Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The dragon and the girl must discover courage - True North (The Dragon and the Girl #1) by Laura Findley Evans

"I read an Advanced Review Copy of this wonderful book. As a former fifth grade teacher, I have read many books in the Middle Grade fantasy genre. True North (The Dragon and the Girl) stands out for its development of the characters and beautiful prose that engaged me immediately." Sally W., Goodreads


Release Date: December 2, 2021


At least that's what twelve-year-old Eliana has grown up hearing. Imagine her surprise when one morning in the forest she finds herself eye to eye with a young dragon. When she learns the dragon's father has been missing since the last full moon, she vows to help.

Together, they seek the King for guidance, but upon reaching the castle they realize the short, frazzled King has problems of his own. The kingdom's treasure is missing and the tribute to the Overking is due in a few short weeks. If the King doesn't pay, he will lose his kingdom to the Overking's feckless nephew.

The dragon and the girl must discover courage—sprinkled with magic—to find what is lost before the kingdom falls into the wrong hands and people and dragons perish forever.

"When choosing a book for younger readers, I look for books where the characters show growth and development throughout the story, as these characters do. I am even more delighted when the story takes unpredictable twists and turns – and the author creates a world that stimulates the reader’s imagination." - Ellen, Goodreads


After giving her favorite hen a few bites of an overripe tomato, Eliana took off her scarf and sweater to use as a pillow as she lay down in the grass by the stream. The mist was gone and the morning sun warmed her face. Every now and then, a chicken came by to check for another treat in her hands, but they were such a part of her everyday life that she hardly noticed.

A slight breeze shifted the branches of the massive oak trees that grew just beyond the stream. The musical rippling of water dancing over rocks in the creek soothed her, and she closed her eyes, drifting somewhere between awake and dreaming about building an Eliana-sized boat to take her wherever the water flowed.

Until she heard a sound that stood apart from the usual morning symphony. Different. A rustling. A stirring. She opened her eyes and pushed herself up on one elbow to look across the stream. Again, she heard the sound—it was coming from the forest—much louder than that of a squirrel. Maybe a deer? No, it wouldn’t make that much noise unless wounded.

Eliana scrambled to her feet, grabbed her sweater and scarf, and clutched them to her chest. No wild cat had been seen in the forests around Morganshire in years. The activities of humans kept them far from the village itself and even the outlying private lands. Even so, she looked for the telltale tawny form now, though she felt certain that a wild cat wouldn't be so loud. She noticed their rooster Henry the Fifth standing stock-still behind her. He stared into the forest which now seemed too close. The dense summer canopy of the trees allowed only a diffuse light to drift to the forest floor, and shadows swayed, forming shapes that shifted with the breeze.

Eliana realized then that Henry had herded his flock back into the coop. He stood in the open doorway of the wooden structure, still staring at the place from where the sound had come. Eliana scanned the dark green world under the trees for the glowing eyes of a wild cat crazy enough to come within a hundred feet of humans.

But wait. There.

A flash of vivid turquoise lit by a mere sliver of light descending through the trees, gone so fast Eliana was sure she imagined it. But then a flicker of emerald green, so bright that nothing in nature could have produced it unless the King’s jewels had mysteriously gone for a stroll in the woods behind her yard. Certainly no forest creature sported such amazing colors.

Eliana’s sweater and scarf fell to the ground as she took one step forward, and then another. Even if the trappers did see strange blue lights in the forest one night, they wouldn’t be dangerous, would they? Just a little closer and she would stop. In all her twelve years, the forest had never frightened her; why should it now? Her parents worried too much sometimes…

Eliana took another step. The rustling had stopped, but there, just beyond the tree line, she could see glints of turquoise and that amazing emerald green. She barely felt the chill of the stream as she waded through and up onto the wildflowers growing on the slender strip of land outlining the forest. Over the murmur of the stream, she heard her brothers pushing their way through the back door. Before the screeching of the door stopped, Eliana ran the last few yards to the first oak trees, stepped into the cool dimness of the forest, and found herself staring into the large, blue-green eyes of a dragon.

About the author:
At six years old, Laura Findley Evans wrote her first story about a man named Brill who flew to the moon. When her teacher asked her to stand up and read it to the class, she learned just how powerful a story can be. A creative writing major in college, she has written many more short stories, some of which were published, and one that won an award. The Dragon and the Girl: Due North is her first novel. It began when her grandchildren said one night (when they were supposed to be sleeping), “Tell us a story.” And so she did. Laura would like you to know that whatever she writes must be true, whether it is real or not. She hopes you will discover the truth in this story. You can visit her online at www.LauraFindleyEvans.com.

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pippirose said...

This book sounds very interesting. Lovely cover!

slehan said...

Looks like a fun book.
Thanks for the contest.

Betty C said...

Looks like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win.