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Wait a minute, you say. The name that originally popped into my head was Castle Slaughter. Clearly that was one of the first things that I changed. Much like everything else about this book clicked into place: I suddenly knew that it was about a young princess, who lived in a magic castle that could change rooms and hallways whenever it wanted. And I also knew that I would be able to write more than one adventure for this princess and her castle. I thought it was such a cool name, and he was a really fun kid.

When we found out our first child was going to be a boy, my husband and I could not come up with any names. I kind of liked the name Max, but we were also joking around with a lot of names we would never actually use like Gunnar or Thorbjorn or Rufus. Somehow we ended up calling the baby Max Rufus this did not end up being anything close to his real name.

Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other's countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It's got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Ellen is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince.

Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way. This book includes knitting patterns that are key to the plot. I will also be posting more knitting patterns here that correspond with with the story. Then it occurred to me that dancing in glass slippers might possible be just as bad: would the glass bend?

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What if the slippers shattered, and cut your feet? And I had a sudden image of a young girl trying desperately to hold still while someone molded liquid glass onto her feet with glassblowing tools. I had never meant to do another fairy tale retelling, and certainly not Cinderella, which has been beautifully retold a number of times. But that image of the blown glass slippers would not leave my head, and then there was the idea that my twelve princesses would never want to dance again.

Or at least one of them, anyway.

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While I was writing Midnight Ball , I also had a devil of a time keeping some of the middle princesses straight, except for Poppy. Any time I needed someone to say something snarky, Poppy came forward to volunteer, and so I leaped at the chance to give her a book of her very own. This book is also my little homage to Regency romances, set in my own version of early 19th century England! I originally had named a pair of yarn stores after my agent and my daughter, and then the entire chapter bit the dust. The oldest Thwaite brother is named Roger, after the family friend who made the joke about petunias that one time, which is why the youngest Westfalian princess is named Petunia!

And there you have it! As far as Creel is concerned, all is finally right with the world. The dragon king, Shardas, and his queen, Velika, have made a comfortable home on the Far Islands. And with a tentative peace declared between dragons and humans, it seems the perfect time for Creel and Prince Luka to plan their wedding Because when Velika gets kidnapped, Creel and Luka will join their dragon friends on their most dangerous adventure yet--only to discover that the real enemy may be one of their own.

And if dangerous new foes and volcanic eruptions weren't enough to throw off the wedding, add in a bushel of unwanted relations and a little accident involving not one but two wedding gowns, and Creel's dream wedding might be turning into a nightmare. Filled with humor, heart, and feats of derring-do, this newest novel from Jessica Day George will delight both returning fans and new readers alike. It's pretty funny to me, because I never intended to write a sequel to Dragon Slippers at all, and now here I am with a trilogy!

I really wanted to show readers the Far Isles, and to explore the rest of their world. Perhaps, and perhaps not! So here is their Happy Ever After. Fainting goats! I could watch them keel over time and again! Check them out on YouTube! When prince after prince tries and fails to find the answer, and the family is haunted by accusations of witchcraft, Galen decides to help. Armed with a pair of silver knitting needles and an invisibility cloak given to him by a strange old woman, he follows the princesses and unlocks the secret of their curse.

This book includes knitting patterns for a shawl and a chain of black wool that are key to the plot. But I do remember suddenly jotting down notes, and telling my husband, my editor, my agent, that I was working on a novel that would have knitting patterns in it, because the man character was a BOY who KNITS. This is not all that strange around my house. My maternal grandfather was a knitter. And I knit. Now what? Now what, indeed!

Now I needed to write a book with a knitter and a gorgeous garden full of flowers of every type, but especially roses. And where was that garden? Why in Germany or a sort of Germany, anyway! Germany, where I have spent many happy hours walking around drinking in the sights and smells. Germany, where stuccoed houses are painted pink or decorated with scenes from the Bible. But when would it be set?

And there would be a mysterious underground palace, too, carved of obsidian, where strange pale princes danced forever with their captive brides. There would be jokes, and dancing, and mysterious old women, and pastries, and all good things.

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Petunia is from playing Super Mario Bros. Jonquil comes from the name of a nightclub at a hotel I once stayed at, which seemed hilarious at the time. The Jonquil Room. And Campanula is another weird flower name, along with Hyacinth and Lilac. Rose is my favorite flower, and lily is not only a beautiful name, but also a flower that seems demure and lovely, but is quite hardy and strong. Most of the other names are merely common German names, but Hans Wilhelm Kelling was the name of one of my German professors.

Knitting Patterns.

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Will they be able to win this fight, and will they still have a home to return to even if they do? That was it, I was done. But I shook my head and said, No, no sequel. It was hard to write, I must say. Dragon Slippers flowed from my brain like I was being possessed by the spirit of some sort of dragony-book-writer-person. But this one was hard. Was it as funny as the first? Was it as dramatic? And how creepy was Krashath?! He just popped into my head and I thought, Wow!

10 Great Book Series for Kids

Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass has always felt estranged from her family, who struggle to make a living in the windswept north. But the great white bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle.

Long years ago, when I was a wee lass, I developed a bizarre passion for Norway. My family is actually of Danish descent, but for me it was Norway or nothing. The breathtaking landscape, the thought of Viking ships cresting icy waves, polar bears and reindeer, it all seemed so romantic and fascinating to me.

I devoured anything about Norway I could find: I wore itchy wool sweaters if they had a Norwegian pattern on them. I ate cold salmon which I do like. I read any book that even mentioned Norway, or was written by someone Norwegian, no matter what the topic. The young girl, taken from her poverty-stricken family by an enchanted polar bear. For my sixteenth birthday I got a copy of P. I hope that I always pour a lot of passion and a lot of love into all my books.

But this one is closer to my heart than the others, I think. I paced the floor in between scenes, urgently thinking of how to make it just right.

The names Hans Peter and Jorunn are taken from the names of the kids in my first Norwegian textbook. We followed the adventures of Jorunn and her boyfriend JENS Peter from their first crush through their marriage, learning our Norwegian vocab and grammar along the way. I nearly named my son after him, but my husband begged me to reconsider.

Many stories tell of damsels in distress, who are rescued from the clutches of fire-breathing dragons by knights in shining armor, and swept off to live happily ever after. But even Creel could not have guessed the outcome of this tale.