Protecting the Princess releases next week and I can hardly wait to share the story with you! It really is such a sweet story.
On top of that, there’s a castle, a ball, and so much fairy tale fun … truly I had a blast researching it and writing it. Seriously, I got to take virtual tours of castles (it would only have been better to take them in person!), and look through ball gowns, and envision how a castle might look. I even got to create a fictional country.
“Shanna Hatfield is pure magic on a page and she doesn’t disappoint with Protecting the Princess with her enchanting tale of castles, a storybook worthy princess, a brooding, sexy cowboy, and of course…a goat.”
USA Today Bestselling Author
When I was trying to decide what the castle might look like, I started by looking at images of old castles. I didn’t want a huge castle, so that narrowed down the possibilities quite a bit. Most of the castles I liked ended up being and France. Some of them are even available to rent out. Who knew that was a thing? Wouldn’t it be fun to take a trip and stay in a castle?
Anyway, the castle I ended up liking the best is Chateau Chamborigaud, a castle built in 1575 in southern France. It has ten bedrooms, three turrets, and would make a Disney princess proud! I loved the beautifully landscaped park around it, too. It was so, so easy to picture Poppy (the heroine) growing up here.
Once I had the castle in mind, I created the fictional country of Briden. It’s set in Europe, although I didn’t give any exact details where. It has four seasons, with hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. I searched through lists of the smallest countries in the world and ended up drawing inspiration from Andorra. It’s a tiny country situated in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. Since I’ve never been there, I relied on photographs and details I found online, but it looks like a lovely place to visit!
In my story, Briden’s main source of income is salt. They export it in a variety of forms. Captain Cavedweller is the one who actually came up with the idea of having salt as their main industry. I turned to the Wieliczka Salt Mine in southern Poland for the inspiration of the mine in Briden in the story. If you’ve never looked at photos of Wieliczka, check it out. It is spectacular!
Check out my Pinterest board for more images that inspired the story.