Traveling to St. Petersburg

SPAndrea here, The new year is bringing—huff, puff—not one but TWO new books from me! I’m excited to announce that A Swirl of Shadows, the latest Lady Arianna adventure is finally finished and will release on March 22! (You can pre-order here.) The story was particularly fun for me to write as a good deal of the action takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia.

A Swirl of Shadows-315I took a number of Russian history courses in college and have always found the country and its history fascinating. And I was lucky enough to visit during grad school and spend some time in St Petersburg—in the dead of winter, I might add, which seemed only fitting, as snow and cold weather seem a part of the Russian soul!

That Russian history intertwines so closely with Britain during the Regency era gave me the perfect opportunity to weave a plotline that would take Lady Arianna and Saybrook to the Imperial Court of Alexander I, which was a hotbed of international intrigue and scheming right after Napoleon’s exile as the rulers of Europe jockeyed for power and influence.

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DrakenHowdy from the snow-dusted mountain of Joanna.
The Ask A Wench question for November is:

"If you were writing a Historical Romance set in an unusual place and time — and you didn't have to worry about sales — where would you choose and when and why?"


Mary Jo has not only thought of writing about some of these exotic places. She's done it.

 As a kid in the classroom, I used to gaze at the map racks hanging from the blackboard, and I was particularly interested in the vast, empty tracts of Central Asia.  What was there?  How interesting it would be to visit!  So when I started to write, I thought it would be really cool to write a book set in Central Asia.

Oh, wait!  I did.  The book is called Silk and Secrets, and it was loosely based on a real rescue mission to Bokhara in the 1840s by Dr. Joseph Wolff, an eccentric Anglican missionary.  Wonderful material in his memoirs.  The last in that trilogy, Veils of Silk, was set in India, with adventure and mystery and romance.  But India isn't quite so far off the beaten path, historical romance wise.

Well, China could be interesting.  So very different from Western Europe, with an ancient civilization and an aura of mystery. Err…, I wrote that in The China Bride,  with a Chinese/Scottish heroine and an English hero with an explorer's heart. 

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