Thursday, 30 April 2015

Guest Post - Romy Sommer on Westerwald - Harper Impulse Fortnight

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Romy Sommer onto the blog today. She is the author of what I can only describe as adult fairy tales, that are simply enchanting.


Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a princess. Okay, so it wasn’t a kingdom, just a little Archduchy, and she was a cocktail waitress, not a princess, but every fairy tale has to start somewhere.

My fairy tales all start in the magical Archduchy of Westerwald. In the 21st century it’s a tiny little (fictional) nation squashed between Germany and France, and don’t be embarrassed if you’ve never heard of it. Most people haven’t. In fact, if you don’t zoom right in on Google Earth, you might miss it completely.

But back in the middle ages, when Europe was just a patchwork of warring rival kingdoms, Westerwald was a force to be reckoned with. The Archdukes controlled the Wester River, which meant they also controlled European trade. At the height of their power and wealth, they established their base in the southern part of the kingdom, building a magnificent castle on a hilltop overlooking the river, surrounding by vineyards and forests ideal for hunting. (Readers of my first HarperImpulse novel, Waking up in Vegas, will recognise this setting as the town of Waldburg.)

But we all know that in fairy tales pride comes before a fall. By the end of the seventeenth century, Archduke Willem believed he could do whatever he wanted. He kept his royal bride a virtual prisoner and set his low-born mistress beside him on the throne. (Shades of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn). The imprisoned princess managed to sneak just one letter out to her nephew, who lived in a neighbouring kingdom. With the support of his king, the nephew gathered an army and rode to her rescue. The result was a civil war that ended with Willem’s death, and with the princess’ nephew, Anton, crowned as the new Archduke.

After her husband’s death, the princess never married again. But she lived to see the new Baroque town her nephew built in the north of the country, and in its glorious palace she helped to raise the next generation of princes and princesses. That same palace at Neustadt (literally New City) features in The Trouble with Mojitos and To Catch a Star.

Archduke Anton’s descendants still rule over Westerwald today. They’d be the first to tell you that this is the 21st century, and they’re no fairy tale princes. They’re just ordinary men searching for their own happy ever afters. But we all know, that’s exactly how every fairy tale begins…

Not A Fairy Tale by Romy Sommer

And the award goes to…

Not Nina Alexander that’s for sure.
With her best gracious loser face firmly in place, Hollywood’s hottest starlet is hoping to end her evening of disappointment with a graceful exit stage left. Only an unexpected proposal and an awkward wardrobe malfunction mean that this is certainly going to be a night to remember… for all the wrong reasons! So what girl would resist the gorgeous Dominic Kelly coming to her rescue?!  Especially when he’s whisking her out of the paparazzi’s prying eyes on the back of his motorbike – and wearing a tux to rival James Bond!

Nina soon realizes that the only way to recover from such a scandal is to toughen up and snag the role of the decade in the year’s hottest YA screen adaptation. Who better to train her than her very own professional stuntman? Getting up close and personal with Dom will take Nina well out of her comfort zone – both professionally and in her closely scrutinized private life.  But this A-list couple know only too well that’s it not all happy ever afters in Hollywood…

Not a Fairy Tale is published by Harper Impulse, a division of Harper Collins, and is available from the following online retailers: Amazon Smart URL | Barnes & Noble iBooks | Kobo | eBooks by Sainsburys | All Romance eBooks

About Romy Sommer 

I’ve always written stories for myself, but didn’t even think of being an author until I realised that being over thirty and living in a fantasy world was a little odd. Writing those same stories for other people makes it a lot more acceptable!

By day I dress in cargo pants and boots for my not-so-glamorous job of making movies but at night I come home to my two little Princesses, in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I live, and I get to write Happy Ever Afters. Since I believe every girl is a princess, and every princess deserves a happy ending, what could be more perfect?

Thank you very much Romy, for that insight into Westerwald. Stay tuned to Rachel's Random Reads over the weekend, when I will be bringing you my reviews for the first two books in the Westerwald trilogy - Waking Up in Vegas and The Trouble with Mojitos.

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