25 July 2018

Book Cover Reveal: A LIFE IN THE SHADOW OF THE CROWN - A Country Girl Empress Novel

I am so excited to reveal the cover of my upcoming historical fiction novel: A LIFE IN THE SHADOW OF THE CROWN - A Country Girl Empress Novel. To make it a little more interesting, I decided to turn it into a game. Below, you will find two images of the new book cover, but there's a difference. Can you spot it? If so, go ahead and comment that you found it. Spoiler alert! Some of you might be too excited to keep the answer to yourself, and that's alright. So, if you don't want to risk seeing a spoiler, then you might want to avoid reading the comments at first, and don't forget to read on to get the inside scoop!

The stressful wedding festivities are finally over, and Sisi and Franz Joseph can begin to navigate their lives together. However, fresh challenges await the newlywed couple.

When Sisi, the Country Girl Empress, from the Bavarian Possenhofen became Emperor Franz Joseph’s wife, she was only sixteen years old. The child-woman who is admired everywhere for her beauty and unaffectedness, feels most at home on top of a horse. Soon she must realize that the imperial throne is much more uncomfortable than a saddle, and that it is her highest duty to give birth to an heir.

The young Empress finds a great and unfortunately indomitable opponent in her mother-in-law, the Archduchess Sophie, who not only harasses Sisi but also treats her like a child. No wonder that Sisi’s duel with this overpowering opponent spans years, and gives her destiny a more and more tragic course, which the Empress seeks to escape with her never-ending search for happiness far away from the Viennese court.

The political climate throughout 19th century Europe is precarious. Hungary demands its independence from Austria’s rule, but the monarchy cannot afford the loss of Hungary’s resources. Unable to get help from the French unless Austria attacks first, Sardinia provokes its neighbor with a series of military manoeuvers close to their border. As predicted, the Austrian government demands the complete demobilization of the Sardinian army. When the ultimatum is not heeded, Austria feels it has no other choice but to declare war on Sardinia, thus drawing France into the conflict.

Meanwhile in Vienna, Archduchess Sophie attempts with all her might to teach her new daughter-in-law what it means to be a proper Empress, since the young woman insists on behaving like a tomboy. Even after giving birth twice, Sisi’s standing at the imperial court did not improve, since the long-awaited Crown Prince has yet to arrive. Will the icy atmosphere at the Hofburg Palace, the almost inhumane protocol and the constant rules prove too much to bear for the young Empress?

Are you eager to learn more about the book? If so, more snippets are coming your way soon! A LIFE IN THE SHADOW OF THE CROWN is coming to your favourite online book retailer in Autumn 2018. 

Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added two historical fiction novels to her ever-expanding collection of published writings, In the Shadow of Her Majesty and The Country Girl Empress. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.


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