First of all–winners!  The winner of my own Betrayed By His Kiss is…Laurel Hawkes.  The winner of Linda Carroll-Bradd’s Capturing the Marshal’s Heart is…Louisa Cornell.  And the winner of one of Alicia’s dean’s titles is…Janine Gallant!  If you could all email me your info at amccabe7551 AT yahoo, I will get them sent to you asap….

Portugal1I am finally starting to get back into the work-home routine, after all the excitement of getting (yay!) married and being on vacation.  (And many, many thanks to everyone for the congrats and good wishes!  It is so wonderful).  First order of business–starting my next book for Harlequin Historicals, which I am actually loving–it’s a Regency set in Brazil!  So there are tropical sunsets, beaches (though not too many–Rio was actually not very near a beach then, and it was very hard to reach), but with lovely muslin gowns and Neoclassical art.  Fun!!!

This story was inspired when I happened to come across the book Empire Adrift: The Portugese Court in Rio de Janeiro, 1808-1821 by Patrick Wilcken, the story of the Braganzas, the royal family of Brazil, and a court of overv 15,000 people fleeing to Brazil ahead of invading Napoleonic forces.  I knew very little about this aspect of the wars, but found it amazing in so many ways.  A family that was the very definition of “dysfunctional” (the Prince Regent John VI ruled for his insane mother Queen Maria; as children, he had married his Spanish cousin Carlota, and they had many children together but hated each other, and Carlota spent her life plotting against him.  Sound familiar??), plopping their aristocratic Iberian ways into the middle of a tropical colony, with political skullduggery swirling all around them.  A great backdrop for an exciting story, I thought.

PortugalCourt2My characters are English–the hero is a Naval officer who is part of the convoy assigned to escort the Portugese to Brazil in November 1808 (they departed on November 29, in a scene of immense chaos, but didn’t arrive at their ultimate destination in Rio until March 7, 1809.  They didn’t return to Portugal until 1821).  My heroine is the daughter of an English diplomat, who has been serving as his hostess for many years.  But our hero and heroine have a secret past together!  Can they keep it hidden under the warm skies of Rio???

I’m sure I will be sharing many more historical tidbits and images as I make my way through this story, but this is just the beginning.  What’s your favorite “unusual” setting for a story?  Where would you like to see more titles set in the future???