by Lea Doue
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 only wants 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.
You know that great feeling when you read the first few pages of a book, and you know you’re already hooked? The Firethorn Crown is that kind of book. It’s been a long time since I ignored my family and stayed up until the wee hours of the night, just so I could get to the next scene in a book.
This fairy tale is suspenseful and captivating with endearing, realistic characters and great life lessons about family, friendship, compassion, honor, embracing our differences, and facing our fears.
“THE COLORS! This book was beautiful. From the Princesses’ names to the gowns they wore, the contrasts of light and beauty to the dark shades of the undergardens–I could nearly feel the colors as they dripped off the page. THE WORLD! Cleverly woven in throughout was kingdom history, royal conflict, names and pasts, stellar character development. THE ROMANCE! Undeniable chemistry existed between the two romantic leads. Perhaps I’ve read too many yawn-worthy romances in the recent past, but I’m a sucker for good romance, and I was rooting for these two from page one.”
CIR: What inspired this book?
DOUE: I’ve always loved fairy tales and fairy tale-style stories. This book in particular was inspired by “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” The plan is for each princess to have her own story, most of them loosely based on fairy tales, with some borrowing elements from other classic literature.
CIR: What did you enjoy most about writing this?
DOUE: Everything! World building, character creation, outlining, plotting, writing, editing. Discovering the twelve princesses was fun. I’d only planned on one book, but the girls took on a life of their own and they each wanted their own story. I was outnumbered. But the BEST part was writing the first draft—and finishing. Then I could finally say I’d written a book.
CIR: Did this require any research, and what kind?
DOUE: I did a surprising amount of research while building the eleven kingdoms in The Firethorn Chronicles. I got hung up in the beginning deciding just how medieval-like the world would be (I wanted running water but not electricity), including what the girls would wear. The story would have ballgowns, of course, but I didn’t want the princesses running around in them all day. So, their everyday dresses are pretty simple, and some of the girls even wear leggings with long tunics over the top. Pinterest was immensely useful for visualizing much of this, and each of the girls has her own board now that gives insights into her personality and story.
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing this story?
DOUE: Presenting the princesses as individuals, and not just because they’re each getting their own story. The idea of family is important throughout the book, and I wanted to show at least a little of the relationship Lily has with her sisters.
CIR: Is there more coming?
DOUE: Most definitely. The Firethorn Crown features the oldest princess, and book two will feature the next two in line: Gwen and Hazel. That one should be out summer or fall 2016. Each story will be a stand-alone with a definite ending, but there will be elements or characters linking them together and time will progress, so I would recommend reading them in order.
Learn more about Lea Doue and her writing at www.leadoue.com