The Importance of Pawns

How I Became Interested In The French Renaissance

This post was originally published on Mary Anne Bernal’s blog Let Your Words Shine. Many people ask me how I became interested in the French renaissance. It’s a long story. The year I was five, I lived with my grandparents to go to grade one. It was the most formative of my life. Escaping from […]

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Tony Riches of The Writing Desk interviews me about The Importance of Pawns

This post was originally published on The Writing Desk. The sixteenth century French court dazzles on the surface. But beneath its glitter, danger lurks for those caught up in its flux. Based on actual historical events and characters, this riveting story will keep you turning the pages until the end. It is also a timeless

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The Story Behind The Importance of Pawns or How I Developed My Debut Novel

This post was originally published on Ruins & Reading. The story behind The Importance of Pawns or how I developed my debut novel is long and tortuous. Yet you could not have asked about a topic closer to my heart. Historical fiction has been my favourite genre since I learned to read at five. At

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A Brief History of Princess Renée de France: Staunch Huguenot

You’ll find my brief history of the life of Princess Renée de France, a stanch Huguenot, at The Freelance History Writer. I recently wrote a guest blog post there to celebrate the launch of my novel The Importance of Pawns. In the post, I give an overview of the tumultuous life that Princess Renée lived.

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The Women in The Importance of Pawns

Who are the real women behind the a bit about the novel and the truth about its four principal characters. Table of contents Importance of Pawns Plot Claude de France: Princess, Queen, Duchess of Brittany Renée de France, Duchess of Ferrara Michelle de Saubonne, Baronne de Soubise Countess Louise d’Angoulême, the Girls’ Guardian Importance of

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Blog Tour with The Importance of Pawns

For 10 weeks, in 2021, from March 15 to May 17, the first published book in my series on Anne of Brittany, The Importance of Pawns, went on Tour with the Coffee Pot Book Club. Here are links to each of the blogs that posted different articles about my book. I thank all of them

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Renée de France’s Difficult Life

Born on 25 October 1510 at the Château de Blois, Renée de France’s life did not begin as difficult. She was the second daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne of Brittany. Blessed with a Golden Infancy Unusually for the times, Louis stayed in the queen’s chambers during Renée’s birth. Even though they had

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The Importance of Pawns

Who were the women of The Importance of Pawns?

Who are the four women in The Importance of Pawns who dominate the action? At the centre of the plots are Princess Claude and Princess Renée of France, the elder and younger daughters of the French King and Queen. The third, Baronne Michelle de Soubise, Renée’s Gouvernante*, fights to shield herself and the two daughters

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Who Was Queen Claude de France?

Who was Queen Claude de France ? First, she was daughter of Queen Anne and King Louis XII of France. Next, she was Duchess of Brittany in her own right. Third, she married François I, possibly France’s most well-known king. Yet she is practically unknown. And she remains for many either a cypher or an

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Did Louise de Savoie Rule for King François 1?

As a dominating mother, did Louise de Savoie rule for King François I? She played a powerful political domestic and international political role in his Council. Twice she acted for him as Regent. Many say Louise de Savoie was the ruling force behind King François’s government until her death in 1531. Louise’s Early Life In

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