On this snowy, icy Monday on the East Coast, we bring to our readers The Accidental Empress blog tour. For our stop the author is sharing a guest post and there's a great giveaway for all to enter. Enjoy!
About The Accidental Empress:
New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki follows up on her critically-acclaimed debut novel, The Traitor’s Wife, with the little-known and tumultuous love story of “Sisi,” the Austro-Hungarian Empress and captivating wife of Emperor Franz Joseph.
The year is 1853, and the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia, from Germany to Italy, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry.
Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Intrigued by Sisi’s guileless charm and energetic spirit, not to mention her unrivaled beauty, Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.
Plucked from obscurity and thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi has no idea what struggles and dangers—and temptations—await her. Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world.
With Pataki’s rich period detail and cast of complex, compelling characters, The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into the bedrooms and staterooms of one of history’s most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Habsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved “Fairy Queen.”
This Isn’t Your Typical Fairytale…
This isn’t your typical fairytale. For starters, Sisi never meant to seduce the emperor. She never thought that she’d be empress…
It all begins simply enough: boy meets girl, boy falls madly in love with girl. Girl returns the feelings—and it’s love at first sight. It sounds fairly straightforward, right? The only problem is that the “boy” in this scenario happens to be Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria—one of the most powerful men in the world, and Europe’s most eligible bachelor. And the girl? She happens to be Sisi of Bavaria, the younger sister of the Emperor’s fiancé! Not so simple after all…
Fear not, however, because it turns out that the elder sister is all too happy to step aside and let her kid-sister have the glory, and the groom. The wedding happens, and the beautiful and charming Sisi bids farewell to freedom as she is thrust onto the throne of the world’s most glamorous and lavish court. The Emperor is smitten. The new Empress is beloved. Peace reigns across the Habsburg empire. Happily ever after, right?
Not so fast. Like I said, this isn’t your typical fairytale. Sure, there are glittering palaces and beautiful ball gowns and there is plenty of dancing to the imperial violins. But this fairytale takes a look at the question: what happens when all of your dreams come true? What happens after happily ever after?
What happens when the bride is a beautiful—but also intelligent, and strong-willed, and sensitive and charismatic—young woman who wants to assert her own right to her own life? What happens with the emperor’s mother, the indomitable Archduchess Sophie, doesn’t approve of her son’s choice in bride, and doesn’t appreciate that he overturned mommy’s well-laid plans to make the elder sister his wife? And what happens when the emperor is caught in the middle of this family feud, while also trying to rule an empire where the threat of civil war seems ever-present?
Throw in a heavy heap of court intrigue and a pile of palace scheming, and you have a very complicated situation. You’ll find love and lust, fidelity and betrayal, appearance versus reality, and a love triangle that makes for a surprising ending.
Ultimately, this is the story of Sisi, a fascinating and enchanting young woman who wakes up one day and realizes that her life has changed entirely. Now she must fight to come into her own, and she must do so in a royal court where danger and temptation seem to lurk in every stateroom and bedroom.
Also from Allison Pataki:
The Traitor’s Wife
About Allison Pataki:
Allison Pataki is the author of the New York Times bestselling historical novel, The Traitor's Wife. She graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years writing for TV and online news outlets. The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison was inspired to write her second novel, The Accidental Empress, by her family’s deep roots in the former Habsburg empire of Austria-Hungary.
Allison is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization, ReConnect Hungary. Allison is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and FoxNews.com, as well as a member of The Historical Novel Society. Allison lives in Chicago with her husband. To learn more and connect with Allison visit www.AllisonPataki.com or on Twitter.
Thanks to Allison Pataki and Simon & Schuster, one lucky winner will receive a $120 gift card to the ebook retailer of their choice (Amazon/B&N/iTunes)! Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open internationally.