Wholesome, Exciting, Inclusive Middle Grade and Young Adult Fantasy Novel
Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited, by J.R. Schumaker, is the first book of the Diana’s Dragons fantasy trilogy.
Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited (The New Edition), published in 2022, (originally published 2017) is an exciting, compassion-based fantasy novel. Yes, the characters (human and dragon) experience terrible trials and countless evils, but the powerful resolutions arise from forthright action and insight, born of intuition, connection, and Love, rather than the traditional routes of violence and antimony. This is not to say our hero, Diana Santos, and Clarin, the matriarch of the dragónkin, take the threats to their existence lying down!
Through one electrifying (sometimes literally) trial after another, although Love is always the answer, the tools are magic, strength, vigor, perception, and stealth. And the occasional fire-breathing battle. Because even within Love, Diana, the dragons, and their heroic friends must defend themselves, their hatchlings, and the future of dragon magic from those who seek to abuse it.
Young Adult and Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction Inclusive of Gender, Sexuality, Race, and Ethnic Identities
J.R. Schumaker based her human characters on her own family and friends, making her hero half Hispanic (identifying as Latina/o), like her children, who are of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent.
The supporting characters are loosely based on her family and friends, whose backgrounds include mixed-race, Black, Hispanic, Vietnamese, and Mediterranean, and Anglo, among others. The author does not pretend to have any special insights into ethnicities outside her own, and is deeply grateful for all opportunities to expand her exposure.
Diana’s mother is very Anglo, not based strictly on J.R., but written with the most familiarity. (In real life, J.R. did apologize for throwing her daughter “the whitest quinceanera ever.” But the attempt was genuine!)
Any apparent cultural appropriation is unintentional and if any is perceived, the author will immediately respond and attempt to resolve any mistakes. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
J.R. herself, her friends and family, and their closest friends identify as many sexual and gender orientations, some of which are evolving. Creating and maintaining safe, healthy space for each to express themselves and be free to be who they are is the only expectation J.R. puts on herself as a parent, mentor, friend, and writer. This space is offered to her characters and readers, in the hopes that it will expand to include the world outside of her novel as well.
Amazon Description of Middle Grade, Y/A Fantasy Novel, Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited:
It’s time to take back the dragon magic.
Twelve year-old Diana Santos and the Dragonkin face a sinister intruder who uses the power of ancient secrets against them. It has been two years since Diana’s father introduced her to Clarin, terra dragon and leader of the dragonkin, who left Diana an unparalleled gift that makes Diana more than just humankin. But will it be enough? Will Diana be able to help her father and the dragons thwart the corruption of the dragonkin’s ancestral powers?
Diana and the dragons—terras, ghosts, suns, and seas—together with their friends, Nicki, Jake, and a handful of trusted adults, must overcome the evil in their own backyard using everything at their disposal to stop the villain among them. In their struggle for victory, Diana risks unspeakable loss, and the dragons risk a fate worse than extinction.”
Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited, the New Edition, contains updated material that reflects what the author has learned, and continues to learn, from the Black Lives Matter movement. It also expands the presence of LGBTQ+ representation, including non-binary or genderqueer characters.
The novel has received resounding praise from readers of all ages and genders. To purchase the book, please visit dianasdragon.com. Diana’s Dragons: The Stolen is slated for publication in 2023.