Title of book and/or series:
The Firethorn Crown (Firethorn Chronicles 1)
Brief summary of the story:
Princess Lily, the eldest of twelve sisters and heir to a mighty kingdom, desperately seeks a break from her mother's matchmaking. Tradition forbids marriage with the man Lily loves, so she would rather rule alone than marry someone who's only after the crown.
Fleeing an overzealous suitor, Lily stumbles into a secret underground kingdom where she and her sisters encounter a mysterious sorcerer-prince and become entangled in a curse that threatens the safety of her family and her people. Lily can free them, but the price for freedom may be more than she's willing to pay.
The Firethorn Crown, a re-imagining of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” is the first novel in the Firethorn Chronicles, a series inspired by fairy tales and other stories.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The world of the Firethorn Chronicles consists of eleven kingdoms spread over a central continent, a large island to the west, and a smaller island to the southeast. The Firethorn Crown is set in the kingdom of Ituria, at the southernmost end of the mainland. The twelve princesses live in the capital of Eltekon.
If we were to visit Eltekon as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Definitely visit during the week of Dragon Festival. Enjoy food from the street vendors, see a play in an outdoor theater, and maybe catch sight of one of the princesses mingling with the people.
What dangers should we avoid in Eltekon?
Dragons, but only certain species. Many are harmless, some are helpful, and others can be easily avoided. The razor-tail dragons are the main threat, and they're the reason for the Dragon Festival—a celebration of the end of the Dragon Wars, a span of years during which the razor-tails were cleared from the ravaged kingdoms.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Eltekon?
Weapons and fighting styles vary based on which dragons the soldiers encounter. Each kingdom has their own Dragon Guard to make regular patrols of their lands, and most soldiers have a special skill at facing one type of dragon or another.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used for travel in the kingdoms?
Many people still travel by foot. Main roads are well maintained, and caravans travel frequently between major cities. Private coaches and guards are used by the wealthy. Horses, camels, and oxen are used, as well. Dragons are not ridden, except in the kingdom of Xafila, where wingless red dragons, the size of draft horses, are trained to carry royalty. No other large species of dragon is docile enough to permit such handling.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the kingdoms that we don’t see on Earth?
Dragons. Lots of species, all sizes, in every environment. All dragons have a tendency to hoard something, with varying degrees of aggression when their hoard is threatened.
What role, if any, does magic play in the lives of people in Eltekon? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Sorcery is considered unnatural, and it is unhealthy to the wielder. Sorcery takes decades to master and must be learned one-on-one as an apprentice, as no sorcery books exist. Sorcerers are generally mistrusted and considered deceivers.
What is the political or government structure in Ituria? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he?
Ituria is currently ruled by King Brido, a favorite among the people. His mother ruled alone for a number of years after her husband died before stepping down to let Brido take the crown. Both men and women can inherit in Ituria, whether it's the crown or property.
Some of the other kingdoms favor male heirs over female, but will allow either. And some will allow only male heirs to ascend the throne.
A native of south Georgia, Lea currently lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, their two boys, a rescue greyhound, and a cat. But, sadly, no dragons. Homeschooling and writing take up most of her time, but she also enjoys directing a small puppet team at her church. The Firethorn Crown, a re-imagining of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," is the first novel in the Firethorn Chronicles, a series inspired by fairy tales and other stories.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book? Please include links.
Where can readers connect with you online?
Visit my website,
where you can sign up for my newsletter, read more about the twelve princesses, and visit the ever-growing dragon dictionary.
I also have boards on Pinterest
for The Firethorn Crown and for the twelve princesses.