Guest Post by Karleen Koen + Giveaway of Before Versailles

Please welcome author Karleen Koen to Passages to the Past today!  Her novel Before Versailles was released in paperback format from Sourcebooks on September 1st and she is here today with a guest post and giveaway.

Take it away, Karleen...

Hello again, thanks for having me one more time......since it's my choice on a blog post, I chose one from my blog, Writing Life,

....This was written in August of 2008, when I was not yet finished with Before Versailles. It shows the vulnerability, uncertainty, and trust that are part of writing a novel. This highlights some of the struggle and decision in writing...........
Louis, Louis

He was the rock star politician of his time, as if Franklin Roosevelt in his prime looked like a dark-haired Sting with a touch of Brad Pitt thrown in. But oddly enough, he isn’t the one who’s hard to write.

It’s the two women, Louise (de la Valliere, as she was known later) and Henriette (princess of England and France), both real, both intriguing, both loved him and were loved by him, and which is my heroine––that is the problem. I’ve decided and won’t spoil the plot of this book by telling all, but how I have wrestled with this, one draft focusing on one, the other draft on the other, and this draft, the polish/final (I hope, please, please) focusing on the winner.

Who’s the winner and why? The one who contributes most to the tension and forward motion of the story. The one who rises to the forefront in my imagination. In real life, I think they were both heroines. What an interesting point in history, Louis, the burgeoning young lion of Europe, loved by his sister-in-law, his wife, his sister-in-law’s maid of honor (and every other young woman in the vacinity….don’t we all love a star?).  And his breaking of the most powerful man in France and his own brother. To take this story and pull it apart and find the meat, the emotional arcs, the why we do things, the consequences of what we do, which is what I love best, has been such a challenge.

I hope, when it’s done (I think this fall, but it isn’t sold yet, so I don’t know when it will come out) that you think it’s worth it. I have tremendous respect for you…the reader. I am a reader, and I love nothing more than when an author scoops me up in spite of myself and takes me to another world. It’s what I attempt in my writing, to suspend time and place, to create another time and place, where real people walked and talked and loved and lost and survived anyway, just like we do.

About the Book

Paperback Publication Date:  September 2, 2012


Louis XIV is one of the best-known monarchs ever to grace the French throne. But what was he like as a young man—the man before Versailles?

After the death of his prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s still a young man, but one who, as king, willfully takes everything he can get—including his brother’s wife. As the love affair between Louis and Princess Henriette burns, it sets the kingdom on the road toward unmistakable scandal and conflict with the Vatican. Every woman wants him. He must face what he is willing to sacrifice for love.

But there are other problems lurking outside the chateau of Fontainebleau: a boy in an iron mask has been seen in the woods, and the king’s finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, has proven to be more powerful than Louis ever thought—a man who could make a great ally or become a dangerous foe . . .

Meticulously researched and vividly brought to life by the gorgeous prose of Karleen Koen, Before Versailles dares to explore the forces that shaped an iconic king and determined the fate of an empire.

For more information please visit Karleen Koen's WEBSITE.

GIVEAWAY (US & Canada)

- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).
- +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries. 
- +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page.
- +3 additional entries follow PTTP on Twitter.
- +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook or Google+.  You can use the SHARE buttons below.
- Giveaway ends on October 7th. 



  1. What a fabulous story this man makes! I have always been fascinated by Louis XIV. I'd love to win this book.

  2. I'm already a follower, now follow on Twitter, and hopefully am now a subscriber on FB. Patti Rasberry Smith or Peppermint PhD. I couldn't find the "Favorite" button or "Subscribe" button, so I clicked on "Add People." Not sure if that worked or not.

    Would love to win a copy of The Gilded Lily...I keep hearing such great things about it!

  3. I've always been fascinated by Princess Henriette, and I've loved the other books by Karleen Koen that I have read. This novel sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway.

    +5 entries - GFC follower


  4. Louis was truly a fascinating person in history and any novel about him has to be one that will capture the reader from start to finish. I lived in Paris for a number of years and visited Versailles and Fontainebleau quite often. Your mention of these beautiful places made me smile. For a couple of years, we lived in La Celle Saint Cloud just "around the corner" from Versailles. Driving by this glorious place on a daily basis made me feel as though I was living in another time. In addition, I remember taking our two little boys out to the forest at Fontainebleau when they were healing from chickenpox. They need to burn up energy so we let them play on the rocks in the forest. Such a beautiful place. Enough of me, I am certainly looking forward to reading this great novel and see if I can guess who your favorite heroine is, Karleen.

  5. You know, I don't think that I've ever read anything about Louis when he was younger. Most of the books that I read seem to start "after Versaille."

    Great guest post! It's always awesome to learn a little bit more about the story behind the book!


    - I'm a follower of PttP
    - I'm an FB fan
    - I follow on Twitter
    - I shared on my FB
    - I tweeted:

  6. I don't know anything about Louis' early adult years. Would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm a follower.

    nanze55 at hotmail dot com

  7. Would love to win!

  8. Would love to win this!!! I already follow your blog and your facebook page, and I shared about the giveaway on facebook! :)

  9. Fabulous giveaway which sounds fascinating. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. What an interesting time in history! I can't wait to read this account!
    I follow PTTP by Email,
    on Facebook,
    and Twitter.
    Thank you for this fantastic giveaway!
    PhoenixCarvelli at gmail dot com

  11. I just love historical fiction. This one looks amazing.

    Please enter me in the giveaway!

    GFC Follower
    Email Subscriber
    FB group member
    Twitter follower.

  12. Would love to learn more about Louis XIV and the two women in his life. I have never been to France but I find French history very fascinating.

    +5 Carol N Wong GFC follower

    +3 Joined the FB page for this blog.

    +3 I follow this blog on Twitter as Carolee888.

    +1 I tweeted.

    +1 I shared on Facebook:
    +1 I posted on Google+


  13. I want to read more about Louis the XIV

    +5 gfc - mamabunny13
    +3 fb-mamabunny shelor
    +3 Twitter @mamabunny13
    +1 tweet

    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  14. This book looks really good!
    Thanks for the giveaway!


  15. I've been chasing this book everywhere I could find it. I'd love to win a copy.

    I follow this blog by email so I'm pretty easy to get in touch with: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

    I joined the PTTP Facebook page a while ago: Carl Scott

    and, I follow PTTP on Twitter: @carlrscott

    finally, I tweeted about the giveaway:

    Thanks again!

  16. A refreshing change from the Marie Antoinette books. Thanks!

    -blog follower
    -twitter follower
    -shared on google+


  17. I read Before Versailles in June 2011 and enjoyed it a lot. here is my review:
    I would love to win this book to offer to a friend.
    I follow you, i tweeted and FBooked your giveaway:
    ehc16e at yahoo dot com

  18. I love Karleen Koen's work and would love to win Before Versaile. I am a follower on facebook, the web and email.
    Thank you for offering this giveaway.

  19. I don't know as much about French history, and this sounds fascinating! Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity.

    +5 PTTP blog follower
    Member of the PTTP FB page

  20. reading about another King with scandal baggage sounds exciting.
    i follow pttp with email
    i follow on facebook
    i follow on twitter joekathbia
    i shared on facebook

  21. I would love to win this book. It's such an interesting time in history.

  22. I first discovered Karleen Koen when I read Through a Glass Darkly. I love all her novels including this one, Before Versailles. Keep writing Karleen! Thank you!


  23. I'm really looking forward to reading this one as I haven't read much about Louis XIV. I can't seem to soak up enough history and this one is sure to fill my brain with some new info. :) Thank you for the chance in this giveaway!


    +5 Follower
    +3 member on PTTP FB page
    +1 Posted a link to this giveaway on FB

  24. I love books about this time period and I have to admit that I'm very curious to find out what Louis was like when he was younger! Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy of this book:)

    +5 GFC follower
    +1 FB fan
    +1 Twitter follower: @jwitt33
    +1 tweeted:

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  25. I would love to be able to read this one. And I'm a follower!


  26. thank you for the giveaway!!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

    +5 = follower of Passages to the Past
    +3 = fan of the Passages to the Past FB Page
    +1 = shared on Facebook,

  27. How wonderful to read a post by the author to the reader before the book is made available!

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

    Google follower
    Facebook follower
    Shared on Google+

  28. I'd love to learn more about Louis XIV. Thank you for the giveaway!

    +5 GFC follower - Carol M

    +3 Joined the FB page - Carol Mintz

    +3 follow this blog on Twitter - CarolAnnM



    +1 posted on Google+

    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  29. Trying this a second time as I got an error message during my first try. I find this story very intriguing and am interested in learning more.

    Already a follower!

  30. Thanks for the giveaway! I've been wanting to read this for a while because I'd love to learn more about this time period.

    GFC follower
    Facebook follower

    bookwormsusanna AT gmail DOT com

  31. Great post! Interesting thought about the "winner" between the heroines.

    I'm a GFC follower.
    I'm a member of the FB page.
    I already follow on Twitter.
    I shared on Facebook.

    Thanks for the chance to win!


  32. Would love to read more about this time period.


    I follow on Google Reader

  33. Thanks for the giveaway, PTTP! Sounds fantastic -- another one that's been on my list!

    sidhekist at gmail dot com

  34. This looks like a fascinating book & I'd love to read it. Thanks for the chance!

    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

    +5 - GFC follower of PTTP (CherylS22)
    +3 - member of PTTP FB page(Cheryl EntryAccount)
    +1 - shared on FB (Cheryl EntryAccount)
    +1 - shared on Google+

  35. I'd love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I am a GFC Follower

  36. I just finished Through a Glass Darkly and plan on picking up the other books. I'd love to get a copy of this one.


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