Monday, September 28, 2015

Music Monday - "Lightnin' Strikes" by Lou Christie (1966)

I always say that I don't like falsetto voices in music - and then I have to amend and add that I really like Lou Christie and Frankie Valli.  "Lightnin' Strikes" was a number one hit in 1966, and was written by Lou Christie and Twyla Herbert.

Lou Christie was born Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco in 1943 and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He was an aspiring recording artist since his teens, and had his first hit in 1962 ("The Gypsy Cried").

I remember this song from AM radio when I was a very little girl.  I loved it then and still do.  The recording is below, for your listening pleasure.

Book Review and Giveaway - The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

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.

ADVANCE PRAISE

“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

AMAZON US | AMAZON CAN | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | CHAPTERS | ITUNES | INDIEBOUND | KOBO

MY REVIEW

I love historical fiction, but will admit that I know a lot more about British and American history than French history.  As a result, I was not familiar with the story of the Nesle sisters before reading this book.  Their story is a fascinating and complex one.  Four of the five sisters were mistresses to King Louis XV of France.

This book is told in alternating chapters from the viewpoint of the Nesle sisters: Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne. The short chapters are dated, and there are letters interspersed in the text.

I found this novel fascinating, both from the standpoint of learning something new about history, and reading some very engaging storytelling.

The Sisters of Versailles is a complex, skillfully told story.  There are a number of characters involved but they are richly detailed and clearly delineated.  The descriptions and historical details are wonderful, and helped bring this period in history to vivid life.

I highly recommend this novel to other fans of historical fiction.  I look forward to reading the next book in this series! 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

05_The Sisters of Versailles_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL
Monday, September 14 
Review at Reading the Past
Tuesday, September 15 
Review at Book Lovers Paradise 
Interview & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf 
Wednesday, September 16 
Review at Bookish 
Thursday, September 17 
Review at The Book Binder's Daughter 
Friday, September 18 
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict 
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective 
Saturday, September 19 
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews 
Monday, September 21 
Review at Leeanna.me 
Tuesday, September 22 
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection 
Wednesday, September 23 
Review & Giveaway at History Undressed 
Thursday, September 24 
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past 
Friday, September 25 
Spotlight at Historical Readings & Views 
Monday, September 28
Review & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse 
Tuesday, September 29 
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Thursday, October 1 
Review at Genre Queen 
Review at bookramblings 
Friday, October 2 
Review at Curling Up By the Fire 
Monday, October 5 
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews 
Tuesday, October 6 
Review at Just One More Chapter 
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

GIVEAWAY

Prize:  One paperback, open to US residents only.

Rules

– Must be 18 or older to enter.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.



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I received a copy of this book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.