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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Christmas With… Janet Lee Carey


Janet Lee Carey’s upcoming release, the highly anticipated Dragonswood, will hit the shelves on January 5th, and to begin the festivities, Janet stop by to tell us move about her novel and her Christmas memories ^^


1- How would you describe Dragonswood to someone who hasn't heard of it before?

I see visions in the fire sometimes, images of the past or what is yet to come. The fire-sight does not lie. But I did not see the witch hunter who would ride in to scour our town of sin, so I did not know to run.

Wilde Island is in an uproar over the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying and the royal witch hunter begins a vengeful quest to hunt down girls with fire in their hearts and sparks in their soul.

Strong-willed Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, wants more for herself than a husband and a house to keep. But in times like these wanting more can be dangerous.

Accused of witchery, Tess and her two friends are forced to flee the violent witch hunter. The journey is bleaker than they ever imagined and they have no choice but to accept when an enigmatic huntsman offers them shelter in the dangerous Dragonswood. Staying with him poses risks of its own: Tess has no idea how to handle the attraction she feels for him—or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.

2- I love fantasy books set in medieval era, is there a particular reason you chose this time period to set your story?

I find medieval times fascinating! I love researching medieval society. The research adds so much pithy story material. For example, I learned at the time of the witch trials, they arrested women whom they suspected of witchcraft (usually single women who were poor and often elderly). These women were tortured and forced to name more “witches,” which consequently led to more arrests. This strange historical fact became part of the Dragonswood novel. When Tess is arrested for witchcraft, the witch hunter forces her to name her friends, Meg and Poppy. Fortunately the story doesn’t end there. The three girls escape and go on the run.

3- There are Dragons, Fairies & Humans in your story, can you tell us more about each faction?

The Humans: We learn a great deal of Tess’s struggles in the human world through her difficulties as a young medieval woman. Tess is expected to obey her abusive father, the blacksmith, and to marry a widowed middle-aged merchant (to increase her father’s fortune). In short, she is expected to obey her father without question. She gets into immediate trouble when she refuses to wed the man her father has picked out for her, then gets into greater trouble with the witch hunter. While on the run with her friends we see the rougher side of medieval life as they beg for food, passing through villages full of poverty, muck, and disease. We also see a human society under enormous pressure now the king is dead and the new heir is not yet crowned.

The Dragons: Dragonswood is the wild forestland the Pendragon rulers set apart for the fairies and the dragons in order to keep the peace. The refuge is right in the middle of Wilde Island. The dragons are at peace with humans since the treaty was signed (in book one, Dragon’s Keep). They are under the king’s protection within the large refuge. But now the king is dead the people are fighting to tear down the refuge walls, they want to pillage Dragonswood for its timber and wild game. So far the dragons and the fairies have kept the peace, patrolling the refuge and booting out intruders, but dragons are wild creatures after all and things are heating up.

The Fairies: The fairies of Dragonswood are magical, illusive, wily. They dragonskeepcoverare human size like the elven folk in J. R.R. Tolkien’s books. The fey have their own plan to protect their borders and secure their fairy realm in Dragonswood. Their plan includes Tess, but she doesn’t find that out until much later in the novel (and I won’t give it away here). 

4- Is Dragonswood a stand alone or will it be part of a series?

Dragonswood is a companion book to Dragon’s Keep. Both medieval fantasies are set in a fictional place called Wilde Island. Book three of the Wilde Island chronicles will be out in a year or so. I’m working on it now with my wonderful editor, Kathy Dawson, at Dial Books for Young Readers. Kathy Dawson has edited all three books.

Now onto some Christmas-y questions!

5- What's your best Christmas memory?

Each Christmas eve, we lit a fire then my father pulled out Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and Janet Christmas Swedentried to read it from beginning to end. He never made it all the way through the novella, but he tried. I loved how he read the tale with such drama and delight. Memories like these last much longer than the gifts under the Christmas tree.

I also remember the moment we would put up the lights and hang the ornaments, especially the ones my family bought the year we lived in Sweden. The Swedish ornaments were clear domes with tiny pinwheels inside that spun when you hung them directly over a light. Pure magic. 

Here’s a photo of me with Santa Clause in Sweden. I’m in the brown dress. Santa Clause is called the Tomte in Sweden. He is a Christmas gnome with a white beard and red robes.

6- Is there one gift you receive that really stuck to your memory?

The year I found my stingray bicycle under the tree. I couldn’t wait to ride it, to feel myself flying down the road on that beautiful bike with the deep u-shaped handlebars. My parents draped a sheet over it since it was too large to wrap. I think my two older brothers also got bikes that year – so we could all fly!

7- How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa?

I was five when my friend told me. Too soon! Too soon! I was careful with my own kids, but they still learned about the same time. As my children were growing up, we also talked about the true story of Saint Nicholas (http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/ ) who gave up his inheritance to help the poor. Following Jesus’ example, Saint Nicholas was known for his care for the needy and for children. 

8- What would Christmas be like for Tess?

Sadly, while growing up under the blacksmith’s roof, Christmas would be little more than a slightly better meal for Tess and her mother. They could not afford much. Tess would cheer things up, hanging greens throughout the house, adding an extra log to the kitchen fire, and making hot cider for them all.


If it got you curious, here’s a bit more about Dragonswood

Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.

Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.

In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository



Janet would like to offer one of you lucky duck a signed copy of Dragonswood!

Open Internationally

Giveaway Ends January 4th, 2012.

All you have to do is fill the Rafflecopter form below.

The only mandatory entry is to provide your name and email addy =)


I was born in New York, raised in Mill Valley, California, and now live near Seattle, Washington. I'm married and have three terrific sons. When I'm not writing books or articles, I'm off somewhere teaching a writing workshop. Of course I do ordinary things too like clean house, cook dinner and walk in the rain (it’s almost always raining here). Well, that's about it. If you have any more questions, send me an e-mail . I'd like to know the kind of things you imagine when you stare out the window.

You can visit Janet Lee here.



More of Janet Lee Carey‘s books:

Dragon's KeepThe Beast of NoorStealing DeathThe Dragons of NoorWenny Has WingsThe Double Life of Zoe FlynnMolly's Fire


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

52 People left their mark' :

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I've heard great things about Dragon's Keep and had wondered if Dragonswood would be part of the same world. :) This totally answers my question, and now I'm eager to read both books! I think I would have to side with the dragons since they're one of my favorite fantasy creatures. Thank you for the great interview and for hosting the giveaway.


  3. it's seems so great, i think i would have loved to be part of the dragons faction ( i love to protect)

    thanks you for this giveaway

  4. These are new books to me but I'll have to check them out. I think I'd enjoy them.

  5. I love to mix up my urban fantasy reads with just straight up fantasy, and this series sounds awesome. Thanks for the post and a chance to win a copy.

  6. The cover's so beautiful! I'd like to be part of the fairie faction.
    Thanks for the givveaway!

  7. Hmm how come this is the first time I have read about this series? Sounds absolutely like my kind of books! On the wishlist it goes.

  8. This is such a pretty cover. I like any kind of fantasy although I'm more familiar with UF.

  9. I've definitely been really curious about this book for a while. Sounds really great!

  10. Dragonswood sounds like a fantastic story and I'm looking forward to reading it. I'd rather be part of the dragon faction myself.

  11. I'm gonna hafta say dragons! I have always loved them and always will :D

    megnate at telus dot net

  12. If the fairys are as fair as the ones in J.R.R Tolkien's books then I would want to be one of them.

  13. I love a story with a good mix of magical creatures in a medieval setting. This sounds like a great novel. Will have to put it on my tbr list.

  14. It's hard not to side with the dragons.

  15. I really enjoy reading about medieval times. I love the whole premise of this novel and cannot wait to read it! Thank you for the opportunity!

  16. Hi!
    I think I would like to side with the dragon! They are powerful! I like the fairies too.... Thanks for this giveaway!

  17. I like dragons AND fairies, so it's hard to choose, but I think the fairies are more beautiful and magical, so I think I'd go with them:)

  18. Great interview! I think I would prefer the Dragon faction. It sounds a lot more interesting to me than the Fairies. :)

  19. I think I would like to be a dragon because Dragons are awesome!

  20. I think I'd want to be a dragon. It's not everyday you get to be a dragon.

  21. I too would like to be a dragon as I'd love to be able to fly. And to shoot fire would be awesome!

  22. The cover is amazing. Thanks for giving us a chance to win a copy of the book

  23. I would love to be a dragon as flying would simply be awesome!

    Thanks for holding the giveaway!

  24. I have been waiting on this one!
    Thank you for the post.

  25. Thank you for the giveaway!
    I have been really dying to read this book.

  26. I would have to side with dragons. I really like the cover. Thanks for the chance.

    sariahwalters at gmail dot com

  27. I would love to be a faery!

    Thanks for the chance

    Kara DiDomizio (GFC)


  28. I'm with the dragons too!! Thanks for a great post :)

  29. I think I would be a part of the dragon faction!

  30. Maybe the fairies. It would be interesting to be as devious and sly as they tend to be.

    Entered as "Catarina R.", btw.

  31. Dragons. Fierce and deadly and powerful. At the top of the ladder. :D

  32. One of the most beautiful covers ever! Thank you for the giveaway!

  33. I would be with the dragon faction, I love dragons!!! I actually collect dragon toys so of course I'm with that Faction!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  34. Hi thanks for this GA :) I'd be with the dragon faction, I really Love them :)

  35. I am going to boring and stick with the Human Faction.

  36. I would choose to be part of the Dragons faction.

  37. I'd like to be a part of Dragons Faction =D That's what I'm gonna stick to.

  38. I think I'd prefer the Dragon faction.

  39. The Dragon Faction sounds pretty good!

  40. I'd choose the Fairies! Thanks!

  41. I would love to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

  42. I'd want to be with the fairies. They are always the strongest of all.

  43. I think I would have to join the Dragons, most definitely. Sounds like a fantastic story!

  44. Dragons and fairies are both cool and I'm very good at being human...I thnk I would go with Fairies though.

  45. Thanks for the great giveaway

  46. I would side with the dragon!
    This book sounds really good. Thank you for the chance! :D

  47. I think it would be cool to be a dragon.

  48. I would like to part of the fairie faction!! This books sound good! Thank you for the chance!

  49. I haven't read the book but I'm going to have to go with the Fairie faction. Unless, of course, they turn out to be jerks and use Tess in a not so good way.