RioPalace1This week, as I wait for revision on the last WIP I turned in (Murder in the Queen’s Garden, book 3 in my Kate Haywood Elizabethan Mysteries), I am starting on the next.  I am very excited about this story!  It’s my next romance for Harlequin Historicals, set in the Regency, but with a twist–we are headed to Rio!  In 1808, the Portugese royal court fled to their Brazilian colony ahead of Napoleon’s invasion, and my hero (a British officer) and heroine (daughter of a British diplomat), who once had a youthful romance that went wrong, get to go along for the adventure.

It’s a fascinating, complicated period in history (plus there are beaches and palm trees!  And watching World Cup games is totally research, right???).  According to Wikipedia:

The transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil refers to the escape of the Braganza royal family and its court of nearly 15,000 people from Lisbon on November 29, 1807. The Braganza royal family departed for the Portuguese colony of Brazil just days before Napoleonic forces invaded Lisbon on December 1. The Portuguese crown remained in Brazil from 1808 until the Liberal Revolution of 1820 led to the return of John VI of Portugal on April 26, 1821.[1]:321 For thirteen years, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, functioned as the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal in what some historians call a “metropolitan reversal” (i.e., a colony exercising governance over the entirety of the Portuguese empire.)

In doing some research on the era, I found this fascinating article about an archaeological find of thousands of imperial artifacts found during a subway excavation in Rio

Here’s a site about one of the royal palaces, which can still be toured, in Brazil, Royal and Imperial Palace of São Cristovão

Stay tuned for much more about this story later!  In the meantime, have a great summer week.  Next Tuesday, historical mystery author Alyssa Maxwell will be standing in for me, talking about her Gilded Newport series!