It’s been a great week in reviews for MÉDICIS DAUGHTER!!!

First it made the Goodreads Best Books of the Month: December 2015 and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Then the love just kept on coming. You might even say Christmas came early for me:

a top ten for 2015, and I have no doubt I’ll be haunted by this one for a long while. ~Unabridged Chick

. . . this is a tale of overcoming obstacles and fighting for your place in the world. There is plenty of romance, drama, and political intrigue to keep even the most reluctant historical fiction reader entertained. ~Reading Lark

If you love historical fiction, or know someone that does, add this one to you Winter reading list- it’s perfect for curling up by the fire with! ~Bless Their Hearts Mom

I couldn’t put down. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. ~The Readers Hollow

Soaring, fascinating… this book has it all. ~Long and Short Reviews

It’s about time! Time to give the Tudors some competition. Time to show that the history of sixteenth century France is just as, if not more, gripping than that of Henry’s and Elizabeth’s England. In MÉDICIS DAUGHTER (St. Martin’s Press), Sophie Perinot rises to the challenge, offering a glimpse into the spectacular, turbulent years of the waning Valois dynasty. ~Writing the Renaissance

Rich with intrigue, rivalry and passion, Médicis Daughter is not to be missed. ~Flashlight Commentary

So, if you know someone who loves historical fiction, is sucked into dysfunctional family drama, or is fascinated by royal intrigue, Médicis Daughter might just make the perfect holiday gift!

chenonceau in the snow

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!!!”
 
Share/Save

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)

And

. . .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!

Stars and flowers—what better way to start The Sister Queens 7-month anniversary blog tour? The first two reviews are in and they are five stars and four flowers. A sparkly combination. 

Crystal at My Reading Room gave me her top rating saying, “I was honestly captivated from the very first page as I read the tale of Marguerite and Eleanor, sisters who were in competition at home and then were wed off one-by-one to Kings.” She pays me the very great compliment of putting me among her favorite historical writers (in some pretty impressive company):

The Sister Queens was more than I could have ever asked for in a book and now reigns in my top three historical fiction novels with Michelle Moran’s Cleopatra’s Daughter and Sandra Byrd’s To Die For. For me that is some great company. I will be highly recommending The Sister Queens to all of my friends, even ones who don’t read historical fiction.”

Meanwhile  A Chick Who Reads gave me the lovely flowers and some kind words as well:

This is Sophie’s first novel and if it is any indication of what’s to come, well, move over Phillipa Gregory.”

I will be back at A Chick Who Reads tomorrow as a guest blogger talking about “Hair-Shirts 101”(and how often do you hear someone say that?). Hope you’ll join me.

On the fence about The Sister Queens?  Looking for a little persuasion—a reason to add it to your “To Be Read” pile?  Well, I am about to give you fifteen.

You see I keep a list of comments from reviewers—comments that rocked my world.  And I noticed the other day that, with the 4 month anniversary of its release just around the corner, my novel has received in excess of three dozen really super reviews from bloggers and book-related publications.  That’s not counting the more than one-hundred readers who have taken the time to write reviews for it at either Goodreads or Amazon.

So, at the risk of tooting my own horn most unbecomingly, I’ve decided to share a compendium of my favorite quotes grouped to support fifteen excellent reasons for any reader to take notice of The Sister Queens:

#1:  The Sister Queens is amazing—don’t take my word for it (I am a little partial), it has received a staggering amount of good reviews:

“This is the must read novel of the summer for anyone with a passion for historical fiction.” (Fresh Fiction)

THE SISTER QUEENS is probably my first Perfect 10 in well over a year—but it certainly merits at least that.(Romance Reviews Today)

“Word on the street (rather, consensus among historical fiction bloggers) is that this is an author to watch whose book is a page-turner, fast-paced, emotional, passionate, well-written and carefully researched.” (School Library Journal)

“Historical fiction lovers rejoice! A new and true talent has arrived on the scene!” (Let Them Read Books)

The Sister Queens is an amazing debut novel. Telling a story about history in a way that only the best historical fiction does.” (The True Book Addict)

I’ll be recommending this to everyone I know who loves historical fiction and putting this author on my “buy immediately” list for her future releases” (Bippity Boppity Book)

The Sister Queens is historic fiction at its absolute finest. I simply cannot wait to see what this author does next. She’s already won herself a spot on my list of favorite authors. In all of its colorful prose, deep and eccentric characters, and historical brilliance, this book can be summed up with one word: phenomenal. Brava!” (The Tulsa Book Review)

“In short, an excellent work of historical fiction . . . . Certainly the best I’ve read this year set in the Middle Ages. Highly recommended.” (Medieval Bookworm)

“This is one of the few historical fiction stories that I’ve read lately that I would consider a page-turner(Debbie’s Book Bag)

#2:  The story has it ALL:  Whatever you like in your historical fiction you are going to find it in the pages of The Sister Queens, a novel that spans 40 years and locations including England, France, Provence, Cyprus & the Holy Land.

“The Sister Queens has it all… court life, balls, rivalry, politics, love and lust; with the added element of it seeming so real to the reader as though watching a film.” (Peeking Between the Pages)

“This is an excellent slice of an extremely interesting period of time. We get the politics and social aspects of not one but two countries (always a bonus!) as well as in the latter part of the book, Louis’ crusade to the Holy Land.” (The Broke and the Bookish)

 #3  Rumor has it I can actually write:

“Sophie Perinot’s writing style is simple and honest and all the more eloquent for it.” (Let Them Read Books)

“I hope that Ms. Perinot is considering further books on unsung women in history as she does have a magical way with words. A way that brings long dead characters to very real life.” (Broken Teepee)

“I couldn’t believe that this is Sophie’s first book. It reads like it’s written by someone with years of writing experience and dozens of novels under their belt.” (Book Drunkard)

 “. . . this is a novel that I quickly lost myself in. It was written beautifully and Perinot does an amazing job of bringing these two characters to life.” (The Owl Bookmark)

Perinot’s writing is almost flawless, and she brings to rich life characters who lived more than 600 years ago, no small feat.” (Briar Patch Books)

Perinot is a great writer and I’m anxious to see what other books she comes out with in the future” (A Bookish Affair)

#4  So I am getting compared to some pretty well-known historical novelists (and I am both flattered and grateful):

“Fans of Philippa Gregory and Carolly Erickson will want to add this author to their collection.”  (Joplin Loves 2 Read)

“I was reminded of one of my favorite historical fiction authors, Sharon Kay Penman. (Although Ms. Perinot’s style is deliciously more sexy :)” (Let Them Read Books)

“. . . Perinot’s writing style reminds me of my revered Jean Plaidy—that is high braise indeed from this reader. (historical-fiction.com) Continue reading »

Can a book have a Quinceanera? The Sister Queens has now been on sale for 15-weeks.  I almost forgot because I am hard at work on a new, 16th century, novel. Still a little celebrating is in order lest the toddler book get jealous of the new baby book.  And just in time for the little anniversary party the novel received an excellent review from The Medieval Bookworm.  Meghan kindly calls The Sister Queens:

an excellent work of historical fiction . . . . Certainly the best I’ve read this year set in the Middle Ages.”

and says:

It’s in part the relationships between the sisters, though, that makes this an excellent book. Yes, they have their children and their husbands, but they also always have one another, and it’s the sort of heartwarming female relationship that doesn’t always dominate mainstream fiction in quite the way it should.”

 Cue the confetti!

For the superstitious, thirteen is hardly an auspicious number.  And, as those of you who’ve read my blog post at Book Pregnant know, a novel more than three months past its release can start to get lost in the shuffle, leaving its author with a case of the not-so-new-anymore blues.  Call me a cockeyed optimist but I choose to face the thirteen-week anniversary of the release of The Sister Queens with a list of thirteen reasons (in no particular order) that I am grateful to be JUST WHERE AND WHEN I AM.

1.  My day started with this touching shout out from fellow writer Joey Francisco.  Joey reminds us that reading can transport people—even people oppressed by pain and illness—and she challenges authors to “pay it forward” by donating a copy of their work to the book cart at their local hospital.  What a timely reminder of the magic of fiction, and what a fantastic service idea!

2.  Reviewers have been generous.  To date The Sister Queens has received more than three-dozen very positive reviews.  Most recently, The School Library Journal declared:

Word on the street (rather, consensus among historical fiction bloggers) is that this is an author to watch whose book is a page-turner, fast-paced, emotional, passionate, well-written and carefully researched.”

3.  The Fans are FANTASTIC.  I am constantly hearing from new people who love my book and support my writing.  Readers, your notes, direct messages, and tweets mean so very much.  Thank you.  Thirteen weeks on, I am still receiving photos from Queen Spotters around the country.  Got another picture of The Sister Queens lounging on a bed inMaine just this past weekend.

4.  I’ve been invited to be a Presenting Author at the 2012 Baltimore Book Festival.  What better way to spend the last weekend in September?  I will be participating in a number of panels including a discussion of “Trends in Historical Fiction” and (oh JOY) a reconstitution of the “Sex and the Historical Novelist” panel that Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray and I created for our triple-author appearance in April

5.  I hit my all-time high Amazon ranking for The Sister Queens in trade paperback on my twelve-week anniversary!  Looks like buzz is building sales even if The Sister Queens is not a “new release” anymore.

6.  High fives, hand-holding and the occasional shoulder as needed from fellow writers make a solitary profession less so.  I’ve never been in a more supportive profession.  From the marvelous writers whose blurbs grace The Sister Queen’s cover, to the twenty-nine fellow members of my debut author group, Book Pregnant, the past thirteen weeks have been full of fellow writers willing to lend an ear or a hand as I navigated my debut.  Talk about renewed faith in mankind.

7.  Team Sophie rocked the postcards.  Team Sophie is made up of readers who signed on to share their enthusiasm about The Sister Queens.  Their first mission was mailing a few custom postcards to recommend the novel to friends.  Team S, you all made a serious dent in my pile of postcards :) and I don’t doubt for a moment that the buzz you generated caused an uptick in sales.

8.  Book clubs made me feel welcome.  I am now a book-club veteran with both live and skype appearances under my belt (here’s a picture of the Georgia club that provided my first skype date).  A chance to discuss the themes and characters in my novel—that’s like chocolate, red wine and good sex all rolled into one. Bless you book clubs. Bless you.

9.  My wip (work in progress) feeds my need.  Sometimes I love it.  Other times . . . it makes me feel like I am trapped under something heavy.  But the truth is I can’t live without the magical time-traveling rush I get from writing.  So I am happy for my current manuscript which keeps me cocooned in the 16th century.

10.  My family reminds me there are more important things in life than how many words I write each day.  When the muse doesn’t cooperate and I descend from my office grumpy and fershimmeled the faces of my husband and children remind me the day is still a success in other, more important, ways.  And when the muse does cooperate and I forget about making dinner, I am grateful that my family rolls with it (generally) without complaint.

11.  The twenty-five readers who reviewed The Sister Queens on Amazon, and the many more who reviewed it on Goodreads took the time to make a difference.  You have powerful voices and help others make reading and purchasing decisions.  Particularly at Amazon your numbers move algorithms, influencing how often and where my book is recommended to other visitors. Thanks!

12.  Nearly 300 people have “liked” either my book page or my author page at Facebook :)

13.  My agent and my editor had faith in me (and in The Sister Queens).  That faith permitted me to step on the roller-coaster that is publication.  It’s been a wild ride so far, but I haven’t thrown up yet! That’s something isn’t it?

Here’s to the next thirteen weeks with all their triumphs and trials!

 

 

Just in time for the 12-week anniversary of the novel’s debut, The Sister Queens has crossed the three-dozen-review mark.  And just look what the kind folks at Fresh Fiction are saying:

This is the must read novel of the summer for anyone with a passion for historical fiction.”

 And:

Sophie Perinot’s magical storytelling transforms history into a page-turner medieval saga.”

 Let me tell you, it is not everyday a 500 page novel gets called a page turner!  I am very grateful for the kind words.  And I do hope fans and followers of Fresh Fiction will pick up a copy of my novel for their beach bags.

I am very pleased to add another super review to The Sister Queens’ collection!  With over thirty positive reviews now in, I am grateful for and humbled by this embarrassment of riches.

The latest praise comes from Onyx Book Chateau where Kyrsta gave the book 4 ½ stars and had this to say:

I absolutely adored this book! It was a fully engaging novel and remarkably relatable – I could totally imagine these two sisters carrying out a relationship through letters throughout their lives as rival queens.”

She had particular praise for the dialogue which she said was:

written effortlessly as it flowed in a natural way, it never felt forced or fake.

As for who should read the book, Kyrsta would:

recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction and especially to those of you out there who have a sister – I saw so much of my sister’s and my relationship in these pages (I saw myself being Marguerite and my sister as Eleanor) and I was able to reflect upon our own relationship.”

Put on your party hats!  There is something to celebrate!  The Sister Queens just received an extremely laudatory and exquisitely written review at Let Them Read Books.  Lines like these had me blushing at my desk:

Sophie Perinot’s writing style is simple and honest and all the more eloquent for it.

* * *

I was reminded of one of my favorite historical fiction authors, Sharon Kay Penman. (Although Ms. Perinot’s style is deliciously more sexy :) There’s not a word out of place, and I must have marked a dozen beautiful passages of description and observation. Whether the emotion is grief, anger, or love, Perinot gives it life and evokes it from the reader.”

* * *

Historical fiction lovers rejoice! A new and true talent has arrived on the scene!”

And while I am busy hugging myself (yeah, I do that), you should plan on returning to Let Them Read Books tomorrow because Jenny will be hosting a giveaway.  I will also be guest posting on a new reading list I started at Goodreads—a list you may be very interested in.