Press release

Press release


In Canada, contact: Lindsey Love

In the United States, contact: Marcia Burch

Mistress of the Sun



“A fascinating portrait”. OK! magazine
“An engrossing novel about piety, passion and poison”. More magazine

Eight years after her bestselling Josephine B. trilogy, Sandra Gulland introduces us to the enchanting Petite, a maid in the turbulent and intrigue-filled court of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

French history is more than a backdrop in [Gulland’s] capable hands; it is the very air her character’s breathe. Books in Canada


An extraordinary horsewoman, Louise de La Valliere, is a brave and spirited child of minor nobility who, against all odds, grows up to become one of the most mysterious consorts of France’s King Louis XIV, the charismatic Sun King.

Set against the magnificent decadence of the court of the Sun King, Mistress of the Sun begins when an eccentric young Louise falls in love with a wild white stallion and uses ancient bone magic to tame him. This one desperate action of her youth shadows her throughout her life, changing it in ways she could never imagine.

Unable to marry and too poor to join a convent, she enters the court of the Sun King as a maid-of-honour, where she captures and then tragically loses the King’s heart.

A riveting love story with a captivating mystery at its heart, Mistress of the Sun resurrects a fascinating female figure from the shadows of history, and illuminates both the power of true and perfect love and the rash actions we take to capture and tame it.

Praise for Mistress of the Sun:

“Here’s a warning: Mistress of the Sun is dangerously seductive. It’s one of those books that will grab you and hold you captive till the last page is turned — and even then, chances are you’ll find yourself, eyes burning, online at midnight, ordering Sandra Gulland’s other books. Yes, it’s that good.”
Geeta Nadkarni for the Canwest News Service (published in the Montreal Gazette and Calgary Herald)


Praise for The Josephine B. Trilogy:

“It is that rare thing: a smart book you read as compulsively as a beach-blanket thriller.”
Edmonton Journal on The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.


“[It] is that rare phenomenon: a second novel even better than the first. Gulland casts a strong spell, weaving reality and myth.”
Toronto Star on Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe

“Enlightening and emotionally immediate. A convincing, tender portrait of Josephine B., the woman who was a match for one of history’s most titanic figures.”
The Globe and Mail on The Last Great Dance on Earth

Sandra Gulland was raised and educated in Berkeley, California, and immigrated to Canada in 1970. She is the author of the Josephine B. Trilogy, which has sold over a million copies worldwide to great success. Gulland spent many years researching Mistress of the Sun, and in the interest of perfecting the book’s rich details, she acquired a library of over 200 books on the Louis XIV period, rode horseback for a week in France’s Loire Valley (45 km a day) and spent a silent week in a convent. Sandra Gulland and her husband live half the year near Killaloe, Ontario, and half in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Visit Sandra Gulland online at
For details of her tour schedule, go to the Events page.
See also: Notes on the Writing Life, her author blog.





In Canada:
HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN 0-00-200775-4
ISBN 13 978-0-00-200775-7
Hardcover, $29.95
Publication February, 2008

In the U.S.:
Simon & Schuster Publishers
A Touchstone Book
ISBN 13: 978-0-7432-9887-2
ISBN 10: 0-7432-9887-X
Hardcover, $26.00
Publication June 3, 2008

Google adventures into the history of cleavage

Google adventures into the history of cleavage

I’m being interviewed tomorrow by a journalist on the history of cleavage. Having written Mistress of the Sun, a novel set in the 17th century court of the Sun King, I’m now an expert.


Yes and No.

I have some insights, some opinions on this, but I’ve not looked into the subject in any formal way. So: time to cram.

Of course the first thing I do to prep for this interview is Google the subject. One of the links to pop up is to an academic paper titled, “Parties and Cleavages in the European Political Space.” (It occurs to me that this was an unfortunate choice of words for the title of a serious work, that the use of “party” and “cleavage” together is certain to give rise to hecklers.)

I persevere.

The next link brings up an article in the Journal of Metamorphic Geology. The article includes the sentence: “We interpret this to reflect a pressure-solution mechanism for cleavage development, where precipitation from a very small fluid reservoir fractionated that fluid.”

(How would you interpret this sentence?)

And further: “…the history of cleavage formation in the area is more protracted and complex. To unravel the cleavage history…”

Onward — for I must, indeed, unravel the history of cleavage, and quickly.

Heroine of a Golden Age: a wonderful article

Heroine of a Golden Age: a wonderful article

I’m very pleased this morning to discover Janice Kennedy‘s article in the Ottawa Citizen, “Heroine of a Golden Age.” I’m a long way from Ottawa — I’m in San Miguel de Allende, enjoying a sunny morning — yet through the wonders of the internet I learn of this article the morning it comes out. It describes, accurately and well, the long and difficult process of writing Mistress of the Sun.

The days before a novel comes out is a nervous time for an author: there will be reviews, articles, interviews. Who knows what to expect? So it’s a pleasure to launch with an article such as this one. Thank you, Janice Kennedy!

That nervous time before lift-off…

That nervous time before lift-off…

In four weeks my novel, Mistress of the Sun, will be officially published in Canada (U.S. publication will be in June). The time before a novel comes out are always hard. Will readers like it?

Believe me, it’s never easy. Over a decade ago, when I was just starting out, and piling up the rejection letters, Jane Urquhart—a wonderful best-selling Canadian author—told me: “Get used to it.” If it ain’t rejections, it will be reviews.

But getting “used to it” entails lots of nail-biting. Which is why sincere and unexpected enthusiastic responses mean so much. I had one such yesterday, a note from Bernard Turle on my Mistress of the Sun FaceBook page.

An endorsement from Bernard is extra-special because he was the wonderful French translator of the Josephine B. Trilogy. I’m not French, yet I write historical novels about French history, so I’m always concerned about how a French reader is going to respond.

Here is what Bernard so kindly wrote:

“I love Mistress of the Sun and I hope I shall do the French translation for my favorite publisher in Paris. I am so glad Sandra has chosen to work on women of silent power. I heard from her long ago that she was working on La Lavalliere and I so much enjoyed translating the Josephine trilogy that I was very keen and of course I enjoyed every minute of the reading. La Lavalliere is less known than other royal mistresses and the novel is a welcome addition to the literature on her. Among many other qualities, I like the point of view from which one sees history : through her : not in the light, not in the shadow, just in between. I sympathize with that position, which is typically a translator’s position.”

I love his phrase, “women of silent power.” Thank you, Bernard, mille fois.