MORE PRAISE FOR CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS:
“For anyone who loves champagne, a must-read novel about Veuve Clicquot.” ~ Judithe Little, best-selling author of The Chanel Sisters
“The sun-drenched vineyards of France, a real-life heroine who against all odds refuses to give up her dreams… and champagne. What’s not to love? And that’s just what Rebecca Rosenberg delivers in Champagne Widows. Barbe-Nicole Clicquot was a woman ahead of her time, a fascinating blend of ingenuity, heart, and sheer tenacity, with a nose for wine and a head for business. A 19th century widow who built an empire as war raged all around her. Note: This richly woven tale is best savored slowly, though with all delicious things, it won’t be easy.” ~ Barbara Davis, best-selling author of The Last of the Moon Girls.
Champagne Widows is a witty, accomplished novel, featuring a tough and charming heroine of the first order. One can't help but root for Barbe-Nicole, an astute businesswoman who brilliantly holds her own against none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. Although the events unfold two centuries ago, the story feels so modern, the characters could be your friends and neighbors. As easy to love as a glass of Veuve Clicquot, this may be Rebecca Rosenberg's best book yet. ~Michelle Richmond, best-selling author of The Marriage Pact
Champagne Widows is an inspired story based on the real-life Grande Dame of Champagne, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, who built her famous champagne empire amidst the turbulence of 19th century France. Barbe-Nicole is my kind of heroine: a woman with passion, courage, family loyalty, and a killer business sense. Rebecca Rosenberg’s sensual details make every scene of this intimate novel come alive. A true reading pleasure! ~ Martha Conway, best-selling author of The Underground River and The Physician’s Daughter
“Award-winning author, Rebecca Rosenberg returns with another Historical Fiction jewel in CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS. Meet the women who succeeded in creating world class champagne in a time men ruled business and society. Lovers of history, romance, and French culture will relish the multi-layered plot and cast of characters including the ultimate French icon, Napoleon Bonaparte.” ~Johnnie Bernhard, award-winning author of Sisters of the Undertow
“Champagne Widows takes the reader back in time for an intimate look at the building of the iconic brand Veuve Clicquot. In the aftermath of Napoleon’s rise to power, Barbe-Nicole and her husband Francois share a vision of creating a champagne that will astound the world. Despite war, death, blockades, and failed harvests, Barbe-Nicole ultimately succeeds. An epic story featuring love, family, and the sustaining power of courage. ~ M.K. Tod, author of Paris In Ruins and award-winning blog A Writer of History
“Just as a champagne bottle pops bringing delectable flavors and delicious aromas, Rebecca Rosenberg delights the senses with her engrossing novel. She treats the reader to a perfect blend of history and story – with lots of champagne! Sit back and savor the tale of Veuve Clicquot. Raise a glass to her and all the women, from history to the present, who have broken the mold and overcome obstacles to succeed in what was believed to be all-male professions.” ~ Linda Rosen, author of Sisters of the Vine
“Rebecca Rosenberg has penned a spectacular saga of the first of the “Champagne widows” of France, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot. With her gift, known as Le Nez (the nose), Barbe-Nicole can “smell the stink of a lie or the perfume of a pure heart. Or the heartbreaking smell of what could have been.” Along with her expertise she possesses courage and vision, overcoming incredible odds during the time of the Napoleonic Code, which left widows without rights to property—in Barbe-Nicole’s case, her Champagne business. Seamlessly interwoven with historical letters from Napoleon, the book sweeps the reader into the early nineteenth century world. But it’s her imaginative tale of Veuve Clicquot’s personal life that captured me and wouldn’t let go until the end, leaving me wanting more!” ~Susan Cushman, author of John and Mary Margaret
With crisp writing, Rebecca Rosenberg serves us the sparkling story of Veuve Clicquot, an independent woman of indomitable strength, determined to find her way in a man’s world. Champagne Widows is vintage storytelling. ~Jean M. Roberts, author of The Heron
"Like the best wines, Rosenberg’s Champagne Widows will entice you with its complexity as it balances the story of a widow’s determination to produce the world’s greatest champagne in the face of Napoleon's path of destruction. If you love France, historical fiction, underdog stories, strong women, or wine, then pop a cork to celebrate this perfect blend of a novel." ~Mary Helen Sheriff, author of Boop and Eve's Road Trip
"Rebecca Rosenberg transforms history into literary art. Her prose sparkles, bringing centuries-old characters to life with wit, heart and bon mots. Treat yourself to Champagne Widows, and marvel at Rosenberg’s gift for making every sense sing." ~Carol Van Den Hende, award-winning author of Goodbye, Orchid
“These first known women of Champagne/Sparkling winemaking may not have even realized how strong they were until they had to learn and do it all to survive for themselves and their wineries! Reading Champagne Widows makes it even more of an honor to learn a craft still dominated by men.” ~Penny Gadd-Coster, Executive Director of Winemaking, Rack & Riddle
ABOUT CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS:
Champagne, France, 1800. Twenty-year-old Barbe-Nicole inherited Le Nez (an uncanny sense of smell that makes her picky, persnickety, and particularly perceptive) from her great-grandfather, a renowned champagne maker.
Her parents see Le Nez as a curse that must be hidden and try to marry her off to an unsuspecting suitor. But Barbe-Nicole is haunted by her Grand-mere’s dying wish for her to use Le Nez to make great champagne.
When she learns her childhood sweetheart, Francois Clicquot, wants to start a winery, she rejects her parents’ suitors and marries Francois despite his mental illness.
Barbe-Nicole Clicquot must now cope with Francois’ suicide, the difficulties of starting a winery, and the Napoleon Codes preventing women from owning a business.
All this while Barbe-Nicole’s father takes a military uniform contract with Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who wages six wars against the European monarchs, crippling her ability to sell her champagne.
Using Le Nez, she beats the impossible hardships of Napoleon’s wars, often challenging Napoleon himself. When Veuve Clicquot falls in love with her sales manager, Louis Bohne, who asks her to marry, she is forced to choose between losing her winery to her husband, as dictated by Napoleon Code or losing Louis.
In the ultimate showdown, Veuve Clicquot risks imprisonment and even death as she defies Napoleon and his laws to survive.