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A Bohemian wedding

Anne of Brittany was Europe’s most sought after matchmaker at the start of the 16th century. Ready why in European history scholar Hilde van den Bergh’s Hemmahoshilde blog. http://lrd.to/SENSEOFTOUCH

hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

A while back I wrote about Ferdinand of Aragon who married his grandniece Germaine of Foix in 1505. Anne of Brittany had a hand in that as my friend Rozsa Gaston rightfully pointed out, but that wasn’t the only one she helped match a young sophisticated lady in her care to a much older but powerful man. Before Anne of Brittany helped Germaine of Foix she had already successfully matched Germaine’s niece Anne of Foix-Candace to the much older childless king Vladislas II of Hungary and Bohemia. They got married on 29 september 1502 and Anne of Foix-Candale was crowned Queen of Hungary the same day. Despite the enormous age difference 28 (!) years between them the marriage was regarded a success. Anne was 18 when she married and Vladislas II 46. Vladislas II reportedly saw her as a friend, assistant and trusted advisor. Vladislas II gave her many…

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Friends, readers, and Anne of Brittany fans,

Medieval historical romance Sense of Touch has been nominated for a prestigious RONE Award, with voting open for two days more only. If you would vote for my book, it’s FREE and you will help my tale of Anne of Brittany become discovered. When you register to vote, go to the Historical: Ancient 16th Century category and scroll down to Sense of Touch – Rozsa Gaston, 9th down on list. Click on link below to vote and thank you.

http://indtale.com/2017-rone-awards-week-one

Indtale Magazine review of SOT

Anne of Brittany and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts and hope that spring will unfold for you with extra beauty this year for the moment you took to vote for Sense of Touch. May the best book win!

Author Rozsa Gaston

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50 Reviews for Sense of Touch 4-6-17

Find Sense of Touch here.

50 Reviews for Sense of Touch 2

Find all 50 Sense of Touch reviews here.

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Post a review of Sense of Touch on Amazon or Goodreads.com and receive one of any of Rozsa Gaston’s other books free.

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Thank you, dear reader, for helping me put the story of the fascinating and little-known Anne of Brittany on the map. Her dates? 1477-1514. Ruler of Brittany at age eleven, she married the King of France at age fourteen. Anne of Brittany was the only woman in history to be twice crowned Queen of France. Discover her story in Sense of Touch.

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Helene Furst of Morning Beans Blog weighs in on Dog Sitters, out May 2017.

Dog Sitters by Rozsa Gaston

BOOK REVIEW:

Dog Sitters
by Rozsa Gaston

SUMMARY:

Laugh out loud at the heart-pounding misadventures of Hint and Jack as they search for the world’s most adorable lost dog . . .

When their friends take a cruise to Bermuda, strangers Hint Daniels and Jack Whitby are charged with looking after their dog. Then everything starts to go wrong…

In the leafy New York suburb of Bronxville, Hint is supposed to hand Percy off to Jack on day five of the ten days their friends are away. But at the handoff, the dog ends up running away. Neither is willing to tell their friends the bad news that Percy is missing. Instead, they spend five frantic days desperately searching for the schnoodle, with wildly different ideas on how to go about it. Between Jack’s heavy-handed approach and Hint’s otherworldly style, their personalities clash. Before long they’re bickering furiously, even as romantic sparks fly.

Will Percy show up before his owners do? And what surprising discovery will Hint and Jack make while looking for him?

REVIEW:  An addictive page turner with a compelling plot and a sweet love story orchestrated by a Schnoodle, what more could you ask for? Fun, lovable and well developed characters reveal themselves slowly.  The playful tension and heated words between Jack and Hint allude to many of the complex relationship issues in love and life.

Hint Daniels and Jack Whitby are charged with dog sitting Percy while their friends are away on vacation. During the handoff, Percy breaks free in search of a squirrel, and the plot begins.

Hint, true to her name, reveals herself slowly as an intelligent, passionate woman. A graphic artist with a love of life, she contrasts solid, suit wearing Jack, wary and wounded by broken promises and fickle relationships.

I admire the way Rozsa Gaston weaves the tale, as the growing worry and compassion for poor, lost Percy and the fear of not finding him brings to light an undeniable spark between Hint and Jack. Their dialogue intimates not only the growing passion between them, but also respect and compromise; two elements necessary for any successful partnership.

Once again, Rozsa Gaston has lured me in with an irresistible storyline that swept me in and held my attention. This is a great weekend read, especially if you’re poolside or fireside. Grab a drink, get cozy and get to know Jack, Hint, Percy and a few other lovable characters. Like me, you’ll be waiting for the sequel.

  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: January 18, 2013 (currently unavailable)
  • Re-Release Date: May 4, 2017
  • ISBN-10: 1479221457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479221455

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The Freelance History Writer

Germaine de Foix Germaine de Foix

Ferdinand of Aragon was married to Isabella of Castile for thirty-five years. When Isabella died, the wily king was in his early fifties and for political reasons decided he wanted a new bride even though he had promised Isabella he would never marry again. He looked to the French for a bride in an attempt to make an alliance that would irritate his son-in-law Philip of Burgundy. It just so happened King Louis XII had a teenaged niece, Germaine de Foix, who was a good candidate to be the new wife for the Aragonese king.

Germaine was born in 1488, the daughter of John of Foix, Viscount of Narbonne and son of Queen Eleanor of Navarre. Germaine’s mother was Marie of Orléans, a sister of King Louis XII of France. Germaine and her brother Gaston grew up in the family home until they were orphaned in 1492…

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Who was Anne of Brittany?

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Anne of Brittany’s portrait on wall of Chateau Royal Amboise

The only woman to have ever been crowned twice queen of France, Anne of Brittany became Brittany’s ruler at age eleven, upon the death of her father.

Her dates? 1477-1514. Born deep in the night at the Chateau of the Dukes of Brittany in Nantes, Brittany, on the night of January 25, her hour of birth is unrecorded. My guess is the firstborn child of Francis II of Montfort, Duke of Brittany, and his wife, Marguerite de Foix, was born after midnight, putting her birth date at Jan. 26, 1477.

Her personality?

  • Delightfully feminine.
  • Decidedly feminist.

Lucky in love, unlucky in childbearing, she was a woman who ruled with authority while winning the love of two kings and the admiration of all Europe.

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Anne’s birthplace of the Chateau of the Dukes of Brittany, Nantes, France

Brittany at the time of Anne’s birth was a duchy to the west of the kingdom of France. The kings of France had their eye on obtaining this fertile and affluent territory for France. Anne’s life story is largely the story of her struggles to maintain Brittany’s independence. Did she succeed? With first husband Charles VIII of France, no. With second husband Louis XII of France, yes.

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Map courtesy of Stephane Berne’s Secrets d’Histoire series, Anne de Bretagne, deux fois Reine

Discover French queen Anne of Brittany between the pages of Sense of Touch, a fictional love story, set in her court.

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Ever since picking up Mildred Allen Butler’s book on Anne of Brittany a few years ago (Twice Queen of France: Anne of Brittany. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1967), I’ve been fascinated by this French queen who came to power at age eleven as ruler of Brittany, then became queen of France at age fourteen.
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Anne of Brittany’s travails trying to bring live children into the world rival any woman’s in history. Her fourteen pregnancies resulted in the survival of two children, both daughters.The rest? Three miscarriages, five stillborn infants, one son dead after three hours, one daughter dead after one day, another son lived three weeks, her longest living son survived to age three when he succumbed to measles. As a public figure, this queen’s drama played out on the stage of all of France. If I had made this up, readers wouldn’t believe it.Yet it’s all true, and carefully historically documented.

I began to wonder why Anne of Brittany’s story is not well known.
Many modern women share the same secret heartaches their medieval and ancient-era sisters suffered: pregnancy loss, inability to bring a live child into the world, inability to keep a child alive once born. Women continue to struggle with these issues, suffering in silence when pregnancy and childbirth loss occurs. My heart aches for every one of them.I wanted to bring alive Anne of Brittany’s tale for modern women, many of whom share her story in personal grief and in courage. At the same time this brave woman endured continual personal tragedy she achieved great success as queen of France. She offers the world a model of fortitude and resilience in the face of enormous personal suffering.

  • Anne of Brittany ruled over the most sophisticated court in Europe.
  • She was the first European royal to wear lingerie, specifically brassieres.
  • She helped usher in the glories of the Renaissance from Italy to France.She ran the first finishing school for young women of noble birth,educating them in book learning and estate management and supplying or supplementing their dowries when they married.

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    Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany in an idealized 15th century diptych: Charles was not this handsome, Anne was not this ugly

  • Both of Anne of Brittany’s husbands were madly in love with her. Neither considered putting her aside despite her inability to produce an heir for the throne of France. Her first husband, Charles VIII of France, was mad about her despite cheating on her throughout their marriage, as was typical for kings in that age. Her second husband, Louis XII of France, died less than a year after her death at the age of thirty seven. It was said that he never recovered from her death.

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

    Louis XII asking Anne of Brittany why the daughter she has given him is not a son. Anne giving her husband a look. Painting by Jean Pichore, c. 1503

  • Anne of Brittany was renown throughout Europe as a matchmaker. Rulers of other European countries,including King Ferdinand of Spain, after his wife Isabella’s death, and the King of Hungary sought her advice in choosing suitable new spouses.

Enjoy discovering the remarkable historical figure Anne of Brittany in Sense of Touch.  And look for its sequel in 2017, Anne and Charles: Arranged Marriage, Renaissance Romance.

Happy birthday, Anne of Brittany, fierce Breton duchess and twice queen of France,

Author Rozsa Gaston

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