Sophie

My grand passions include history and writing. So I guess it was inevitable that I would write historical fiction. In March 2012 my debut novel, THE SISTER QUEENS, will be released by NAL. Set in 13th century France and England, my book weaves the captivating story of medieval sisters Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence who both became queens -- their lifelong friendship, their rivalry, and their reigns

In the last few days, as I gear up for all the pre-release madness for Médicis Daughter, some wonderful images representing the book have been created.  Wanted to share them with you all.  I just love <3 them!!!  I also wanted to remind everyone that pre-orders are the gift that keeps on giving from an author’s point of view.  If you already know that you are going to be snapping up Médicis Daughter as soon as it hits shelves, please consider pre-ordering from your favorite source (B&N, Indiebound, Amazon . . . wherever you like best)!  Because not all sales are  reated equa–even if they are sales of the same title, in the same format for the same price 

 In the hierarchy of power purchases the pre-order is the heavy hitter. Why? Because print runs (the number of books initially printed) for books coming out in hardback or paperback are set, in part, based on a title’s pre-order numbers, and how much support a book will get from booksellers is also heavily influenced by whether they perceive there is an enthusiastic audience for the title.

Yesterday was Marguerite de Valois’ birthday.

Born in 1553 the protagonist of Médicis Daughter, as you will discover in my novel, was much more than history gives her credit for.   I always think of her on her birthday and wonder “what if” (what if Salic law hadn’t prevented her from ruling in France when her last brother–Henri III–died? What if she’d be able to give her husband Henri IV a son?).  I hope that in my novel I have given her a gift: a story that is worthy of her and undermines the pernicious rumors—started by political pamphleteers in her own time—that she was a wanton, a hedonist and not much more.  So maybe my book is a birthday gift, belated but nonetheless . . .

Well yesterday I got a present: A box, perched atop my mailbox, containing the bound galleys of Médicis Daughter.  They weren’t expected.  They could have come any day.  But they arrived on Marguerite’s birthday.  A sign? I sure hope so!

Voila mes amis! I am very pleased and proud to introduce you to the visually stunning cover for my next novel, Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois.  Yes, that is Marguerite in the forground and the goreous, iconic Chateau de Chenonceau in the background (a palace that is one of the settings from the book).  What’s my favorite thing about it if I can’t say everything?  The small, sinister, dark bird Margot is looking at in the sky.  Psst, readers, keep an eye out for black birds as a recurring theme in the novel.

For those of you who are super eager, as of today you can pre-order Médicis Daughter on Amazon.

It suddenly dawned on me, dear followers, that I have been negligent–I never  announced the release date of my next novel here at the blog.

Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois will release on December 1, 2015 in hardcover.  I have a fabulous new publisher (Thomas Dunne) and editor.  What is the book about? So glad you asked!  Here is a teaser:

 

Mother’s black eyes sparkle. “So, Margot, it seems you are a daughter of the Médicis as well the Valois.

16th Century France twists under the serpentine rule of Catherine de Médicis. At a court seething with intrigue and riven by religious war, beautiful Princess Margot walks the knife edge between the demands of her dangerous family, and the demands of her own conscience. Her chief value to the crown is as a pawn in the marriage game, to bring France a valuable ally or seal a tenuous peace. Even though her heart belongs to the powerful, charismatic Duc de Guise, her hand will be offered to the King of Navarre, heretic and rebel to the crown.

Margot does her duty, heart breaking, but the promised peace is a mirage: her mother’s schemes are endless, and her brothers plot vengeance in the streets of Paris. When Margot’s wedding devolves into the bloodshed of the St. Bartholmew’s Day massacre, she will be forced to choose: her family, or her soul?

The book is not yet available for pre-order, but you can add it to your “Want to Read” shelf at goodreads, and follow latest developments at the Médicis Daughter official facebook page.  One of the things you will see a lot of there are illustrated quotes from the novel to whet your appetite. I’ve put three below just to tempt you over to facebook.

xo Sophie

 

As part of the celebration marking the release of “A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii” blogger Erin Sweet-Al Mehairi is running a 6 part interview series asking each of the authors who contributed to the novel the same two questions.  Today is my day in the hot seat.  Stop over at Oh for the Hook of a Book and find out what I believe I brought to the table (or the volcano gods as it were) in working on this ground-breaking collaborative novel.

At long last, this riveting story about the final days of Pompeii is available in e-book and print!

“This truly is the finest book I have read this year, an emotional roller-coaster that educates while it entertains. Its impact will stay with me for quite some time.” ~Parmenion Books

“Despite knowing what happens in Pompeii and to the majority of its citizens, A Day of Fire is a book full of suspense, fear, and unexpected bravery.” ~Ageless Pages

“I can’t praise this book highly enough. It’s a rattling good tale of disaster, death, resolution and rebirth.” ~Dodging Arrows

“I LOVED this! The writing style, the choice of stories told, the evolution of characters, the drama. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.” ~The Maiden’s Court

“…the premise of A DAY OF FIRE drew me in — the last days and hours of Pompeii, seen through the eyes of citizens throughout the social strata. And gods, am I happy I read this book! I couldn’t put it down.”~ LeAnne.Me

“Each one of these authors deserves a huge amount of praise for putting this impressive piece of art together.” ~Steven McKay

And of my story, THE HEIRESS, Steven McKay says:

This is very powerful writing – in my notes I’ve put “10/10 – Excellent!” at the top of the page for this section….this is historical fiction at its very best.

DESCRIPTION:

Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain’s wrath . . . and these are their stories:

A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii’s flourishing streets.
An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.
An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.
A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.
A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.
A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.

Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others’ path during Pompeii’s fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

Buy Now:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 And add “A Day of Fire” to you Goodreads list!

Win a necklace fit for a Roman patrician. 

This beautiful 18″ necklace and earring set was inspired by jewelry from the ancient world.  Handcrafted of real carnelian, the most popular semi-precious gemstone of the ancient world, it was designed to commemorate the release of “A Day of Fire.”  Wear it yourself and imagine you are in Pompeii (not on the day of disaster of course), or, with the holidays approaching, it would make a great gift for a fan of ancient roman historical fiction.  Perhaps paired with a copy of “A Day of Fire?”

Enter below, and please follow our “A Day of Fire” blog tour between now and the close of the giveaway on December 5th.
Embed: a Rafflecopter giveaway

With one week and one day left before the launch of our collaborative novel-in-six-parts, “A Day of Fire” begins its blog tour.  First up, A Maiden’s Court.  Check out Heather’s review, and enter to win a copy of the book.

 

 

Last week I offered a peek between the covers of the upcoming “A Day of Fire” and challenged readers to match the stories therein with the authors contributing to the volume.  Today, I offer another set of illustrated quotes along with full disclosure of who wrote what.  Come along for a guided tour of the novel-in-six parts which releases three weeks from today:

It all begins with a son–Vicky Alvear Shecter’s story “The Son” to be exact, about a young man who is looking for love in the proverbial wrong places while also trying to hang on to the good opinion of his famous uncle, Admiral Pliny.  In bustling Pompeii he meets a whore named Prima–a woman readers will come to know better in Stephanie Dray’s tale.

While Caecilius is sneaking around the city on pleasure bent, Aemilia the heroine of my story–THE HEIRESS–is counting down the days to her wedding.  Betrothed to her father’s best friend she knows her duty, but also her heart which lies elsewhere in the keeping of a handsome young artist.

While Faustus prowls the Villa of the Mysteries looking for his Aemilia, author Ben Kane’s Lucius Satrius Rufus–title character in  THE SOLDIER–has a hangover and massive load of debt to manage.  Can a win by the gladiator he owns straighten things out?

Senator Marcus Norbanus in Kate Quinn’s THE SENATOR has his own problems–among them an aging body and a waning will to live. He is in Pompeii on official business when he has a run in with Caecilius’ whore Prima.

While he is recovering from his encounter with the jug, young mother-to-be Julilla, heroine of E. Knight’s THE MOTHER, is on her way by litter to her friend Aemilia’s house to help her dress for her wedding.  A journey she does not complete.

Who will survive and who perish? Readers will have to wait for Stephanie Dray’s THE WHORE to know for certain. There they will reconnect with Prima and spend time with her rosy, blonde and good-natured sister Capella a woman called to serve the Goddess Isis.

Intrigued? Mark your calendars for November 4th.  A DAY OF FIRE: A NOVEL OF POMPEII will be available in e-book and paperback.  Currently it can be pre-ordered in the e-book format.

Oct 072014

Today we are precisely FOUR WEEKS away from the Launch of “A Day of Fire,” the high-concept novel-in-six-parts that I’ve written with Ben Kane, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Eliza Knight and Vicky Alvear Shecter.  The novel is already available for pre-order at Amazon, but in honor of the countdown to release, I’d like to share some lovely illustrated quotes to give you a taste of the tales the volume contains.

Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain’s wrath . . . and these are their stories:

A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii’s flourishing streets.

An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.

A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.

A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.

Visit “A Day of Fire’s” Facebook page to learn how you could win the book by correctly identifying which author wrote which quote.