Hilde van den Bergh of Hemmahoshilde Blog gives us the story of what happened to Anne of Brittany’s jolted fiance, Maximilien I of Austria. Consensus? She did well to throw him over for Charles VIII of France.

hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

Maybe it sounded a bit greedy that Mary of Burgundy demanded a golden wedding ring with a diamond of Maximilian I before even meeting her future husband in person, but she probably did the right thing considering the wedding gift he presented to his second wife Bianca Maria Sforza.

At first the idea sounds quite lovely. He renovated a building in Innsbruck so that they would have a royal box from which they could enjoy festivals, tournaments and other festivities. The most important improvement he made to the building was that he had the 2,738 copper tiles on the roof fire-gilded.

He added many different heraldry weapons but that’s fine, because at least he added his second wife’s family weapon as well.

They were all weapons that had to do with Maximilian I except for the last one the snake eating a child that was the family weapon of the…

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Hemmahoshilde’s research on Anne of Brittany, Queen of France is nothing short of remarkable. This blogger has done her homework. Here the 14- year- old Anne decides to accept Charles VIII’s marriage proposal. Brittany’s ruler a prisoner of the King of France? Certainly not. The King of France’s heart captured by Brittany’s ruler? Absolutely. Read on.

hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

It’s ages ago I wrote about young Anne of Brittany. Her dad died in 1488 and Anne of Brittany fled Nantes to Rennes where she was crowned duchess of Brittany on 10 February 1489.

Anne enters the city of Dinan cheered on by the Bretons that love her. Anne enters the city of Dinan cheered on by the Bretons that love her.

She married Maximilian I of Austria by proxy in December 1490 when she was 14 years old. The french king was very angry at this because it violated the treaty of Sablé that her father had signed early that stated that the French king had to give his consent to her marriage and because it reintroduced an old enemy to France.

Unfortunately for Anne her new husband was busy fighting in Granada and he left her stranded in Rennes and did (too) little to fight the French that decided to siege the city. After 2 months without aid Rennes fell and Anne agreed…

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Rozsa Gaston - Author

Széchenyi Baths entrance, Budapest; the site of Kati and Jan's first kiss in Budapest Romance Széchenyi Baths entrance, Budapest; the site of Kati and Jan’s first kiss in Budapest Romance

Budapest Romance: a “thoughtful romance.”—Publishers Weekly

Budapest Romance: A “tasty smorgasbord of love and faith.”—AudioFile Magazine
Chapter Six of Budapest Romance is all about taking the plunge. As in plunge bath.  As in an experience you will never forget and should repeat whenever the opportunity presents itself. Why? You will prolong your life span. Your skin will sparkle and glow. Your state of mind will too. What’s it all about?

Contrast. Rather like the city of Budapest. Let’s not get into the hows and whys, as Hungary always manages to find itself historically in hot water. We will confine this discussion to the warm thermal waters of Budapest’s leading bath spas, the Széchenyi baths, Gellért Baths, and Rudyas Turkish Baths. Much more fun to dip into mineral-laden hot baths than into geopolitics … Taking the Plunge, Budapest Romance, chptr. six

Excerpt from

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Rozsa Gaston - Author

Detail of Anne of Brittany by Jean Bourdichon, c. 1503Sense of Touch is burning up the Hot & Trending list of Kindle Scout nominations for the second week of its one month campaign to receive a publishing contract. Why?

Readers want to know more about her.

Anne of Brittany is a fascinating historical figure about whom almost nothing has been written in English. Her dates? 1477-1514. She reigned as Queen of France after Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) and before Catherine de Medici (1519-1589).

Douleur du Roi sans Fils by Jean Pichore, c. 1503Douleur du Roi sans Fils by Jean Pichore, c. 1503

This week I uncovered a powerful and poignant painting of her with husband Louis VII by court painter Jean Pichore. The name of the painting says it all: Douleur du Roi sans Fils. Translation: Sorrow of the King without a Son.

Before you feel sorry for Anne of Brittany, don’t.

Claude of France Claude of France, eldest daughter of Anne of Brittany and Louis XII

She may not have…

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Rozsa Gaston - Author

Sense of Touch by Rozsa Gaston Anne of Brittany by Jean Bourdichon, c. 1503

Sense of Touch was #1 on the Hot & Trending list on Kindle Scout last week, thanks to reader nominations. If you haven’t voted, please vote here for my tale of Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), French queen who welcomed Italy’s Renaissance to France. Your vote is FREE and you will receive an eBook edition of Sense of Touch as thanks if it is chosen for publication. http://bit.ly/NominateSenseofTouch

“To my life” or “à ma vie” was Anne of Brittany’s motto.

This early Renaissance queen didn’t lack for confidence. Born to rule Brittany, she was not raised to attract the attention of a king so that she might become queen consort one day, if she was lucky.

Already she was born to rule her country, the Duchy of Brittany, to the west of and independent from France.

Kindle Scout #1 in Hot & Trending 9-24-15Firstborn royal children of Brittany’s ruler, male…

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Anne of Brittany by Jean Bourdichon, courtesy gallica.BnF.fr

Anne of Brittany by Jean Bourdichon, courtesy gallica.BnF.fr

Sense of Touch is coming soon. My seventh and latest novel is based on the life of Anne of Brittany, twice Queen of France. Her dates? 1477-1514.

Sense of Touch has been chosen by Kindle Scout for a 30-day pilot program to see if readers get interested in this story. If the book receives enough nominations by Oct. 19, 2015, it will be chosen for publication by Kindle Press. That’s a very big deal. Why? Worldwide distribution.

Here’s the link to nominate Sense of Touch for publication. It’s free, and if Sense of Touch gets picked up for publication, you will receive a complimentary advance copy. I will include your name on my acknowledgments page if you let me know you voted. Thank you.

Why am I excited about Anne of Brittany? This remarkable woman, Duchess of Brittany in her own right, and twice Queen of France due to marrying well, lived exactly at the convergence of the Middle Ages with the Renaissance. What does that mean?

Quick answer: Goodbye, Middle Ages. Hello, Renaissance.

To put it in a nutshell, it means goodbye to collective identity and hello to self-identity. My writing platform is all about self-identity, as in how do women achieve their own? Then, how do they hone it through the years as professional and family obligations conspire to obliterate their special je ne sais quoi?

Anne of Brittany did a great job of maintaining her own sense of self. Her motto? A ma vie, to my life. It takes a confident woman to have a motto like that.

Here’s the gist of Sense of Touch.


Tapestry design based on Le Toucher from The Lady and the Unicorn series. Courtesy METRAX-CRAYE, Belgium

NICOLE SAINT SYLVAIN serves at the court of Anne of Brittany, Queen of France, in 1497, at age fifteen. Working with horse trainer Philippe de Bois to heal the Queen’s stallion, she shows an aptitude for diagnosing horses’ ailments through her sense of touch. Soon she has fallen in love, but not with the man her father has chosen for her. Duty pulls Nicole and Philippe in different directions and Nicole becomes a wife, mother, then widow while immersing herself in the healing arts. When Anne of Brittany begs her to save her infant daughter, Nicole works alongside a physician from the South whose reputation for healing began with his work with horses. Will Nicole succeed in saving the Queen’s daughter? And if she does, will the Queen reward her with the greatest desire of her heart—marriage to the only man she has ever loved?


512px-BNF_-_Latin_9474_-_Jean_Bourdichon_-_Grandes_Heures_d'Anne_de_BretagneANNE OF BRITTANY inherited the Duchy of Brittany at age eleven upon her father’s death in 1488. Three years later she married Charles VIII and became Queen consort of France. Instrumental in introducing new techniques of architecture and craftsmanship from Milan to France, Anne of Brittany ushered in the Italian Renaissance to France. By age twenty-one she had buried her husband and all four of her children. Within nine months she became wife of the new king, Louis XII. Pregnant fourteen times, seven times by either king, she raised two children to adulthood. Both were daughters.

She is known as the first female ruler of France to bring together young women of noble birth at court, where she educated and trained them, then arranged appropriate marriage matches. A ruler of influence, refinement, and resources, she rose above personal loss with dignity and grace while espousing the cause of women’s advancement. Her story is for women everywhere.

I would be delighted if you would click here to nominate Sense of Touch for publication. You’ll find an excerpt from Sense of Touch too. Enjoy and thank you.

Stay playful,

Rozsa Gaston

Rozsa Gaston - Author

Buda Romance Kindle cover 6-20-15Publishers Weekly weighs in on my Dec. 2014 latest release Budapest Romance in its June 22, 2015 issue:

“The traditional healing properties and beauty of the thermal spa baths still enjoyed throughout Budapest are the true stars of this thoughtful romance.”—Publishers Weekly


Budapest Romance is now available on all major online retail sites. Thank you, Publishers Weekly, for this greatest of all honors, a review in the publishing industry’s most respected news magazine.

Readers—for those of you who read and post a short review of my tender romance set in Budapest’s thermal bath spas, I will be delighted to send you an eBook thank you gift of your choice of any of my other books.

Enjoy and stay playful. —Rozsa Gaston


Széchenyi Baths front façade, Budapest

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