through and through – the characters are witty and engaging and come together to create an undeniable page-turner.  Sally Christie has a wonderful sense of pace and the book unfolds in front of you like a delicious gift. Even as the scandals pile up and the intrigue mounts, you can’t help but fall in love with these sisters and their competing infatuations with the King.

In the tradition of The Other Boleyn GirlThe Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie’s stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood—of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.

About The Author
Sally Christie
Sally Christie was born in England of British parents and grew up around the world, attending eight schools in three languages. She spent most of her career working in international development and is currently settled in Toronto. A life-long history buff who wishes time travel were a real possibility—she’d be off to the eighteenth century in a flash! The Sisters of Versailles is her first novel.   Learn more about the sisters and the mistresses in the Versailles trilogy at

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. It’s hard to just pinpoint one thing that inspires me as writing has always been a part of me.  Perhaps everything inspires me to write; it’s how I relate to the world round me.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. I love the days when I get into that zone and I literally feel I’ve time traveled – I stop at the end of an intensive writing session, blinking, thinking, where am I?  That feeling – doesn’t happen every time I write, unfortunately – has been so intense it has even followed me out onto the street.  I take a walk to unwind and I have to keep reminding myself I’m in Toronto and it’s 2015.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A.  You’re in it alone; even though you may get lots of support and input from other people, at the end of the day it’s really on you and only you.  It’s by definition less collaborative and less “team oriented” than other jobs, and I find that hard.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. I was working in international development before writing full time.  I love the buzz that comes from being overseas and working in different cultures: there’s always something interesting to learn, every single day.   

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Sixteen Second Acts (because I’ve lived and worked in so many different places and jobs) 

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell.  I re-read it every few years and it makes me cry every single time, partly in sorrow and partly in happiness.   

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A.  [that one is a toughie; couldn’t answer!]

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. My only book is The Sisters of Versailles, and of the five sisters I am most like Marie Anne, but I don’t torture cute rodents!

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. Nice question!  I’d have to say it would be my own, The Sisters of Versailles – I would love to travel back to Versailles in the 1740s, to see what I got right, find out where I totally missed the mark, and of course to ask the sisters a few questions….

Q.  What do you want to be remembered for 100 years from now?
A. Oh - no dreams of posterity from me!

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. Autumn, definitely.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. I asked for my cover to be something a little different from the usual “headless woman in beautiful period dress” that seems to have overtaken the historical fiction genre.  No offense to all those beautiful covers out there in that style – and there are some beautiful ones – but I just wanted something a little different.  I was very pleased with what the publishing company came up with.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. Mmm, I’m very new to this so nothing is coming to mind… it’s all been fairly straightforward so far!

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Yes – The Sisters of Versailles is the first in a trilogy about the mistresses of Louis XV.  I’m just finishing up the final draft of the next book, The Rivals of Versailles, about the fabulous Madame de Pompadour and her many rivals, and then I’ve got to jump back into a very rough draft of the third book, The Enemies of Versailles, and get cracking on that. 

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  Thanks for reading, and keep reading – imagine the tragedy of a world without books!

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