Janet Lee Carey, Author of the Month: YA Fantasy and Identity

Post by Janet Lee Carey 
My fellow OAV authors have kindly offered me the March guest post to spread my wings and celebrate my upcoming YA fantasy
In The Time of Dragon Moon, Kathy Dawson Books/Penguin © March 2015.
photo by Heidi Pettit

As part of the new book celebration, I’ll be offering teachers, librarians and book groups Skype visits at half price all through the months of April and May. (Grades 7 and up) Contact me janetleecarey@hotmail.com and use the magic word “Identity” and we’ll set a date.
Why the word “Identity”? It’s a key word for YA readers. It’s also one of the underlying themes in my new book.

I think we’ll have a lot to talk about. But first a brief thumbnail, then let’s get started.
Beware the dark moon time when love and murder intertwine 
All Uma wants is to become a healer like her father and be accepted by her tribe. But when the mad queen abducts her and takes her north, Uma’s told she must use her healing skills to cure the infertile queen by Dragon Moon, or be burned at the stake. Uma soon learns the queen isn’t the only danger she’s up against. A hidden killer out for royal blood slays the royal heir. The murder is made to look like an accident, but Uma, and the king’s nephew Jackrun, sense the darker truth. Together, they must use their combined powers to outwit a secret plot to overthrow the Pendragon throne. But are they strong enough to overcome a murderer aided by prophecy and cloaked in magic?
 ~In the Time of Dragon Moon is a story of courage and romance that readers will not soon forget.~ VOYA

In the Time of Dragon Moon is a tale of Love Magic and Murder. But underlying this grand adventure, the story also deals with Identity.
-Who am I when I am a mix of clashing races?

-Who am I when I am taken from my home and forced to live among strangers who know nothing of my culture?
Uma’s Father is Euit. Her mother is English. Her father’s people and her mother’s people have warred with each other for hundreds of years. For Uma, this means she is at war with herself. Raised in the Euit tribe, the First People of Wilde Island who’ve been pushed out by the conquering English, Uma begins the story feeling ashamed of her English blood. She loves her mother, but cannot accept that she is part English. Her tribe also treats her and her mother differently. Desperate to belong, Uma decides to become a healer like her revered father. The only trouble is the Euit people do not believe a female can become a healer — so Uma dresses as a boy.
As a character she is split down the middle. She does not accept her English side or her feminine side. She buries both.
When the English queen abducts her, takes her far away from her tribe and forces her to live at the Pendragon castle, Uma feels completely alone. Lost in a new culture she doesn’t like or care about, she’s forced to use her skills to heal the queen who is her enemy.
As a captive in the castle, Uma makes a long journey. Moving from this:
To this:
The one who changes everything for her is Jackrun.
Jackrun comes to the story with his own Identity issues. He is the firstborn with dragon, human and fairy blood. Called the Son of the Prophecy, he is the one long awaited by the fey folk and the dragons. But Jackrun harbors dangerous power in his body, he’s driven by an internal dragon fire that he cannot control, by sudden bouts of rage, and by a shameful past he will not speak about with anyone, not even Uma.
As one with mixed heritage himself, Jackrun accepts Uma as both a female and a healer (something her Euit culture does not do). Jackrun values her Euit and her English sides. Unlike the broken vision of herself in the cracked mirror, Uma begins to see herself as a whole person in Jackrun’s eyes.
Jackrun’s love awakens her. But for Uma, as for each of us, the journey of Identity is a long one and we are the ones who have to walk step by step toward freedom.

-Do you ever feel like there are parts of yourself that you can never accept? Or that you must hide parts of yourself so other people will like you?
-Do you ever feel like people don’t understand you because you think differently than they do or because you come from another place or a different culture?
You might like to read about Uma and Jackrun who are thrown together by dragons, magic and murder, and see how these two work out their mixed heritages; see how they come to define themselves and find a way to accept all the elements—Euit, English, dragon, and fairy—that make them who they are.

Classrooms, Library Groups, and Reading Groups who want to talk with me about In The Time of Dragon Moon, can contact me at JanetLeeCarey@hotmail.com. Remember to use the word “Identity” for a Skype visit at Half Price.

Ready for a virtual visit? Let’s talk.

Other Contacts:
School Visits contact Michele at Provato Events 
Janet’s Author Facebook Page 

Author: Laurie Ann Thompson

I write books for curious young minds and open hearts, no matter what their age. BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, a teen guide to saving the world, will be published by Beyond Words/Simon Pulse in September of 2014. EMMANUEL'S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH, a picture-book biography, will be published by Schwartz & Wade/Penguin Random House in January of 2015. And MY DOG IS THE BEST, a heartwarming fictional picture book, will be published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan in May of 2015.

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