Coming in November! 

A Novel of Renaissance France

Enjoy the first chapter of the book, read by the brilliant actress, Audrey Corsa. 

Please reach out to me (Contact button above) if you would like to read the PDF of the novel before it is published and I will send it to your FREE OF CHARGE.  My only request is that, when the book is published, you give you honest opinion of it on Amazon.  Deal?

​​​Catherine Butterfield

  • Serpent and the Rose 8:14

France in the late sixteenth century was being destroyed from within by the internal wars between the Catholics and the Huguenots. The printing press was an active tool for fomenting hatred and kindling fears between the two religions, to the point where neighbor was killing neighbor in the name of saving their country.  Southern France was where the Huguenots were strongest, and Paris was the center of Catholic France. When Marguerite was brought by her mother to Nérac to secure the engagement to the King of Navarre, it was hoped the act would lessen the hostilities. But hatreds ran deep, and instead Marguerite became ensnared in the brutal politics of it all for the rest of her life.

   It was a mother-daughter battle for the ages.

Marguerite de Valois was the daughter of the infamous Catherine de Medici, often called "the Serpent Queen," in early Renaissance France, and spent much of her life trying to survive her mother's machinations.  A devout Catholic, Marguerite was forced into marriage with Henri de Navarre, the leader of the Huguenot resistance, to quell the religious wars that were raging at the time. But Marguerite, unlike her other brothers and sister, had spirit, smarts, and great beauty. She alone managed to survive her mother's plots, but at great personal cost. 



Comments from Early Readers: ​

GILBERT COLE, PSYCHOLOGIST, NOVELIST, ACTOR: "I think it is wonderful. You draw us through the plot so keenly, so tautly. You have mastered the problem of intricate plotting - this is a wonder - it is so clear. Your meditation on mothers and daughters is lovely and perfectly pitched. The delightful way you link 'Love's Labours Lost' is irresistible to me."

JEAN SMART, ACTRESS: "I want to find adequate words to express how much I love your novel and how engrossing it is. You've made this time in history and these people so relatable and engaging and I'm not sure how you've done it! I can see it all so clearly in my mind's eye. And it doesn't feel like you're 'trying' to make it accessible to modern audiences; it just is, and feels natural. And it's funny, too! "

SUZY LOGAN, MUSEUM ADMINISTRATOR: "I finished your book, and then went back and reread much of it, just for the pleasure! What an amazing look at that interesting chunk of history. {Marguerite's} voice brings great charm and lots of horrifying irony. And how interesting to have Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare as almost incidental background characters!"

​LILY KNIGHT, ACTRESS: "I am absolutely loving your book. Totally pulled me in - so magnificent! {Marguerite} is fascinating and her voice is so compelling. I loved watching her grow and change, and the worlds you opened up through her story. I treasured being with her through all of it."

STEVE CHIVERS, TV WRITER, NOVELIST: "I finished your novel last night. I am in awe. The historical details! The characters! The journey you take them on is so good!....I think you've got something wonderful here."

SHAW PURNELL, ACTRESS: "What a story! (I was) up late at night hoping she wasn't going to be drawn and quartered. The echoes of misinformation, abortion, religious extremism and patriarchal power interwoven with those amazing quotes were really exciting and informative. And how delightful to have Shakespeare traveling through town with the Earl of Oxford!"