A. Piper Burgi is the author of several non-fiction books and recently added five historical fiction novels to her ever-expanding collection of published writings. Her debut novel, IN THE SHADOW OF HER MAJESTY, was a Golden Book Award Semi-Finalist, and Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews named her women’s fiction novel THE COUNTRY GIRL EMPRESS “…a must-read for historical fiction fans who can appreciate the imperial intrigues…”

She is also a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Independent Author Network, an Air Force Veteran, and a military spouse; plus a busy doggie mommy, a cook, a chauffeur – you get the picture. When she is not busy chasing after her three furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee, she can be found typing away on her computer.

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Publication date: 16 Mar 2020

Publisher: Independently Published

Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Person

The sudden, violent death of Sisi’s only son, Crown Prince Rudolph at his hunting lodge Mayerling, shakes the Empire to its core. The fact that the dead body of his teenaged mistress is found next to his makes the scandal complete. Does this tragedy mark the end of the Danube monarchy, since Rudolph only had a daughter?



Note: All four books of the Country Girl Empress series (Kindle version only) are currently on sale at:

Interview with A. Piper Burgi

How do you blend your writing life with your “real life”—do you find it challenging to make time for both sides? If so, what are some of the difficulties, and how do you resolve them?

It all just intermingles. There’s no separate “real life” and “writer’s life”. The two parts somehow co-exist. There are, of course, times when one has to spend more time on one than on the other, but that’s just how life is…something unexpected pops up, and you find a way to deal with it and move on.

How do you define success as a writer? What makes you feel successful as a writer? Conversely, what makes you feel like a failure, and how do you combat that?

My thoughts on believing myself to be a successful writer have not changed. My books might not have hundreds of 5-star reviews, nor do I earn millions of dollars per year with my writing, but I write the stories I love and publish them. And I call that a success!

Everybody has bad days, but I’m not so sure that those days make me feel like a failure. I prefer to call them challenges. You only fail when you don’t even try.

What triggers your story ideas: a character, a setting, plot or dialogue?

I find that once I’ve had a specific scene or dialogue play out in my head like a sort of movie, it’s fairly easy to sit down and write it all out.

Do you have a theme you return to time and again?

I’ve always been fascinated by history, and the strong women it produced. At the moment, I am a little enamored with 19th century Vienna and the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

Do you ever get “stuck” when writing—have trouble beginning a project or getting through it? If so, how do you handle those “work-in-progress” ruts?

Like all writers, I have good days and not so good days. On the not so good days, when the words don’t seem to want to flow, I take a break from writing and recharge either by reading, cooking, or traveling (if time allows).


Dense rain clouds hung deep over the port of Trieste, and bolts of lightning struck near Miramare Castle. The first large drops of rain fell. The winds howled in short bursts around the reinforced battlements. The sounds of the heavy surf mixed with the rumbling thunder were only drowned out by the patter of the rain against the window panes.

Just a few hours ago, the imperial yacht “Miramar” had arrived at the private pier of the castle with Empress Elisabeth of Austria and her small entourage on board. While the ladies-in-waiting, Countess Marie von Festetics, Ida von Ferenczy, and Landgravine Therese von Fürstenberg as well as the always-busy Baron Nopsca, exhausted from the journey, retreated to their rooms, Empress Sisi had begun one of her infamous long walks without a bite to eat. And despite the nearing thunderclouds, she went alone.

“I’m beginning to seriously worry about Her Majesty,” the Baron said to Ida von Ferenczy and stepped towards one of the high windows from which one could see over the fence all the way down to the empty coastal streets of Trieste.

“Not a single person in sight! I hope she has enough common sense to seek shelter somewhere. What would the Emperor say if something happened to her!?”

“I don’t even want to imagine that, Baron! What if she sought shelter in a local public house, all by herself, and someone recognizes her? Just think about the assassination attempt three years ago! And to this day, you occasionally read ‘Eviva Guglielmo!’ smeared on buildings and statues, even after that Italian irredentist, Mr. Oberdank, was arrested.”

“That time, our police force did good work. I’ve informed the local police president immediately after we arrived! They will keep a close watch on the castle and the surrounding areas.”

“That is more than necessary, Baron. No one is safe because of these Nationalists, but Her Majesty doesn’t seem to care. She just pretends that none of this pertains to her.”

“You’re telling me?! She doesn’t make it any easier for me,” the Baron moaned. “I thought over time, she would change, but apparently, I was wrong. She not only looks like the years have passed her by without a trace, but she also acts like it. The word ‘fatigue’ is not part of her vocabulary. She rides like the Devil, and her wanderlust is almost unearthly. Nature, nature, nothing but nature! And that combined with her love for the poet Heinrich Heine and his writings…”

He looked towards the Heavens for help, while Ida jumped up in the bright light of the latest lightning bolt, which was almost immediately followed by the grumbling of thunder.

“Holy Mother of God…” a female voice could be heard from the direction of the door. “What’s she going to look like this time when she comes back? And I just combed her hair and pinned it up just before we disembarked the yacht.”

Fanny Feifalik, Her Majesty’s hairdresser, entered the room and fell onto an armchair while wringing her hands in despair.

“You have nothing but hair on your mind,” Baron Nopsca snapped.

– End of Excerpt –


Published by Christopher G. Bremicker

Special Forces medic stationed at Ft. Bragg NC from 1968 to 1970. BA English and MBA, both from University of Minnesota. Fisherman, grouse hunter, downhill skier.. Plays handball and reviews theater. Present job at Walgreens in St. Paul MN is forty-sixth job since high school. Hometown is Cable WI.

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