Sophie Perinot

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

Dec 012015

It’s launch day my friends! After many months of research and writing and more months still in the production process, Médicis Daughter steps out on stage.  If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy (and if you have, thanks and please take a picture of your copy “in the wild” and share it with me on social media), you can now find it wherever books are sold.  For easy, on-line, purchase links just click over to the Médicis Daughter page of this website

I look forward to hearing what readers think of my Valois heroine and her family.


Wow. Pleased (and a tad astounded) to announce that Médicis Daughter made Barnes & Noble Read’s BookTree1-550x550“December’s Top Picks in Fiction” list!  Seeing myself listed in the company of household names like Dean Koontz and Marina Fiorato (the best-selling author of The Glassblower of Murano) is extremely gratifying. Feels a little bit like Christmas has come early


“Thank you to Sophie Perinot for introducing me to a whole new section of historical fiction to now become obsessed with (move over Tudors)!”

Thank YOU Colleen at A Literary Vacation, and readers everywhere.  Without a receptive audience what we writers do would be a little like a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it. THANKSGIVING WISHES

Yes I am SUPER thankful for readers, and particularly readers who take the time to review. Because here’s the thing: word of mouth is still the most powerful tool in the world when it comes to supporting novels.

So Thanks A Literary Vacation for this doozy of a review!  For embracing the characters I lived with for so many long months and letting them become as real to you as they are to me:

I think one of my favorite thing about Margot (and really all of these characters) is that she isn’t perfect, not even close. Sophie Perinot did an astounding job of making each character so well rounded and complex that they felt wholly real to me, not just glitzed up or vilified representations of what someone might want them to be.

And for understanding and perfectly expressing the essence of Médicis Daughter:

With all this going on (and there is a lot of action and intrigue to delight in, perfectly presented by the author) the real heart of the story, to me, is much smaller: that of a beautiful, intelligent girl long held prisoner to her family’s demands, threats and machinations finally learning how to break free, at least in part, from their control to become the woman of honor she longs to be.

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Nov 242015
Brilliant. This is what I call a “WOW” book.
What better way to celebrate the madness of “one week to publication” than with a WOW review?! 1 week to go
Book Lovers’ Paradise declares that Médicis Daughter:
…doesn’t read like a history book, but like a fantastic tale.
And Donna has officially read the book more times than my mother. Thanks Donna! — “I have re-read this book not once but TWICE, it’s that good!!!”

I am extremely pleased to be guest blogging at Literary Vacation with Colleen Turner today. Given that the title of her blog is “Literary Vacation” I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to talk about “Around the Kingdom in 829 Days: Charles IX’s Royal Progress” (a trip begun in the spring of 1564).  Please join us. Illustration PROGRESS BLOG

This week it was a review-a-day for Médicis Daughter, and all of them good!

Peeking Between the Pages highly recommended the novel, declaring:

Well researched and rich in historical detail Medicis Daughter is sure to please any historical fiction fan and it’s one of my favorites of the year.

1And Darlene paid me a great compliment in saying that my “talent at weaving history with a captivating story is what makes her novels so entirely readable.”

Over at The Mad Reviewer (where Médicis Daughter earned 5 of 5 stars), Carrie said:

Perinot’s descriptive writing style … brings the court and the characters to life.  She can be beautifully descriptive but also knows when to pare down her writing for the sake of pacing.

A theme picked up by Just One More Chapter:

Sophie Perinot writes with rich details, her descriptions made it so easy to visualize what was taking place – I was totally absorbed in her story.

Both The Maiden’s Court (where Heather gave the book 4.5 of 5 stars) and The Eclectic Reader (Teddy) appreciated the coming-of-age aspects of the tale. Saying:

There is a real sense of Marguerite’s growth as the novel progresses, fueled by the machinations and ill-treatment by her family, naivety fast becomes awareness and intelligence and a strong moral compass hold her in good stead challenging her family in doing what she believes is right. (Teddy)


. . .we see a coming of age story from a young, innocent girl into a woman of the Valois court who makes decisions for herself, goes toe-to-toe with her powerful mother, and ultimately who becomes a strong woman (Heather)

Well thank you ladies all! I am blushing!  For those of you who are not sick of me saying it already, Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois releases in 11 days.  It is currently available for pre-order at Amazon, B&N, Indiebound and (for the international set) Book Depository (though it appears they will be shipping out later).  If you order today then you will have it in your hands more quickly!

Nov 042015

Fans matter. I know I’ve said this before, but I am saying it again.

First and foremost you bring the characters to life.  True, I write them, but if characters speak or acts on a page but nobody reads it they remain vision, vapor, not living and breathing flesh. Writing is solitary enough in the doing, the thought of the results going unread—that would turn solitude into loneliness. So THANK YOU for not letting that happen to my words.

But if fans provide a reason to write they also give writers the ability to continue. Because this is a business, make no mistake about that. Our publishers are not just putting our books out there on charitable impulse. We measure up to whatever their goals for us are, or they move on. So when fans do a few simple things they support us in important ways.  What simple things? Ha, aren’t you glad I asked for you?

1) Add the books of your favorite authors to your goodreads TBR pile. This is one click.  Please click. Here is the link for Médicis Daughter

2) If you want to wait to pick up a book at a library that’s great. My first paid job was shelving non-fiction books at my local library. I love libraries. If, however, you are inclined to buy a book and you have the means to do so, pre-orders or purchases immediately after a book releases pack a whallop.  Here’s my famous (infamous) blog on that subject.

3) Review. It doesn’t have to be two paragraphs. It can be two lines. You don’t need to post everywhere. But sharing what you thought of my work—or any author’s work—at a couple of locations if you have an on-line presence . . . no greater gift my friends.

4) Recommend. Readers talk books. We can’t help it. And we should not try to. Word of mouth remains the most powerful tool for helping good books to do well. Reader enthusiasm is contagious. So mention books you like to other bibliophiles. Your author friends will bless you.

Light is a frequent literary device. It can be an emblem of hope, a way to see what has been hidden, even a method of symbolically driving back demons.  This month a collection of historical novelists, including myself, have decided to use light in all those ways, by creating a weekly blog event (#LightOnOurLadies) to illuminate the historical women at the center of our writings. The main character in my next novel, Médicis Daughter, is profoundly in need of such illumination. 

History has not been kind to 16th century French Princess Marguerite de Valois. In fact, she has been quite viciously misremembered as a wanton and a woman without substance. Before I explain how I think that happened, please allow me to shine a little light on the real Marguerite.

Born at the Château of Saint-Germain overlooking the Seine, as her father had been before her, Marguerite (or Margot as she was affectionately called) was the eighth child of King Henri II of France and Queen Catherine de Médicis.  Described by the poet Ronsard as tall and graceful, with fine pale skin, sparkling black eyes, and chestnut hair, Margot stood out even at a Court renowned for its beauties. But she had more than looks going for her—far more. A true granddaughter of François I, Margot was highly intelligent. She loved books, and often got so swept away by them that she forgot to eat or sleep (sound familiar to anyone reading this?). As a mature woman, Margot was a serious and influential force in the literary life of France. A student of more than literature, Margot was a solid classics scholar. She spoke multiple languages fluently, and also had a genuine talent for public speaking. This she was frequently asked to do, often representing one royal brother or another. Finally Margot had a keen grasp of the fine points of statecraft. Arguably her political acumen exceeded that of her brothers, making her the most similar of all her siblings to her strong-willed, politically expert mother, Catherine de Médicis.

Why then, if Margot was as competent as she was pretty is she so little remembered? And when recalled, why is Margot depicted not as she was, but as lascivious and nearly amoral?

To put it simply, Marguerite de Valois was a victim of poor timing. She was born at the end of her dynasty.

When a royal house expires, its last years are generally recounted by people who have political and personal agendas that make it tempting to denigrate their predecessors. Such was the fate of Valois in the late 16th Century. Slander and denigration of royal family began during their lifetimes, largely fed by the tensions and rivalries of a vicious series of wars (the French Wars of Religion) that stretched from the early 1560s beyond the end of the Valois reign. No member of the Valois was exempt from the attacks of gossips, or from the writings of anonymous political pamphleteers.  Anti-Valois propagandists seeking to degrade Marguerite chose that easiest and most ancient path for destroying a woman: assertions of rabid sexual desire and wanton conduct.

Slanderous talk about Margot began early among her family’s enemies, but she owes most of the lasting defamation of her character to a single printed work, Le divorce Satyrique. This malicious pamphlet was composed in her lifetime.  It mocked and insulted Margot as it set out grounds for a proposed annulment of her marriage to Henri de Bourbon. Margot’s cousin/husband was no longer merely King of the Navarre, but King Henri IV of France—and a king in need of an heir. We all know that a King in need of an heir will do what it takes to be rid of a queen who cannot give him one.  So, grounds for an annulment were created and printed.  That such a piece of propaganda should have been taken up as fact and treated as history for so long may seem astounding to us today, but early chroniclers of the French court were often not particularly concerned with objectivity. Nor were early historians. As Robert Ja Sealy remarks in The Myth of the Reine Margot, “the documentary sources for our knowledge. . . were written during the wars of religion and, all too frequently are colored by political expediency . . .”  Objectivity as a goal rather than a veneer is a rather recent requirement for history and historians. Even some of the histories written in the 19th and early 20th centuries make no pretense at objectivity in recounting the period of the Wars of Religion. Rather, their authors unabashedly announce in their prefaces which side they are on. Margot, considered not a particularly important historical player, remained largely unexamined.  The myths about her grew and thrived in darkness.

In Médicis Daughter I’ve focused a strong and clear light on the historical Marguerite, creating a coming-of-age story that does her better justice than she received from Valois disparagers, or from those later historians who saw no reason to look more closely.  Médicis Daughter releases six weeks from today. To learn more about the book, visit the novel’s page at Amazon, or on Facebook.


And now,

As part of the Shining Light on Our Ladies Tour,  please meet my fellow authors Helen Hollick and Alison Morton… and their ladies

 Alison Morton is a woman after my own heart.

Raised by a feminist mother and an ex-military father, it never occurred to Alison Morton that women couldn’t serve their country in the armed forces. After six years, she left as a captain, having done all sorts of interesting and exciting things she can’t talk about, even now…

Fascinated by the complex, power and value-driven Roman civilisation since childhood, she wondered what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women…

Alison lives in France and writes award-winning Roman-themed alternate history thrillers with tough Praetorian heroines – INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO and now

…  AURELIA:  Late in 1960s, Aurelia is sent to Berlin to investigate silver smuggling, former Praetorian Aurelia Mitela barely escapes a near-lethal trap.  Her old enemy is at the heart of all her troubles and she pursues him back home to Roma Nova but he has struck at her most vulnerable point her young daughter. Please visit Alison (and Aurelia) to read more – and a chance to win a paperback copy of Aurelia

Helen Hollick is a fierce advocate for Indie Authors.

She lives on a thirteen-acre farm in Devon, England. Born in London, Helen wrote pony stories as a teenager, moved to science-fiction and fantasy, and then discovered historical fiction. Published for over twenty years with her Arthurian Trilogy, and the 1066 era, she became a ‘USA Today’ bestseller with Forever Queen. She also writes the Sea Witch Voyages, pirate-based fantasy adventures. As a supporter of Indie Authors she is Managing Editor for the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews, and inaugurated the HNS Indie Award.

On her blog today Helen introduces some ladies from the Court of King Arthur, except this ‘court’ is set in 5th century Britain and her Gwenhwyfar, Morgause and Morgaine are very different from the ladies of the Medieval tales!

ENJOYING THE SHINING LIGHT ON OUR LADIES TOUR?  Then please join us again NEXT TUESDAY when we set sail with Captain Jesamiah Acorne’s ladies aboard Sea Witch, meet a lady surgeon disguised as a man aboard another ship, and are introduced to lady  blackmailed into marrying a knight….



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!