Anne and Louis wins the General Fiction genre of the Publishers Weekly 2018 BookLife Prize.
Book Two of the Anne of Brittany Series, Anne and Louis covers the first years of Anne of Brittany’s marriage to Louis XII, King of France. Featuring a cast of characters from Christine de Pizan to Cesare Borgia, Anne and Louis serves up historical accuracy with passion and wit, according to InD’Tale Magazine.
“A gripping novel about a larger than life queen, Anne and Louis is a smartly written read filled with both passion and wit.”—InD’tale Magazine
Here’s what New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Brown says about Anne and Louis:
“A lively, engaging story, rich with historical detail that brings the story of a forgotten queen to life. Reminiscent of Philippa Gregory and Jean Plaidy, Anne and Louis gives voice to Anne of Brittany, allowing her to step from the historical shadows and illuminating her as a determined and influential political figure, as well as a bright and devoted woman in her own right.” —Eleanor Brown, NYT bestselling author of The Weird Sisters, The Light of Paris
Anne and Louis excerpt:
“Charlotte, you are safe. She is gone,” he murmured behind her.
Charlotte turned and slapped Nicolas de Laval across the face as hard as she could. “And since you are not gone, I am not safe at all,” she hissed.
Nicolas stumbled backward, his hand to his cheek. “My lady, you misunderstand.”
“I understand perfectly. You know her, she knows you, and I don’t want to know anymore.”
—Anne and Louis, p. 84
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Anne and Louis, Book Two of the Anne of Brittany Series, comes out Nov. 29, 2018.
Delve into the world of 1499 France as the feudal era passes and Europe hurtles toward the Renaissance. Join Anne of Brittany, Queen of France, and Louis XII, King of France, as they host Cesar Borgia and Niccolo Machiavelli at their royal court.
Discover Anne’s maids of honor as they read the works of medieval female writers Christine de Pizan and Marie de France, some on the curriculum, some not.
Learn self-confidence, self-possession, and firm decision-making from France’s queen and Brittany’s ruler Anne of Brittany, who reaches across the centuries and offers a role model to women in leadership today.
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Oct. 1, 2018
Book Two of the Anne of Brittany Series, Anne and Louis is the story of the first years of Anne of Brittan’s marriage to Louis XII, King of France. Cast of characters include Cesare Borgia, Christine de Pizan, Marie de France, Machiavelli and more. Pre-order Anne and Louis here. Out Nov. 29, 2018.
Receiving a 10.00 out of 10 in four categories, the story of Anne of Brittany’s marriage to Louis XII, King of France, is Book Two of the Anne of Brittany Series.
Anne of Brittany reaches across the ages and brings her decision-making skills, and supreme self-possession in the face of enormous loss to modern readers. The Anne of Brittany Series inspires and encourages women of today through the historical example set by 15th century avant la lettre feminist ruler Anne of Brittany (1477-1514).
Start your journey with Anne of Brittany today and read Anne and Charles, Book One of the Anne of Brittany Series, or Sense of Touch: Love and Duty at Anne of Brittany’s Court, prequel to the Anne of Brittany Series.
Send author Rozsa Gaston a personal e-mail if you’d like to receive an advance review copy of Anne and Louis in exchange for your pre-release review (review must be posted on Amazon by Nov. 29, 2018): email@example.com.
May Anne of Brittany’s remarkable story inform your own.
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Anne and Louis
Passion and Politics in Early Renaissance France: The First Years of Anne of Brittany’s Marriage to Louis XII (Book Two of the Anne of Brittany Series)
Renaissance Editions: 2018
978-0-9847906-8-5 (pbk) $14.95 Available on Amazon and Ingram
978-0-9847906-9-2 (ebook) $2.99 Available on Amazon
Anne and Louis: Passion and Politics in Early Renaissance France: The First Years of Anne of Brittany’s Marriage to Louis XII will delight readers of historical fiction who want their dramas firmly rooted in facts. This audience—especially those who enjoyed the first
book in the Anne of Brittany series—will find a compelling continuation of the saga in this story of Anne, the Duchess of Brittany, who has a country to run even as her lover Louis has a controversial annulment to pursue in order to fulfill his romance with Anne.
Even more complicated are the politics which dictate their romance and relationship. This is an overlay which creates seemingly insurmountable controversies between the couple and their individual political circles, and is deftly explained by Rozsa Gaston, whose saga assumes no previous knowledge of Anne of Brittany, Louis XII, or French history and politics. This makes the tale accessible to both history buffs and those with a milder familiarity with the era.
At age 21, Anne was both a widow and the ruler of a kingdom, as committed to maintaining Brittany’s independence from France as she was in seeing her relationship with Louis become a bond between their countries.
Their struggles in 16th-century Europe on the cusp of the Renaissance era come to life as Anne finds herself caught between love and country.
Chapters don’t just build the characters and explore the issues between Anne and Louis, but also probe their world. Thus, the romances and relationships between others are also presented within the context of the social mores of their times (“When he looked up, Charlotte of Naples and Aragon was floating toward him in the full glory of her youth and serene beauty. He felt himself in the presence of a goddess. One day such a glorious creature would grow into a woman like his mother or the duchess Anne. For such a woman, an offer of marriage must follow a kiss. But first, a kiss. Her father would kill her; her mother would roll over in her grave. She had allowed him to take her hand.”).
Rozsa Gaston presents a rich, multifaceted universe through the eyes of a number of characters who interact with their world, which she spices with vivid descriptions to bring the setting to life through the eyes, experiences, and thoughts of many: “Anne of Brittany turned her back on her high-spirited charges to climb the final steps to the summit. At the top the flat marshy countryside spread out before her. In the late morning sunlight the bay of Mont-St.-Michel shimmered in the distance like a beckoning jewel. Beyond the bay was the Mor Breizh, also known as the Channel, the body of water over which Brittany’s settlers had traveled from the British Isles. She drank in the view as her lungs filled with fresh sea air.”
Adding to the feel of the story are lovely color artworks and images of the times, which pepper a saga that brings to life Anne’s concerns, her people, her romance, and her conundrums. From her distrust of Italian politics and her appetite for luxury to the impact of her relationship with Louis, yet another powerful strength to this story is its astute assessment of how the personalities of each affected their choices and political perceptions: “Her Louis was too nice a man to be entering into agreements with wily Italians seeking to take advantage of his innate decency. She would protect her husband’s interests while this sharp second secretary remained among them. Louis’ step sounded on the stairs above and all eyes turned. As Anne gazed at her husband’s beneficent expression and handsome yet careworn face, her heart hurt. She knew behind her, the shrewd young Florentine would be sizing him up and determining sooner rather than later that France’s king could be easily manipulated on the Italian peninsula.”
All this means that the story about a changing society as the Renaissance gets started is given a personal touch that brings the entire era to life through Anne’s eyes and the experiences of those who interact with her.
The result is a powerfully-written saga that requires only an interest in a compelling love story and its historical background to prove satisfying, revealing, educational, and hard to put down, all in one. Quite simply, Anne and Louis is a masterpiece that paints an extraordinary emotional and political vision of its times, capturing the facets of a social and political milieu that all too often is regulated to dry facts devoid of emotion.
—D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Anne and Louis, Book Two of the Anne of Brittany Series, comes out Nov. 29, 2018. Pre-order here.
To begin your discovery of Renaissance ruler Anne of Brittany, read Anne and Charles, Book One of the Anne of Brittany Series.
Oct. 14, 2017
Set in France, beginning in 1497, this is the story of Nicole St. Sylvain and Philippe de Bois. Fifteen-year-old Nicole serves Anne of Brittany, Queen of France as one of her ladies. There she meets Philippe, a young horse trainer, breaking in one of the queen’s stallions. The attraction between the two is immediate, but Nicole and Philippe have only a brief time to love before duty and honor separate them.
The daughter of a wealthy merchant, Nicole awaits an arranged marriage to a man of a noble family. She loves the queen and will do her duty even though she has given her heart to Philippe. She has a gift with healing herbs and a touch that heals, both horses and people. After the loss of many of her babes, the queen finally gives birth to a healthy girl. When the child falls ill, she asks Nicole to help. The queen has promised to grant one favor to any who can save her child.
The history is woven into the story and you are swept into the 15th and early 16th century and to the court of Queen Anne and all she endures trying to bring a child into the world. It’s as much Anne’s story as it is Nicole’s. Anne is an independent young woman who makes her own way in a rigid world. Philippe manages to rise in a society that affords little opportunity to do so.
For fans of historical romance that love the history, this will be a great choice. There are some repetitions that slow the pace a bit, and the ending comes quickly, but still, it’s a wonderful story, beautifully told.
“A striking story.”—U.K. Historical Novel Society
“Well written, well developed characters and accurate historical information make this book a winner.”—Helene Furst, Morning Beans Blog
“Thoughtful and well crafted, with a plot that runs seamlessly through delightful prose. A lovely historical tale.”—CK
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.
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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asthetics, Balmain, Black is Not a Color, Christian Dior, Costume Institute, elegance, exhibit, Harold Koda, Jackie Kennedy, Jacqueline de Ribes, Jacqueline Onassis, Marlon Brando, Metropolitan Museum of Art, remarkable women, Richard Burton, Rozsa Gaston author, shaken but not stirred, The Art of Style, The Westchester Guardian, Yves St. Laurent, zeitgeist
The Impeccable Hauteur of Jacqueline de Ribes
By Rozsa Gaston for The Westchester Guardian, Dec. 10, 2015
“Elegance. It’s an attitude. A frame of mind. An intuition, a refusal, a rigor, a research, a knowledge. The attitude of elegance is also a way of behaving.”—Jacqueline de Ribes
Gift yourself this holiday season with a visit to see Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s latest exhibit. The impeccable hauteur of Parisian designer Jacqueline de Ribes is on display now through February 21, 2016 in a dazzling exhibit featuring 60 haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles from her personal archive, dating from 1962 on. The clothes are gorgeous, unfussy, and vibrantly colorful. But the exhibit’s focus on Jacqueline de Ribes’ life and imprint on the zeitgeist of international fashion is the takeaway that will make a permanent impression on those with a thirst for refinement of both spirit and manners.
There are Jacquelines, then there are Jacquelines. A notable few are known for their style, such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. But the ne plus ultra of style goes to Jacqueline de Ribes, a Frenchwoman who defines grace and chic for all times. Unflappable sangfroid? she has it; the rest of us want it.
One can see the “intellect, rigor, and discipline that went into creating each dress,” exhibit curator and Costume Institute director Harold Koda observed in his remarks at the exhibit’s press opening on November 17.
One can also see these qualities in the ramrod straight posture and firm upward thrust of the chin of international style icon Jacqueline de Ribes in the exhibit’s many photos and photo montage show.
Designer, fashion leader, theater director, television and movie producer, patron of the arts, wife and mother, she was also a crack sportswoman in her younger years. A French aristocrat, de Ribes exercises discipline to present the best version of herself to the world at all times– qualities also seen in the top echelon of blue-blooded American society.
Jacqueline, Countess de Ribe’s long-limbed litheness provides the framework for the carefully thought out performance art she exhibits in every public appearance. Born on Bastille Day, July 14, 1929, she grew up in the highest circles of French society. Upon exiting convent school, she married Vicomte Édouard de Ribes in 1948 and emerged as an international style icon during the 1950s. In 1956 she came to the attention of the international stage by making the International Best Dressed List; in 1962 de Ribes was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, where she remains.
After years of wearing haute couture by favorite designers Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Pierre Balmain, Jacqueline de Ribes began her own line in 1982. She found little support among her own social circle, with her family objecting that “an aristocratic woman doesn’t enter commerce.” Her husband finally gave his blessing, but said, “you have to raise your own money.”
She came to New York and did. Why was she able to succeed in New York and not in Paris?
Jacqueline de Ribes’ “biggest support was in America: that was because her lines were very clean. There is a lucidity, a clarity about what she does,” explains Koda, who spent the past year working with Countess de Ribes on her Met exhibit. The flow and lack of fuss of the clothes on display in the exhibit are notable. Her mindset was modern. She chose daytime outfits she could work in. “I am not a lady who lunches. My suits have to move. My clothes have to be comfortable. I have to be able to work,” she says.
Certain photos of Jacqueline de Ribes in one-on-one encounters with celebrities captured in the photo montage at the exhibit’s entrance are worth the visit alone. Marlon Brando appears bedazzled by Countess de Ribes as she warmly greets him. Richard Burton looks captivated as she offers him an embracing smile atop a sharply jutting chin while Elizabeth Taylor peers helplessly on; the mix of alarm and envy on her face: priceless.
“As a person she’s incredibly seductive,” Koda remarks, describing how she leans in toward her conversation partner, speaks in a soft silvery voice, and touches her throat from time to time in an “it’s just the two of us” gesture. Again, Jacqueline Onassis comes to mind.
“Does anyone want to be elegant rather than sexy?” Jacqueline de Ribes fretted to Koda while they worked together on preparing the exhibit. Most emphatically, yes. In Countess de Ribes’ own words, “The art of being sexy is to suggest. To let people have fantasy.” So timelessly true.
Jacqueline de Ribes reflects the indomitable hauteur of Paris: shaken, but not stirred. Run, do not walk, to see Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. You will come away with straighter posture, a higher tilt to your chin, and a heightened sense of self-possession after immersing yourself in the life and clothing design choices of this exquisite woman.
Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style exhibition is on view from now through February 21, 2016 at the Anna Wintour Costume Center of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at E. 82nd Street, New York, New York 10028.
Rozsa Gaston is a Bronxville author who writes playful books on serious matters. Women getting what they want out of life is one of them. Her novel Black is Not a Color is the story of Manhattan woman Ava Fodor’s quest to balance a new U.N. job and new French boyfriend while caring for her ailing Hungarian father in the final year of his life. Midwest Book Review calls Black is Not a Color “A compelling, entertaining, and deftly crafted read from first page to last.” Black is Not a Color is available on amazon.com in paperback, eBook, or audiobook editions.