Message From The Author

Author's Message


Being a published writer has its advantages. Just ask Nita Abrams, who learned as much on a trip to Europe that was also a research expedition for her historical Couriers series. Her latest volume, THE SPY'S BRIDE (Zebra), is the third book about the Roth-Meyer clan, an Anglo-Jewish family of intelligence agents during the Napoleonic wars.

"I discovered that authors get special perks when they're doing research," Abrams says. "The staff at a Georgian mansion near London arranged a private tour (the house wasn't even officially opened for the season yet), and curators at Vincennes in Paris helped me find a place for James' prison cell."

A dashing British officer, James is the brother of Rachel Roth Meyer, whose story was chronicled in last year's A Question of Honor. Betrayed to the French by an Austrian countess whom he loved, James gets out of prison and enters into an arranged marriage with Eloise, a woman with many of her own secrets.

Abrams has always been fond of the Regency period—favorite authors include Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and Patrick O'Brian—but she was interested in exploring the dark side of that oh-so-refined age.

"It's a period of incredible social change concealed beneath a lovely, polished code of behavior for the upper classes," she says."I had always wondered how the traditional English aristocracy felt when confronted with other aristocracies, like the great Anglo-Jewish families—some of whom had been in England for nearly 200 years."

Clans like the Roth-Meyer, which is based on a handful of wealthy, influential Anglo-Jewish families of the time, responded to the legal and social barriers confronting them by either converting, assimilating but not
converting, or remaining very observant, according to Abrams, who chose the middle road for her fictional clan.

As a teacher, Abrams reserves her summers for writing and spring breaks for European research trips. "Good airfares and hotel rates," she points out. "The weather in March may seem blustery to the natives, but it feels great when you live in Minnesota."

For the the book, set in London and France, Abrams' next European excursion traces the route Napoleon took when he escaped from Elba. "After all, poor Nathan Meyer is still a lonely widower," Abrams adds. "I can't leave him stranded."

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