The Sister Queens just made its TENTH “best of  2012” list thanks to Kayla at the Historical Fiction Examiner.  Make sure to check out Kayla’s entire Top 10— lots of great books to add to your TBR pile there.  My debut is listed with novels by so many authors I truly admire including, Michelle Moran, Juliet Grey, Elizabeth Loupas and Susan Higginbotham.

Must admit it feels overwhelming to make see my book alongside the work of so many luminaries of the genre.  This time I am actually one-of-ten with Philippa Gregory.  Weird.  But weird in a good way!

Nine days until Christmas, have you finished shopping?  Well, never mind that. Have you entered all these SUPER holiday book giveaways?  There is no time to waste, many of these giveaways are ending shortly.

1) The Historical Holiday Blog Hop at Passages to the Past – This is the jackpot!  FOUR fantastic prize packages each an overstuffed holiday stocking of super historical fiction titles (and I mean win a prize and take home more than a dozen historical novels).  Check it out!  The Sister Queens is part of oh-so-impressive “Prize Package #4.”

2) Over at Let Them Read Books you could win ANY historical title of your choice (valued $15 or less) shipped to you wherever you live (yes, this one is international folks).  Jenny has some recommendations based on her favorite reads of the year if you are looking for suggestions. 

3) At Tanzinites Castle Full of Books three lucky winners will chose two, gently-read titles each in another historical fiction giveaway.

4) Giveaway number four, at Peeking Between the Pages,  has four fantastic historical titles on offer including books by Michelle Moran and yours truly.

5) And finally, if you are looking to step outside of the historical fiction box I have a pair of giveaways for you.

First, the authors of Book Pregnant are celebrating the “book baby” births of 2012 by hosting a giveaway of 2012 debuts.  There are fourteen titles to choose from including literary fiction, women’s fiction, YA, historical fiction and more.  At the moment there are more books on offer than entries—you have to like those odds.

Second, there is a very nice Books for Christmas giveaway at the blog of author  Genevieve Graham featuring ten titles (including mine) across various genres and each with it’s own rafflecopter entry form. When you click the link you will be at the top of a string of posts, make sure to scroll down to see and enter all the contests.

I’ve just given you six excellent reasons to take a break from your baking and wrapping.  GET TO IT!

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Mother’s Day is a “brunch holiday.”  I detest brunch.  There is something so very non-committal about it.  Besides, all the best food (not to mention the alcohol to go with it) comes out after dark.  In the early years of being a mother I devoted considerable time and energy in the month of April to oh-so-subtly delivering my anti-brunch message (my husband comes from a Mother’s-Day-Brunch family).  By the time we had two toddlers I’d given up on subtle and had “Sophie hates brunch” tattooed on hubby’s arm.  Let’s face it there is NOTHING relaxing or celebratory about trying to consume a meal in a nice restaurant with two toddlers.  And, crazy as it may seem, I’ve always been under the impression that a gift is supposed to delight and relax its recipient.

Motherhood is not, generally speaking, a relaxing occupation.  Everything is prone to interruption.  Everything.  If you are a mother and you’ve been drawn, shampoo-still-in-hair, from the shower by disturbing sounds from elsewhere in your house—sounds suggesting that either furniture or children are being broken—then you know precisely what I mean.  The TRULY perfect Mother’s Day gift would be an exotic getaway.  A weekend on a beach inBali.  Shopping inParis.  A day at the spa.  Heck, I drive past a Dominican retreat on my appointed motherly rounds, and lately I’ve been thinking a day with the nuns would do wonders for me.  Please note, I am not even Catholic.

The truth is, for many of us, an actually physical getaway is pipe dream.  There are kids to be delivered to and from a myriad of activities (anyone who’s had a “oh my god I forgot to pick up [insert child’s name here]” moment, raise your hand), homework to help with, etc.  And can you just imagine the size of the laundry pile that would await a mother’s return should she actually manage to slip away toBali?

But being a mom is a joy and an avocation.  It’s taught me a lot of things including how to live in the moment.  After two decades of motherhood I know that I need to both treasure and expect my “me time” in small increments.  You have perhaps heard of the twenty-minute power nap?  Well, I have become the master of the eleven-minute sitting-in-the-car-getaway.  And that leads me to books.

Books offer the perfect, portable, getaway.  I may look like I am in the carpool line, waiting for the man with the whistle to call a hundred car engines to life, but I am not.  I am in ancient Rome thanks to Kate Quinn’s Empress of the Seven Hills.  I am in regency England watching a confirmed bachelor-dandy fall head-over-heels thanks to Miranda Neville.  I am spending an afternoon with Catherine de Medici thanks to biographer R. J. Knecht.  I am attending festivities at the Valois court with Philippe Erlanger.  I am discovering a set of sisters from Provence in a secondary research source on Notre Dame de Paris—sisters who will lead me on an adventure ultimately resulting in the publication of my debut novel, The Sister Queens.

The cost of these getaways is negligible (certainly not in the league of airline tickets to Bali).  For the cost of a brunch I’d hate for the five of us, my family can get me a whole armload of books I’ll love and that will fit into my schedule.  Yes, I may get snappish when I am forced to put down a novel at a climatic moment to help find a uniform skirt gone missing, or “check” on someone who has already been in bed for an hour but is still not asleep (you know who you are, son).  But it’s a lot easier to settle back down on the couch and slip back into the French Revolution with Michelle Moran’s Madame Tussaud than it is to sop up all the water and suds from interrupted tub-time.  When I travel by novel I can get back home from Paris for tuck-in time.  Try doing that by airplane (especially in a TSA infested air-travel world).

So, husband dearest, books please.  Mother’s Day is still more than a week away.  Don’t make me tattoo this on your. . . oh, never mind.

Things get a little zany in my interview at Unabridged Chick today. Did you know, for example, that I was the first (and possibly remain the only) writer to attempt to make a career out of banana-fiction?  Yes, I am a master of the genre, but *blushes* downright terrible at titles.

Go Sophie!

Stop by, learn more about my early attempts at fiction and what terrific books by fellow historical writers I’ve been reading lately!

Last holiday season Santa outdid himself—I got my debut book deal for Christmas.

The past year has been full of wonderful experiences, from working with my very astute and caring editor at NAL to receiving my first reader’s review on goodreads. Each one of these pre-publication events shines like a foil-wrapped Christmas package in my memory.

Some of year’s most precious gifts came from fellow historical fiction writers—luminaries of the genre actually. I’ve been honored to receive a number of marvelous endorsements (known as “cover blurbs” in the business) for The Sister Queens from authors whose work I both read and admire. I am pleased and proud to unveil them – and the fabulous front cover that NAL created for The Sister Queens – at my newly renovated “My Books” page.

Here, with profound thanks to their authors, are a few blurbs to whet your appetite:

In her debut novel, The Sister Queens, Sophie Perinot breathes life into two of history’s most fascinating siblings. What Philippa Gregory did for Anne and Mary Boleyn, Perinot has done for Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence. This is without a doubt one of the best novels I’ve read all year!”

 —Michelle Moran, author of Madame Tussaud

Every page of The Sister Queens for me was like a morsel to savor. The Sister Queens is one of the most beautifully written books I have read in a very long time. Absolutely superb! I will certainly be adding it to my ‘keeper’ shelf.”

 —Diane Haeger, author of The Queen’s Rival

Sophie Perinot’s debut tour de force, The Sister Queens, gives the reader a detailed and racy look into the very public and most intimate lives of English and French royalty. The sister queens have two very different personalities, yet Perinot’s skills allow a modern woman to see herself in them and root for them both. This sweeping, compelling novel is a medieval, double-decker lifestyles of the rich, famous, and fascinating.”

—Karen Harper, author of The Queen’s Governess

 For more endorsements, including kind words from authors Elizabeth Loupas, Christy English, Leslie Carroll and Anne O’Brien please visit the “My Books” tab.

P.S. Santa, no need to leave anything under the tree for me this year, I am one of the luckiest ladies around.