My new book The Princess Problem takes place in a fictional country, Moncriano. I figured that it was safer to not risking pissing off any actual European royalty with the story of a long-lost kidnapped princess in their kingdom. I’m a huge fan of royals (as you can probably tell from the #unexpectedlyroyal theme of this series) so I didn’t want to cut down on my chances on an invite to tea anywhere…
Between you and me? It is more overwhelming than fun to make up an entire country from scratch. I mean, I have a couple of gamer friends who really love that, but I had a book to write. So I borrowed. A lot. I mean, why re-invent the wheel when I could instead use reality as a big, lovely idea buffet?
I started with where to drop it on the globe. I need a good time difference from Michigan, and I wanted it to have ocean and mountain access. Guess what – that perfectly describes the picture-perfect country of Slovenia! It is nestled next to Austria and Italy on the Adriatic Sea. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, just small enough – aka perfect!
Then I expanded my search. I need a parliament building that looked historic with steps in the front #spoiler. So I borrowed Sweden’s. As well as their propensity for so many natives also speaking English, so that my American princess would be able to talk to her maids and family.
From Spain, I borrowed gardens. From multiple different palaces. I mean, look at that gorgeousness! Portugal, too. Even a wisteria draped arbor from an art museum here in Baltimore. Each of these pieces came together to form a whole country that my heroine could fall in love with…and want to stay.
Of course I searched the insides of palaces to make up my Alcarsa Palace, where much of the action takes place. Sintra, Buckingham, Drottningholm, Brussels, Ajuda, Zarzuela – these palaces are spectacular. Staring at their gilt-edged rooms was a joy and utterly frustrating, to have to narrow down and choose just a handful of settings. But my best find, by far, was of a restaurant in Italy – a real one – set in a grotto overlooking the sea. Most romantic place ever. I had no choice but to set a date there between my princess and her bodyguard…a date that turns very, very sexy….
If you’re intrigued by this piecemeal description of Moncriano, go ahead and grab The Princess Problem! But also, take a swing over to my Pinterest boards – I make one for every book: https://www.pinterest.com/christibarth/the-princess-problem/ You’ll get to see lots of fun clothing and royal jewelry, too. But most of all, you’ll see why Kelsey realizes Moncriano is a wonderful place to live – I only wish you all could visit for real!
Check out The Princess Problem by Christi Barth, out now!
One minute I’m starting my dream life in NYC, and the next, a man too hot for his own good is banging on my door, telling me that I’m a 25 year old long lost princess of a country on the other side of the Atlantic.
Not exactly your typical Friday night in the Big Apple.
Suddenly, all of my plans for the future are yanked away. I’m trapped in a life filled with social obligations—and stilettos!—and an uptight royal family I didn’t know existed. They, and the whole rest of the freaking country, have lofty expectations I’m not sure I can meet.
At least the aforementioned sexalicious man, Elias, is my constant shadow, protecting me with his life. The whole situation is overwhelming. So I’ve secretly put him in charge of my happiness, too…and he’s taking my orders very, very seriously.
So seriously, I’m falling for him even harder than the new country I’m coming to…maybe…love.
And that’s a major problem, because he’s crazy about me, too. I may not know all the zillion rules about being royal, but I know one for sure: No way can a princess hook-up with her bodyguard…
Each book in the Unexpectedly Royal series is STANDALONE:
* The Princess Problem
* Ruling the Princess
Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.