Despite my tomboy tendencies as a child, I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. Always. It’s true!
I loved fairy tale stories with happily ever afters. And like most little girls, I dreamed of being a princess.
Not much has changed. I still adore fairy tales and happily ever afters. And once in a while, I might even dream about an elaborate ball gown.
That’s what made it so, so wonderful to write Protecting the Princess, my latest sweet small-town romance that releases next week.
The story is about an outdoorsy guy who finds an injured woman alone in the mountains. He rescues her, falls in love, then finds out she’s a princess.
Part of the story takes place at the castle where the princess grew up. I had to create a fake country, then envision what it would look like. What type of industry it might have. Did it have four seasons? What was the population?
Honestly, I had a blast making up the country of Briden, a tiny European country that exports salt in a variety of forms. The capital city is Zaldovia. The population of the entire country is around 80,000.
I spent hours drooling over photographs of castles, taking virtual tours and adding several to my bucket list. I narrowed it down to three castles I liked best, all located in France, to use as the inspiration for castle in the story.
The one I ended up choosing was Chateau Chamborigaud. Located in the south of France, this graceful, fairy tale chateau that would look great in a Disney movie has three gorgeous towers with turrets. Chateau Chamborigaud is in the midst of a five-acre park in the Cevennes mountains and a river flows along its boundaries. Built in 1575, it is now open as a “castle for rent” with ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
As I envisioned the castle where Poppy (the princess) grew up, I drew a lot of inspiration from this outstanding French castle. In my mind’s eye, it was so easy to picture her there – then to picture her there with Parker (our hero).
Did I mention there’s a ball in the story? There is! So I got to look at dozens of ball gowns to choose just the one for Poppy. And I may have studied some handsome tuxedo images (or maybe it was the men wearing the tux’s), too.
At any rate, this book was such a joy to write. I hope it will be pure pleasure for readers to enjoy!
He wants to protect her.
She needs him to love her . . .
Parker Princeton is a man’s man. The kind who leads expeditions into the wilderness, can start a campfire with nothing but determination, and has survived on a steady diet of beef jerky and Dr Pepper. When he discovers a female in the woods, alone and injured, his first instinct is to protect her, the second to claim her as his own. Although she can barely remember her name, he’s falling head over heels in love with the beautiful, mysterious woman.
Growing up as a pampered princess from a small European kingdom, all Poppy Granville wants is to experience a normal life. After finishing a year of studies in New York, Poppy decides to explore America before she returns home to face the responsibilities of her title. She ditches her cell phone, buys an old rust bucket car, and sets out on an adventure. After an injury leaves her stranded in the middle of nowhere, a rugged outdoorsman seems to be her only hope of surviving, even if she has to pretend to have amnesia to keep her identity a secret.
Will telling him the truth set her free, or lose him forever?
Laughter, love, and a fairy tale ending await in this funny, sweet romance packed with small-town charm.
You can see more of what inspired me as I wrote the story on my Pinterest board.
If you could be a princess,
where would you live, and what would your castle look like? What would you wear to a ball?
Post your answer for a chance to win a digital copy of Protecting the Princess!