Meet Allison Pataki

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BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES

Allison Pataki

A deeply moving memoir about a young couple whose lives were changed in the blink of an eye, and the love that helped them rewrite their future

Five months pregnant, on a flight to their “babymoon,” Allison Pataki turned to her husband when he asked if his eye looked strange and watched him suddenly lose consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Dave—a healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical resident—had suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her husband would survive the night.

When Dave woke up, he could not carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next. Allison had lost the Dave she knew and loved when he lost consciousness on the plane. Within a few months, she found herself caring for both a newborn and a sick husband, struggling with the fear of what was to come.

As a way to make sense of the pain and chaos of their new reality, Allison started to write daily letters to Dave. Not only would she work to make sense of the unfathomable experiences unfolding around her, but her letters would provide Dave with the memories he could not make on his own. She was writing to preserve their past, protect their present, and fight for their future. Those letters became the foundation of this beautiful, intimate memoir. And in the process, she fell in love with her husband all over again.

This is a manifesto for living, an ultimately uplifting story about the transformative power of faith and resilience. It’s a tale of a man’s turbulent road to recovery, the shifting nature of marriage, and the struggle of loving through pain and finding joy in the broken places.

Advance praise for Beauty in the Broken Places

“A beautifully woven, suspenseful love story with a stunning victory, reminding us of the resilience of the human spirit, and that anything is possible with a loving tribe.”—Marcia Gay Harden, Academy Award–winning actress and author of The Seasons of My Mother

“A bestselling historical novelist’s account of how she survived the harrowing year following her young husband’s unexpected stroke . . . The strength of this end-of-innocence book lies in its demystification of the idea that strokes only occur in older people. . . . [A] heartfelt account of dedication and devotion.”—Kirkus Reviews

WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS

Allison Pataki

A rich and sweeping novel of courage, duty, sacrifice, and love set during the French Revolution from New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki and her brother Owen Pataki

Three years after the storming of the Bastille, the streets of Paris are roiling with revolution. The citizens of France are enlivened by the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The monarchy of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette has been dismantled—with the help of the guillotine—and a new nation is rising in its place. Jean-Luc, an idealistic young lawyer, moves his wife and their infant son from a comfortable life in Marseille to Paris, in the hopes of joining the cause. André, the son of a denounced nobleman, has evaded execution by joining the new French army. Sophie, a youngaristocratic widow, embarks on her own fight for independence against her powerful, vindictive uncle.

As chaos threatens to undo the progress of the Revolution and the demand for justice breeds instability and paranoia, the lives of these compatriots become inextricably linked. Jean-Luc, André, and Sophie find themselves in a world where survival seems increasingly less likely—for themselves and, indeed, for the nation.

Featuring cameos from legendary figures such as Robespierre, Louis XVI, and Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, Where the Light Falls is an epic and engrossing novel, moving from the streets and courtrooms of Paris to Napoleon’s epic march across the burning sands of Egypt. With vivid detail and imagery, the Patakis capture the hearts and minds of the citizens of France fighting for truth above all, and for their belief in a cause greater than themselves.

Praise for Where the Light Falls

“Compulsively readable . . . a compelling tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and bravery . . . a sweeping romantic novel that takes readers to the heart of Paris and to the center of all the action of the French Revolution.”Bustle

“Succeeds in forcefully illustrating the lessons of the French Revolution for today’s democratic movements.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Devotees of Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo will devour this tale of heroism, treachery, and adventure.”—Library Journal 

“This is a story of the French Revolution that begins with your head in the slot watching how fast the blade of the guillotine is heading for your neck—and that’s nothing compared to the pace and the drama of what follows.”—Tom Wolfe

Sisi: Empress on Her Own

Against the glittering backdrop of the Habsburg Court and the rich, romantic, and volatile time period—marked by pivotal events such as the opening of the Suez Canal, Vienna’s World Exhibition, and the lead up to WWI—Sisi, the beloved “Fairy Queen,” won hearts and broke hearts, fighting battles both epic and poignantly intimate as a woman well ahead of her time during a true Golden Age in European history.

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The Accidental Empress

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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.

The Accidental Empress is lush, romantic, and enlightening—a truly lovely novel. –Therese Anne Fowler, New York Times Bestselling author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

The Accidental Empress Book Cover

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The Traitor’s Wife

Everyone knows Benedict Arnold—the infamous Revolutionary War General who betrayed America and fled to the British as history’s most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John André, who was apprehended with Arnold’s documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot; a charming and cunning young woman, who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.

Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as Military Commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband…

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About The Author

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A well-balanced narrative…offers fresh perspective, plenty of intrigue and a host of interesting, multidimensional characters.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Allison Pataki

I love books. I love reading them, I love discussing them, I love writing them. I love immersing myself into a great story and having the opportunity to see a new world through a fresh set of eyes. My 100-year-old grandmother once told me: “As long as I have a good book, I will never be lonely.” I feel the same way.

I guess I should have known from the beginning that I wanted to be a writer. I had the great fortune of growing up in upstate New York, in the Hudson River Valley. As the third of four kids, I would often wander off into the woods behind my backyard and spend hours, alone, totally absorbed in my own imaginings. I’d create characters and scenes and lots of interpersonal drama. I still remember many of the characters and storylines I first imagined at around age nine. I’ve always been an avid reader, and I loved staging plays with my siblings and cousins. I recall the difficulty of trying to get my 7-year-old cousins to remember their lines from Romeo and Juliet.

At Yale I majored in English and I could not believe my good luck – suddenly I was able to spend hours doing nothing but reading, writing, and talking about books. And I got to pretend that it was work! After college, hoping to blend my love for English and History, I moved to New York City and pursued a career in journalism. Although I enjoyed so much of the work I was doing, I was sort of a misfit in the industry. I did want to study the major events unfolding in our world, and the way in which individuals reacted to and shaped these events – but the panic-inducing deadlines and the rapid-fire pace of the 24-hour news cycle were not for me.

Pataki smoothly weaves intrigue and personality with critical historical facts…Historical fiction lovers will look forward to more from this promising new novelist.” – Publisher’s Weekly

So, in my free time, I began to write fiction. It started out as a post-workday release, a way to unwind after the hectic newsroom. Before long, I found myself completely consumed with this new hobby. Suddenly, I was rushing home from work to grab my laptop and get to writing. I’d find myself surprised on the subway, at the grocery store, out for dinner, with some new idea for some scene or character or a piece of dialogue, and I’d run back to my apartment, worried that I might lose the idea before I could get it down on paper.

Energized and encouraged by this early part of the process, I kept going. Writing became, for me, a guilty pleasure. It was an indulgence for weeknights and weekends. It was the fun I got to have after work. Four years and three completed novels later, I realized that perhaps I was in the wrong line of work. Perhaps writing novels, even though it seemed too fun to actually be work, could in fact be my future. I was so fortunate to meet my agent at Dupree Miller and Associates and by the fall of 2012, we had signed a deal to publish my first historical fiction novel, The Traitor’s Wife, with Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster.

That was such a fun debut project for so many reasons, but particularly because of how close to home (quite literally) the setting was. Like The Traitor’s Wife, my second project, The Accidental Empress, was set in a rich and captivating time period that had a personal significance to me, but told from a fresh perspective. My protagonist, Sisi (also known as Empress Elisabeth of Austria), was a woman who had a front row seat to history, though her story remains largely untold.

My third book, Sisi: Empress On Her Own, picks up where The Accidental Empress left off, completing the saga of Empress Sisi, one of history’s most fascinating leading ladies. Against the glittering backdrop of the Habsburg Court and the rich, romantic, and volatile time period—marked by pivotal events such as the opening of the Suez Canal, Vienna’s World Exhibition, and the lead up to WWI—Sisi, the beloved “Fairy Queen,” won hearts and broke hearts, fighting battles both epic and poignantly intimate as a woman well ahead of her time during a true Golden Age in European history.

My fourth book, Where the Light Falls, takes readers to the riveting time of the French Revolution. Three years after the storming of the Bastille, the streets of Paris are roiling with the spirit of revolution. The citizens of France are enlivened by the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The monarchy of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette has been dismantled—with the help of the guillotine—and a new nation is rising in its place. Jean-Luc, an idealistic young lawyer, moves his wife, Marie, and their infant son from a comfortable life in Marseille to Paris, in the hopes of joining the cause. André, the son of a denounced nobleman, has evaded execution by joining the new French army. And Sophie, a beautiful, young aristocratic widow, embarks on her own fight for independence against her powerful, vindictive uncle.

And my fifth book, Beauty in the Broken Places, was a nonfiction journey that I never expected to take. That one published in May, 2018.

I hope you’ll have as much fun reading my books as I have writing them.

Oh, and, if you’d like to see my more professional biography, here it is:

ALLISON PATAKI is the New York Times bestselling author of THE TRAITOR’S WIFE, THE ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS, SISI: EMPRESS ON HER OWN and WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS. Allison’s novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

A former news writer and producer, Allison has written for The New York Times, ABC News, The Huffington Post, USA Today, Fox News and other outlets. She has appeared on The TODAY Show, Fox & Friends, Good Day New York, Good Day Chicago and MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Allison graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years in journalism before switching to fiction writing. A member of The Historical Novel Society, Allison lives in New York with her husband and daughter.

Allison Pataki is a New York Times Bestselling Author with a passion for telling the stories of leading ladies lost in history. Her debut novel, The Traitor’s Wife, came out in 2014 and her second novel, The Accidental Empress, came out in February 2015. Allison’s third New York Times Bestseller, Sisi: Empress on Her Own, hit shelves March 2016. And her most recent historical novel, Where the Light Falls, was published in July 2017.

Copyright © 2018 Allison Pataki All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Disclosure Policy

 

 

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