C. S. Johnson has brought her retelling of the Sleeping Beauty mythology to a memorable conclusion in the final two installments of Once upon a Princess. Don’t miss out on this excellent romantic adventure!
Beauty’s Kiss: Rose, the Princess of Rhone, doomed to fall into a sleeping death on her eighteenth birthday, has only ever wanted two things in all her life: to be free of her curse and never to fall in love. After securing the dragon’s blood from the Serpent’s Garden, Rose is confident she has all she needs to free herself from Magdalina’s curse. But when Magdalina comes to offer Rose a new deal—one that would free her from her curse, while also eliminating future threats—Rose is forced to confront the truth of her feelings for Theo.
As Theo’s past and new troubles interrupt their journey back to Rhone, Rose knows she must make a devastating choice. Will she let herself fall in love? Or will she break her own heart instead?
Beauty’s Gift: With only weeks away from her eighteenth birthday and the fulfillment of her curse, Rose, the Princess of Rhone, faces more obstacles than ever. The kingdom, anxious over her fate, is destabilizing under her father’s rule; her mother is imprisoned, and her uncle is holding a silent coup against the crown. With Theo’s absence, she is unable to do more than brood over her fate as she attempts to solve the problems around her.
When Theo returns with surprising information, Rose knows the time has come to risk everything. Along with her friends, she prepares to face Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies, and fight the battle of her life—battle for her freedom, her kingdom, and her heart.
Dire Wolf Books proudly announces the publication of C. S. Johnson’s next installment in her addictive retelling of the Sleeping Beauty legend.
In order to defeat the sorceress Magdalina and free herself from Magdalina’s curse, Rose, the Princess of Rhone, has set out to find dragon’s blood. Accompanied by her faithful group of friends, including their newest member, Prince Philip of Finish, Rose travels toward the Romani territory, where the Serpent’s Garden resides.
But when the group ends up shipwrecked on the small island of Maltia, they find themselves trapped without supplies and a way off the island. With time, money, and new enemies working against them, Rose remains determined despite her despair to rise to each challenge. But can she face the growing fear and longing inside herself?
Suspenseful and surprising, Beauty’s Quest is the second book in the Once upon a Princess series from C. S. Johnson.
Dire Wolf Books is proud to welcome to our fold Jeff Sartini. Jeff is the author of the fiendishly clever The Adventures of Shamis and Larry, a rollicking YA fantasy that abounds with word play. If you like the works of A. A. Milne, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, or William Goldman, then you should give Jeff’s book a look. You can read it to your children, and then they’ll ask you why you are smiling, laughing, or groaning at the puns sprinkled throughout.
Two brothers set off on a set of misadventures to find the Engagement Water for their witch mother, who is trying to win the heart of the prince. Along the way they meet up with a Magical Mule named Merlin, a One-Headed Monkey, a Castle of Doom, a Dark Magician, Swamp Pirates (including Slobbery Brown), an Oracle named Bob, and an Evil Vegetarian. Warmly illustrated by Donny Palmgren, the story quickly endears itself to readers as the brothers continue to banter back and forth about what they should be doing.
Jeff is working on a sequel, and we are all waiting to see what new quests lie in store for the kilt-wearing brothers.
Boo Sheppard (formerly of Orangeburg Inside/Out) interviewed Dire Wolf Books author Chandler Brett about his novel Wolf Code: A Sheltering Wilderness. There are five pieces to the interview: (1) the origins of the book, (2) the portrait of wolves as social animals, (3) Chandler’s approach to writing, (4) a survey of the book’s characters, and (5) a suggestion of the book’s major themes. As Boo observes, “in this book there is something for everybody.” (Videos are available on Vimeo and YouTube.)
Dire Wolf Books proudly announces that C. S. Johnson’s new saga Once upon a Princess arrives to our catalog. Johnson is the talented author of the popular Starlight Chronicles, which includes Slumbering and Calling. Johnson leaves the world of superheroes for the chance to rework the Sleeping Beauty myth. Beauty’s Curse, the first volume in this new series, is an infectious retelling, focusing on fully realized characters, heart-warming romance, thrilling adventure, and unpredictable innovations.
So you think you know the story of Sleeping Beauty. You can recall the curse the wicked witch places on the baby girl Aurora—that she on her eighteenth birthday will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. You know of the good fairy who tries to help, but who can only turn death into sleep.
But what happens if Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—takes an active role in trying to find a way to break the spell? What happens if she leaves home at thirteen and spends four years as a virtual knight-errant, seeking a way to vanquish the power of Magdalina, the wicked fairy queen who cursed her?
This Rose is no passive damsel in distress, but a young, fiery woman who wishes to take control of her life. Time, however, is running out. On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes a journey home with her friends and traveling companions—Theo, a priest who holds onto dark thoughts of revenge; Mary, the young and talented fairy who tried to alter Magdalina’s curse; and Ethan and Sophia, young siblings with their own troubled pasts. As Rose rides home, she wonders how she will face the ongoing pressure from her father, King Stefanos, to make a choice between two equally dissatisfying options: abdicate the throne or get married. As Rose returns, all wonder whether she will be able to escape beauty’s curse.
Dire Wolf Books proudly presents the release of Chandler Brett’s Wolf Code: A Sheltering Wilderness. Brett spins a captivating adventure, portraying the struggles of a pair of wolves to lead their pack in a time of crisis, and a compelling romance, revealing the complications in the developing relationship between a Cherokee animal-rights activist and a reclusive computer programmer. At its heart Wolf Code is a story of relationships–between people, between wolves, between wolves and people. As Brett takes readers on a thrilling journey from a red wolf wildlife refuge to the Cherokee mountains of North Carolina to a tiger sanctuary in eastern Russian, different worlds converge in unexpected and exciting ways, reminding us how closely the natural world and our human world are intertwined.
Jungle Book meets Ready Player One!
“This well-written novel offers a depiction of life within a wolf pack with the wolves as the characters, giving homage to the narrative style of Rudyard Kipling. Each section of the novel draws you forward on a steady path through an intense chapter in the lives of both wolves and the humans who protect them.”
–Elizabeth Love, Writerbee’s Book Reviews.
“Brett has a descriptive style of storytelling and immerses his readers in the sounds and sensations of a wolf pack struggling to survive in an icy expanse of treacherous terrain. Perhaps his greatest strength is the meta-element he brings to Wolf Code. Just as Don and his former-student and love interest Tsula care about the plight of wolves and take actions within the story to encourage understanding of their world, Brett does just that by putting us in the action of the wolf Kan and his mate Lana. It took some planning and tight structuring to pull off but he did it. The meta-storytelling lends a complex dimension to this new world.”
–Erica Crockett, author of Chemicals.
AVAILABLE FOR ORDER through all major bookstore chains, including the following sites. Each icon is a clickable link.
Hardcover (ISBN: 9781943934003):
Paperback (ISBN: 9781943934010):
E-book (ISBN: 9781943934027):
We at Dire Wolf Books strive to weigh out the environmental impact of our business. Books require paper, and in our current industrial models, paper requires the processing of trees, which means more woods will be cut down to supply that need. Even though we are publishing on a small scale, we wish to emphasize electronic publishing, which also allows for a nice benefit for the reader—easily switching to the font style and size you prefer. If you want a smaller print in the middle of the day (for fewer page turns), you can always switch to a larger font in the evening when your eyes are tired. In addition, Dire Wolf Books can deliver ebooks to you much quicker—and cheaper, without shipping costs—particularly if you are on the other side of the globe. You can even lend ebooks to your family and friends. If space in your house comes at a premium, it is also nice to have your library reduced to your electronic library—and you can carry all those books with you wherever you take your one little, light e-reader.
On the other side, we still understand the experience of holding and reading a printed book. You like to smell your books, have a clear vision of page numbers and where the text falls on them, and maybe even enjoy writing in them. Still aware of the impact on the environment, Dire Wolf Books chooses when we print to print on demand. The old model of off-set printing may be cheaper (at first), but it leads to a large number of books being printed and placed in warehouses. These books have an uncertain future because no one can adequately predict how many copies will sell. Since print technologies have advanced significantly in the last decades, it makes sense that we only print books that have been ordered. We won’t have wasted copies yellowing in a forgotten corner of the warehouse, eventually needing to be trashed (and hopefully recycled).
We at Dire Wolf Books hope you will honor and share our commitment to the environment. We can all work to leave the world a better place for the future—for ourselves, for our children, and for their children.
What Makes a Story Compelling?
An Inviting World: We feel a part of the world in which our characters live. The best of stories offers us a vision of the dangers lurking around us, but also the possibilities of what might be.
An Unexpected Vision: We see the world through new eyes, learning to understand and value in different ways. Great stories challenge how we look at life itself.
Decisive Action: The story sweeps us along. One event follows another in an elaborate series of cause and effect. How do these events relate to each other?
Engaging Characters: Great characterization draws us in. We feel with and for the characters. Their choices become ours as we share in their motivations, triumphs, and failures.