A Brand New Novel
Josephine Baker, the early-20th-century African-American dancer, comic, and singer–hugely famous in Paris. Did you know that she was also a spy for the French Resistance during WWII?
It’s launch day in Poland for my historical novel FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS, which my publisher, Pascal, has named QUEENS.
I like their title, don’t you? Choosing a title for my own book is, for some reason, difficult for me. FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS was my working title, but my editorial team at Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books liked it. At Random House, I offered several inferior title suggestions before we came up with THE JEWEL OF MEDINA.
Back to the Polish version — check out the gorgeous cover! I’d pick this one up from the bookstore table, wouldn’t you?
It’s interesting to me how different publishers choose different covers for a book, depending on their market. In Italy, Newton Compton published FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS with a bold, red-and-white cover. It debuted last May.
For those of you who don’t know about FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS, it’s a tale of love, lust, and revenge in 13th century Europe. Think of it as sort of a medieval LITTLE WOMEN. The four daughters of the Count and Countess of Provence, educated by their mother as though they were boys, marry the kings of France, England, Germany, and Sicily.
Although brought up to honor their family first and foremost, sister turns against sister in a battle over inheritance of their beloved homeland as well as rivalries between the kingdoms they govern. This critically acclaimed book, like all my novels, explores women’s power in a man’s world. In addition to the four sisters — Marguerite, Eléonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice — FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS introduces a number of other kick-ass queens, as well: Blanche de Castille, the inimitable White Queen of France; Isenbourg of Denmark; and Shajar al-Durr, the formidable Queen of Egypt.
The first publisher to bring out my new book, after Simon & Schuster in the U.S., was Beobook in Serbia. They released it concurrently with my U.S. release, and brought me over for a media tour and several (well-attended) signings. Loving Belgrade and the Serbian people as I do, it was a real treat.
Beobook gave FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS a fairytale-like cover, which I also adore.
I’m excited to see what the rest of the world does with my book.
We’ve sold translation rights in the Czech Republic, Albania, Russia, and Turkey, as well. As the new covers come to me, I’ll be certain to share them with you. Meanwhile, tell me — which of these covers do you like best?
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