The Princess and The Pea by Eileen Dreyer

51QGOVLxcTL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

PRINCESS AND THE PEA is a sequel, actually. In my first book, A PRINCE OF A GUY, the spoiled, pampered crown princess of a tiny European principality is kidnapped on the eve of her coronation, and a secretary from Brooklyn finds herself impersonating her(as you might have guessed, there is a large dose of humor in these books). Helping Casey Phillips maintain her masquerade, Prince Eric von Lieberhaven also—of course—falls in love with her.

Which was very satisfying, especially since I got to have fun not only with the idea of a commoner impersonating a princess, but the fact that she sets royal protocol on its ear. The only problem was that I left the Princess Cassandra out in the real world where she didn’t know how to survive.

Enter Paul Phillips, on the way to his sister’s wedding and celebrating his own retirement from the shadowy world of espionage. It is Paul who saves Cassandra from her captors. Unfortunately, it seems he’s brought some bad guys with him, and the two end up on the run.

I admit that from the minute Cassandra entered the first book, I wanted to give her her own book. She was such a spoiled brat that I wanted to see if I could redeem her. And bless her, I don’t make it easy. But I’ve come to love my wayward princess and the spy she saves.

Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weakesses.

Paul Phillips is tired. He has spent the last fifteen years living in the shadows. He was a good spy, but he is ready to give it up for a normal life. Paul doesn’t wear a uniform, but he is a warrior, always on the alert, adaptable, focused, prepared. He is the guy who runs in when everybody else runs out.

As for his weakness, Paul didn’t have a happy childhood. When he escaped, he left his sister behind. To his shame, he hasn’t seen her since, this child who relied on him. He is attending her wedding to try to mend their rift.

Tell us about your heroine.  Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.

Crown Princess Cassandra von Lieberhoven has been groomed since infancy to become the next ruler of the tiny, prosperous principality of Moritania in the Alps. She has been pampered her whole life, so that it is only when she is torn from the safety of the palace that she learns just who she is. Cassandra is much stronger than she’s ever thought, smarter, more clever and hungry for real life.

Her main weakness is that she has been so cossetted and pampered, that she is spoiled. Trapped in protocol that is no substitute for love, she spends a lot of time being outrageous, since that is the only way she knows to get attention. It takes a crisis to bring out the real core of steel and compassion that lies beneath all the designer labels and pretense.

Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?

It has definitely not been a walk in the park. From the time I decided that yes, what I wanted to do was be a published author, it took another five years to be published with Silhouette as Kathleen Korbel. During that time I realized two things. One, I tend to write ahead of the curve. The first book I tried to sell was the romance I wanted to read. It was rejected by everyone with the same admonition: “This book has a dead body and a military veteran for a hero. Who wants to read that in a romance?”

Well, I’m nothing if not adaptable. I wrote a lighter book, PLAYING THAT GAME, and that was the one I sold as Kathleen Korbel to Silhouette. And when my editor asked me for another book, I explained I had this book I’d tried to sell without luck. She asked to see it. And forty-eight hours later called me saying, “A suspense! A veteran hero!! How did you know this was just what we were looking for?” That, my second book, was A STRANGER’S SMILE (both of which will be re-released in the next year).

The second thing I realized—and continue to deal with—is that I have a unique voice. And what Jayne Anne Krentz says is that your strongest weapon as a writer is your greatest weakness, and that’s your voice. Your audience will look specifically for you. But first, you have to find an editor who not just responds to your voice, but enthusiastically. Every time I’ve changed houses, I’ve had to deal with that all over again. I have to be careful not to take the first person who wants to buy my work, especially if they say something like, “I love your work. If it were only different….” What you want instead is, “I love  your work. I think I can help you do it even better.”

Do you have a view in your writing space?  What does your space look like? 

I have two views. One out into my back yard, which backs onto a small wood, so that I see birds and trees and flowers, and my next-door-neighbors’ kids playing in their treehouse. And then I can see through my office doorway into the rest of my house. There’s not that much really to see, but I like knowing what’s coming. I tried to turn my office away from the door, and I felt like a spy with my back to a restaurant. So my desk is kind of kitty-corner, so I can see both(alright, and the TV when baseball is on).

What is my office like? Well, actually, I have a writing nook and another small room for business. I have to separate the two or I get nothing done in either. My writing nook, in which I spend most time is a small back bedroom with two windows, an old couch, a sound system(absolutely vital for me), and a desk with my computer. The only vestiges of an office that remain are my research for whatever book I’m working on, and a few pertinent general research books. The majority of that library is actually in my old office(which one of these days when I get around to it will be turned into a media room). The other important things about my office is that first I have a lot of art on the walls, and that those walls are painted a lurid lime green. I obviously like sensory input to create. As for the lime, I also have trouble with winter. I don’t get depressed, I flat out fall asleep. The green is not only a vital color to me, since it makes me remember that spring happens,  but it keeps me awake on the dimmest days in February.

What is your favorite dessert/food?

The shorter list is what isn’t my favorite food. If there is one food I cannot resist, however, is—believe it or not—Irish brown soda bread. I feel a whimper coming on just thinking about a big butter-covered slab of bread rough enough to scrape the roof of your mouth. In fact, I rented a house in Ireland for a couple of weeks once and lived solely on brown bread, smoked salmon, butter and apples. Here’s the secret to picking soda bread. The really good stuff smells like dirty socks. Oh, my mouth is watering….

What is most difficult for you to write?  Characters, conflict or emotions?  Why?

What a great question. If you’d added plot, it would have been easy. I HATE plotting. I have no left brain, which means my linear logic skills are wanting. I’m rather notorious for having outlines that say things like ‘Somehow they find out who the bad guys are.” But of the three you mention, I have to say emotions. Characters come to me fairly easily(even though often they don’t completely explain themselves until about ¾ of the way through the book). And from character comes conflict. And if you have enough conflict, you have the fuel for a book.

The Princess & The Pea by Eileen Dreyer


Her Highness the Crown Princess Cassandra Catherine Anna Marie von Lieberhaven turned away and closed her eyes. Oh, God, she thought, waves of relief and terror still washing through her with equal force. What am I going to do?

No more than three months earlier, she had been standing in St. Cyril’s Cathedral in Braz waiting to be married. Waiting to be crowned Queen of Moritania. The entire country had been there, cheering and waving and singing. The cathedral had shimmered in the afternoon sunlight and glittered with the trappings of ritual and wealth. It would have all been hers—if she’d only married Rudolph and assumed her duties by once again doing what everyone expected of her. Well, no one else had to face living with that pimply-faced mannequin or spending the rest of their days counting curtsies.

By now, Eric would be king. A more popular monarch than she, Cassandra knew in her heart. A more fitting one.

Now she would have to go back to face him…to face her grandmother. Fresh tears welled in her hazel eyes at the thought, but Cassandra squeezed them back. A princess did not show weakness. She did not allow herself the frailties which most humans assumed as their right. Cassandra tried her best to overcome the momentary lapse by concentrating on her rescuer instead.

For a moment, she toyed with the idea of taking a sidelong glance at him. More than just curiosity drew Cassandra. There was something about him that made her feel at once safe and unsure. He would catch her watching, though. He seemed to anticipate her with deadly accuracy.

Her first sight of him had terrified her. She’d thought he’d been one of the terrorists. He’d moved like a jungle cat, a black panther against the harsh illumination of the headlights. He was lean and quick, with thick, sable-brown hair. Long, she realized now as it began to dry, almost to his shoulders, and wild. It looked almost like a mane, giving him a slightly dangerous look. He hadn’t shaved in a day or two, and his eyes were tired.

His eyes. They were so soft, so sweetly blue like a lake in early spring. Cassandra had seen terrible wariness in them at first, then laughter and compassion. Those eyes seethed with life, with energy.

He wasn’t a handsome man. His angles and slightly off-plumb features made him look as if he’d taken his share of knocks—as if the wariness in those eyes had been well earned. All the same, Cassandra reacted to him more intensely than to any of the dandified, educated men she’d known all her life. Just sitting next to Paul in the confines of the small car set her skin humming.

A panther, Cassandra thought once again, finally succumbing to the urge to take just one look. What an appropriate image. What a dangerous one. He wore a black turtleneck and jeans, slung low over lean hips. Cassandra didn’t know whether to feel comfortable with him or at peril. She had only an instinct that this man wouldn’t put her in an even greater danger than the one she’d escaped. And truth be told, Cassandra and her instincts had not really been all that reliable.

One thing was sure. Even though there was no looking forward either, for now she was warm and dry and away from the nightmare she’d stumbled into. And more than anything, right now, she wanted to know about the man who’d rescued her.


Moritanian Crown Princess Cassandra leads a fairy-tale existence. Some consider her the most spoiled woman in Europe. Then she is kidnapped.

Retired spy Paul Phillips is a self-made man more at home with flying bullets and fast cars than champagne and caviar. Then he finds Crown Princess Cassandra.

Now speeding through Europe, the pair are ducking enemies and each other. But as sparks fly, they wonder if they might be driving toward a fairy tale ending.


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New York Times bestselling, RWA Hall of Fame author Eileen Dreyer has published 31 romance novels in most genres, 8 medical­ forensic suspenses, and 10 short stories.

2015 sees Eileen enjoying critical acclaim for her foray into historical romance, the Drake’s Rakes series, which Eileen labels as Regency Romantic Adventure that follows a group of Regency aristocrats who are willing to sacrifice everything to keep their country safe. She is also working on her first non­fiction book, TRAVELS WITH DAVE, about a journey she’s been taking with a friend’s ashes.

A retired trauma nurse, Eileen lives in her native St. Louis with her husband, children, and a large and noisy Irish family, of which she is the reluctant matriarch. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.



Twitter: @eileendreyer

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