Author Interview & Giveaway: The Sisters of Versailles

We're excited to welcome the author of The Sisters of Versailles, Sally Christie, to Reading Lark today. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Why is French royalty and scandal so fascinating to read and write about? 

Sally: I think in general monarchs and the people around them hold a lot of fascination for readers. Power and the funny (and not so funny) things it does to people is always interesting, and of course they are also the group of people about which we have the most information. 

I especially like Louis XV’s reign: there is so little in English written about him and yet he was party to so many scandals and bizarre situations. He’s definitely under the shadow of his more famous great-grandfather, Louis XIV, aka The Sun King, and his sad grandson Louis XVI, but he reigned for a good chunk of the 18th century (1715 – 1774) and was very influential (not in a positive sense) on the Revolution that started 15 years after his death. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your research process when writing a historical fiction novel? 

Sally: I read as much as I can from secondary sources then go back to available primary sources. Google Books is simply amazing – they have a goal to digitize every book every published, and they have done an awesome job on obscure 18th century French memoires. I also try to read a lot about the period in a general sense – non-fiction accounts of a narrow area, or general texts – you never know what interesting nuggets you are going to pick up. 

Visiting the places that are important to the story is also key. You can get a good sense of a lot of locations online – tons of videos and photos out there – but nothing replaces actually walking, sitting, thinking, where your characters were. The sensory detail you can pick up is key to making the story come alive. I was able to visit the sisters’ childhood home in Paris, and also go behind the scenes at Versailles and see some of the rooms where Marie Anne and Louise lived – mind blowing! 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which sister is most like you? 

Sally: I think I’m most like Marie Anne, but not because I like torturing fluffy animals. It’s a bit hard to explain why I feel that affinity with her, but I’ll say I most admire Pauline – she has that total confidence that I think most of us wish we had. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: If this novel were a cupcake, what kind would it be? 

Sally: Ha! That’s a great question. It would be plain white vanilla with masses of pink fluffy frosting, hiding a core of dark chocolate melted with bacon bits thrown in, topped with a squiggly piece of licorice: The Sisters of Versailles has a frothy outside, hiding a surprisingly dark and meaty inside, topped with some humor. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: It's a tradition to ask - What is your favorite bird? 

Sally: Budgies! We had some lovely ones when I was growing up. With enough time and patience they make great pets with their own personalities and interests, and can even be let outside.

01_The Sisters of Versailles

The Sisters of Versailles (Mistresses of Versailles, Book One) by Sally Christie

Publication Date: September 1, 2015 
Publisher: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster 
Formats: Ebook, Paperback 
Pages: 432 ISBN-10: 1501102966 
 Genre: Historical Fiction 
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 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 foot - 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, the four sisters:sweet, naive Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne, will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power. 

 In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The 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.


"A stunning breadth of period detail, offered in a fresh, contemporary voice." Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy 

 "Sally Christie's The Sisters of Versailles is an intriguing romp through Louis XV's France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy." Allison Pataki, author of The Accidental Empress



I'm a life-long history buff - and I mean life-long. One of the first adult books I read was Antonia Fraser's masterful Mary, Queen of Scots. Wow! That book just blew my little ten year old mind: something about the way it brought the past right back to life, made it live again on the page. I date my obsession with history to that time, but I'd been writing ("writing") ever since I was able to hold a pencil. 

 If you'd told my 12-year old self that I'd not be a writer when I grew up, I would have laughed you out of the tree house. With a few detours along the way, to work overseas in consulting and development, as well as to go to business school, I've finally come full circle to where I think I should be. 

 I currently live in Toronto and when I'm not writing, I'm playing lots of tennis; doing random historical research (old census records are my favorite); playing Scrabble, and squirrel-watching (the room where I write has French doors leading out to a deck; I avidly follow, and feed, a scruffy gang). 

For more information please visit Sally Christie's website. You can also find her on Goodreads and Pinterest.


Monday, September 14 
Review at Reading the Past 

  Tuesday, September 15 
Interview & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf 

  Wednesday, September 16 
Review at Bookish 

  Thursday, September 17 

  Friday, September 18 
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict 

  Saturday, September 19 

  Monday, September 21 
Review at 

  Tuesday, September 22 

  Wednesday, September 23 
Review & Giveaway at History Undressed 

  Thursday, September 24 
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past 

  Friday, September 25 

  Monday, September 28 
Review & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse 

  Tuesday, September 29 

  Thursday, October 1 
Review at Genre Queen 
Review at book ramblings 

  Friday, October 2 

  Monday, October 5 

  Tuesday, October 6 

  Wednesday, October 7 
Review at The Lit Bitch 

  Thursday, October 8 
Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark 

  Friday, October 9 
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

We have one paperback copy of The Sisters of Versailles to give away to our readers. This giveaway is open to residents of the US. You must be 18+ years of age to win. Reading Lark is not responsible for lost or damaged packages. 

The giveaway runs from October 8-15. Winner will be notified via email on October 16.


  1. I am always on the lookout for good historical fiction (and non fiction) about Versailles and the people who lived there. One of my favorite periods in history. I have been enjoying this blog tour very much. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.


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