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Kirkus review blurb

ANNE AND CHARLES

Passion and Politics in Late Medieval France: The Story of Anne of Brittany’s Marriage to Charles VIII

Book One of the Anne of Brittany Series

by Rozsa Gaston

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2018
Publisher: Renaissance Editions
357 pps.
eBook, paperback, audiobook by Tantor Media coming spring 2018

A historically sharp and dramatically stirring love story. — Kirkus Reviews

A historical dramatization of the 15th-century marriage between Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII of France.

Upon the death of Anne’s father, Duke Francis II, she becomes the ruler of Brittany at the tender age of 11. Determined not to have her authority usurped by meddling advisers or foreign powers, she searches for a suitable husband whose allegiance will bring peace and security to Brittany. She’s offered protection—as well as condolences—by King Charles VIII of France, but she rejects his offer as an imperialist scheme to gain dominion over Brittany’s lands. In response to what he perceives as defiance, he attempts to impose French rule by force. Meanwhile, Charles has problems of his own. When his own detestable father died, he was too young to ascend to the throne, and so he labors under the officious rule of his sister, Anne de Beaujeu, the Duchess of Bourbon, who serves as regent until he reaches the age of majority. Charles eventually offers Anne a path to peace. If she marries him, he’ll immediately end his siege of Brittany. She’s filled with resentment, though, over his harsh treatment of Brittany and suspicious of any brokered compromise that surrenders her authority or ensures the future of Brittany will be in submission to a foreign ruler. Also, there’s the thorny problem of her marriage to Maximilian, the Archduke of Austria, who will one day become the Holy Roman Emperor, and an arrangement for Charles to marry his daughter, Marguerite. Gaston’s (Sense of Touch: Love and Duty at Anne of Brittany’s Court, 2016, etc.) research is admirably thorough—she artfully brings to life 15th-century Europe. Also, while the court politics of the day were knottily complex, she disentangles it all with laudable clarity. Gaston’s writing is elegant and historically authentic but also accessible. She doesn’t burden the reader with an endless train of linguistic anachronisms in order to achieve historical accuracy. Further, the romance between Anne and Charles is touchingly presented, one that traveled from suspicion and resentment through sober pragmatism to genuine love.

A historically sharp and dramatically stirring love story.

Anne and Charles-EBOOK with both blurbs

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s Anne and Charles about?

Charles VIII of France is king, but he doesn’t feel like one. When he marries Anne of Brittany in a political alliance, he acquires a wife who already feels like a queen and who guides her husband to thinking like the king he already is. The brimming self-confidence of Brittany’s ruler inspires his own, and fans the flames of their attraction into a lasting love. But can they achieve their one most important goal together?

AnneCharles-2018.indd

More Praise for Anne and Charles

“The highlights of the reign of King Charles VIII of France are covered in detail as well as his loving marriage to Anne, Duchess of Brittany. A delightful read with sparkling dialogue, Gaston puts a human face on these captivating historical personalities from the French Renaissance.”—Susan Abernethy, The Freelance History Writer

“A true story that reads like a fairytale, Anne and Charles is an evocative portrayal of Anne of Brittany, a feminist avant la lettre, who uses her intelligence and charm to protect the people of Brittany as their prudent ruler. This irresistible read will make you feel like you’re one of Anne of Brittany’s privileged ladies-in-waiting. A marvelous story about a marriage that would change the course of European history.”—Hilde van den Bergh, Hemmahoshilde Blog

“Francophiles, feminists and fans of history and romance alike will delight in Anne and Charles. Gaston returns readers to a world poised to shed one skin, the confines of medieval duchies and kingdoms, and embrace another, one in which France would lead the rest of Western Europe through the Renaissance. This fictionalized account of how Anne of Brittany finds her way and her love amidst this world offers modern readers unexpected lessons on female power and the possibilities that await those who follow their heart.”—Dominique Padurano, Ph.D., Professor of History, City University of New York, Crimson Coaching LLC

“Ms. Gaston masterfully conveys the passion, heartbreak, and determination of this royal couple.”—InD’tale Magazine

  “An engrossing depiction of the meeting and marriage between Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII of France. As in her previous work, Sense of Touch, Gaston paints a colorful and interesting picture of court life in 15th century France. This book excels in humanizing one of the most misunderstood of French kings—his love and admiration for his strong wife and his self-deprecating view of his limitations and weaknesses. This fictionalized account of their complementary relationship is well worth the read.”—RT Review Source

https://www.rtbookreviews.com/blog/139065/meet-new-rt-review-source-authors-january-2018

For foreign and film rights inquiries: please contact Linda Migalti at the Susan Schulman Agency: linda@schulmanagency.com

Audio rights: Audio rights for the Anne of Brittany series have been sold to Tantor Media. Look for Anne and Charles audio edition in early 2018.

Start 2018 right with a dose of history spiced with romance.

Find Anne and Charles here.

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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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Carcassonne 2-5-15, p. 1Carcassonne by Rozsa Gaston for Westchester Guardian, 2-5-15

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France's Gorgeous Gorges du Verdon Jan. 15, 2015

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New Release, Dec. 2, 2014

New release, Dec. 2, 2014

My latest novel Budapest Romance came out Dec. 2 out in paperback, ebook, and audiobook editions. This contemporary romance is the story of an American woman and a Dutch man who find each other in the thermal bath spas of Budapest.

Rudas Turkish Baths, Budapest

Rudas Turkish Baths, Budapest

Suitable for readers age 15 and up, Kati and Jan’s tender love story begins in Budapest, develops in New York and Holland, then circles back to Hungary. Gift yourself or a friend with a trip to Budapest without the airfare this holiday season with Budapest Romance.

Romy Nordlinger

Romy Nordlinger

Széchenyi baths, Budapest

Széchenyi Baths, Budapest

Budapest Romance audiobook edition is narrated by actress Romy Nordlinger of All My Children and One Life to Live. Here’s what she says:

“You will not want Rozsa Gaston’s elegant and atmospheric Budapest Romance to end. This inspiring journey is a haunting story of true love that is all at once simple, beautiful, universal and loaded with heart. You will fall in love with the characters and get lost in the old time elegance of journeying to the romance of Budapest. As delicate as the snowflakes falling upon the majestic baths of Budapest, the fleeting beauty of Budapest Romance is arresting and to be savored.”

Budapest Széchenyi baths

Széchenyi Baths, Budapest

Budapest’s largest thermal bath spa provides the backdrop against which Kati’s and Jan’s friendship and feelings for each other grow. Both are there for closure: Kati to settle her Hungarian late father’s estate, Jan to heal from injuries from a motorcycle accident that permanently altered his son’s life.

Linger awhile between the pages of Budapest Romance and imagine bubbling, mineralized waters enveloping you while you read the story of Kati and Jan.

Stay playful, dear reader and may your holiday season be as effervescent as the warm thermal baths of Budapest.

Rozsa Gaston headshot—Author Rozsa Gaston

The Ava Series: Paris Adieu, Part I, Black is Not a Color, Part II, Budapest Romance, Running from Love, Lyric and Dog Sitters.

All books also available on audible.com in audiobook format.

 

front façade of Széchenyi baths, Budapest

Front façade of Széchenyi Baths, Budapest

Hallway to Széchenyi baths locker rooms, Budapest

Hallway to Széchenyi Baths locker rooms, Budapest

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“They all had that private club, private school aura about them. Like they knew something other people didn’t. She wanted to claw their eyes out.”

What was Farrah’s problem?

JLo in a 2004 Vogue spread exudes qualities Farrah wishes she had, but doesn't

JLo in a 2004 Vogue spread exudes qualities Farrah wishes she had, but doesn’t

Excerpt from Running from Love:

“So you’re not a trust fund kid,” he said, hoping he didn’t
sound like he was fishing.

“No way,” she snapped then caught herself. “I mean—no—
I’m not. No one is where I come from.” She put her hand up
to her face, nervously smoothing a wisp of hair from her cheek.

“What about you?” she asked, looking guarded.

“I grew up with a lot of them, but I wasn’t one.” He locked
eyes with her. If only she knew how happy he was that she wasn’t one either.

Kentucky Derby participant captures the private club aura

Some know how to exude the private club aura better than others

“Did you want to be?” she asked, intuitively.

“Sometimes I thought I did,” he responded truthfully, surprising
himself. “What about you? Did you?”

“I didn’t even know what a trust fund kid was until a few
years ago. Then I found out the hard way.” She looked away,
shifting in her seat.

“So you bumped into one.”

“Not exactly.” Farrah’s eyes flamed again, this time with
anger.

“Let me guess. You dated one, and it didn’t work out.”

“I dated someone who left me for one.” She clapped her hand
over her mouth, then released it. “Never mind. I didn’t mean to tell you that.”

Jacqueline de Ribes knows how to get across private club membership. Farrah's not quite there yet.

Jacqueline de Ribes knows how to get across private club membership. Farrah’s not quite there yet.

“I’m glad you did. So the guy made off with a trust-fund babe? Let me guess. Someone with rich parents who works at an art gallery or in public relations?”

“P.R. How did you know?” Farrah looked astonished.

“Her father works in finance or law, and her mother is an interior decorator or kindergarten teacher at a private school and sits on a board.”

“That’s—you’re—how do you know all this?” she stammered, looking as adorable as she did vulnerable as she stared at him. She didn’t lack the wound.

End excerpt from Running from Love by Rozsa Gaston

What wine would you sip while contemplating this quote?

Contemplating the concept of exclusion suggests sipping on something just a bit more exclusive than usual, then enjoying the company of one’s own private club while savoring it. Are you the only member? Even more exclusive.

St. Germain liquerI would recommend a St. Germain cocktail: the simplest imaginable combination of 4 oz. of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc topped off by 1 oz. of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur. This delicate yet heady elderflower liqueur delights the taste buds, ushering one into a state of refinement after a single sip.

Serve St. Germain cocktails as an aperitif to kick off your next social event. Your guests will think you have very good taste and want very much to join your club. Let them.

The way you will feel after sipping a St. Germain cocktail

The way you will feel after sipping a St. Germain cocktail

Don’t forget, darlings—if you don’t have time to read these days, download Running from Love audiobook and listen to Jude’s and Farrah’s story on your commute or while you work out.

Decorated arch, Gellert Spa Baths, Budapest

Decorated arch, Gellert Spa Baths, Budapest

Next week we will take a look at thermal bath spas in Budapest to set the stage for my upcoming release Budapest Romance.

Must run now. I’ve got a date at the club.

Playfully yours,

Rozsa Gaston

 

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