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
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Sense 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 Anne of Brittany.
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).
This week I uncovered a 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 Sons.
Before you feel sorry for Anne of Brittany, don’t.
She may not have brought a son to adulthood, but she succeeded with two daughters, Claude of France, and Renée of France. Claude of France married Francis I, known as the Renaissance King, and produced Henry II, another important Renaissance king and husband of Catherine de Medici.
Anne’s Breton blood found its way into the French royal bloodline through her daughter, not her sons. Her leadership skills, authority and self-confidence have informed French women ever since. Long live Anne of Brittany, vive Anne de Bretagne!
Speaking of sons, she had many. All of them either stillborn, dead hours after birth, weeks after birth, or by age three.
Let’s take a look at the full Jean Pichore painting of Anne of Brittany with second husband Louis XII.
We see Louis XII, King of France, looking sad. The man behind him looks at the queen with a recriminating expression, as if to say, “Why can’t you produce a son for France?”
We see Anne of Brittany, Queen of France looking regal, confident, not sad at all. Defiant, in fact. Why?
Sadness of the King without Sons, Jean Pichore, c. 1503
Who’s in the hot seat here? Anne.
Who’s the power on the throne? Anne.
Who’s appealing to whom? Louis and his court are appealing to Anne.
Who’s the boss? Anne. She was also a loving and deeply beloved wife to both of her husbands, Charles VIII of France before Louis, and Louis XII of France.
The more I learn about this French Renaissance queen, the more I fall in love with her.
Anne of Brittany is an amazing historical role model for girls. She invited young girls to her court where she educated them, taught them household and estate management skills, arranged marriages for them and paid for their dowries. More about this in my next blog post. Please nominate my book about her here.
Keep Sense of Touch on Kindle Scout’s Hot & Trending list until campaign ends Oct. 20. It’s FREE to vote and if Sense of Touch is selected for publication you will receive the eBook free.
I can’t wait to share more with you about Anne of Brittany, one of the Renaissance’s most important queens.
Author Rozsa Gaston
Anne of Brittany, be here now, Boadicea, born to rule, Brittany, Charles VIII, cleopatra, confidence, crowd-sourced publishing, Dido, French culture, French history, historical fiction, historical romance, Huffington Post, Kindle Scout, publishing, reader-powered publishing, readers, Renaissance queen, romance, Salic Law, women of history, women's fiction, women's issues
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.
Firstborn royal children of Brittany’s ruler, male or female, inherited the Duchy of Brittany. France’s Salic laws of royal inheritance stipulated males only inherited the Kingdom of France. Two countries side by side with inheritance laws SOOO very different…
This changed everything for Anne of Brittany AND for the way queens were viewed in France. When Anne of Brittany married Charles VIII of France she came to France as ruler of her own country.
Anne was a female ruler in the tradition of Cleopatra, Boadicea or Dido. She was not a woman raised to attract a powerful man. She was raised to exercise power. And that, friends, is why her motto was “to my life.”
Vote here to nominate Sense of Touch for publication by Kindle Press. Campaign closes October 19 and I’ll let you know soon after if it was selected. Let me know you voted, readers and friends, so that I may add you to my acknowledgments page. You will have been a part of helping me bring this remarkable French queen’s story to life.