Princess Laura and the Dragon Suitors - about the book . Princess Laura book
the home page of Princess Laura and the Unsuitable Dragon Suitors - by Zsolt Kerekes - since March 2004
"An unconventional children's fairytale with a princess I might aspire to being if I were a child today. An independent minded princess who doesn't obey the rules, loves dragons and isn't afraid to reject unsuitable suitors. Vivid writing that conjures up likeable characters." - Amazon customer review June 2023
Princess Laura Book - editing view alongside paperback

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news - May 24, 2023

Every family's got its own Princess or two right?

Princess Laura and the Unsuitable Dragon SuitorsThe Princesses in Your life will thank you for reading them my little book Princess Laura and the Unsuitable Dragon Suitors in which they will meet our hero - Laura - who's not scared of anything.

Exploring the wild woods? Her shoes bear the scars. Meeting dogs so tall she has to look up to see their glistening bitey teeth? Nice doggie. And as the cover reveals she's not even scared of dragons. But don't mention spiders. Oh - she's gone.

Every Princess has their maid, and you'll laugh at the antics of Laura's maid - the "brains department" in the Princess business - with her wealth of worldly advice - who struggles to turn out the Princess in her charge with an appearance that looks royally presentable.

You'll also meet the various (unsuitable) Princely suitors from the surrounding kingdoms, although it may be that with different names you might've met some people like them already in real life.

20 years after writing this story for my sister and her daughter I still love the characters and I hope that with this retelling as a proper book I hope you will grow to love them too.

drumroll... and now for the official book cover blurb

When the young Princess Laura secretly rescues a baby dragon from her father's hunt the dragon predicts that - one day in the future she will be the cause of his death. When Laura reaches marriageable age her father presents her with a choice of suitors - one from each of the surrounding kingdoms. Laura's chosen suitor must kill a dragon to prove his worthiness to the King.

What can she do to make sure that doesn't happen?
Princess Laura and the Unsuitable Dragon Suitors

stories from Anna's Wood

Princess Laura and the Unsuitable Dragon Suitors

story by Zsolt Kerekes

news:- April 25, 2023 - Cover Artwork unveiled for Princess Laura and the Unsuitable Dragon Suitors.

20 years ago I wrote a story for my niece Laura Huggett who was then starting proper nursery school.

Laura's mother, my sister Anna, had asked me to write a story - like that one you did for (my old school friend) Andrew. Speech came falteringly for Anna who had once been so eloquent in 3 languages. Fluidity of speech was the first thing she lost when she was ravaged by a deadly gliobastoma brain tumor. I scribbled the first draft of the story that night and wrote as fast as I could the following day and I read it aloud to Anna and Laura and her young brother Jamie in the cold dark house where they lived. I'll write it up in more detail - I said - but this is how the rest of it goes. Anna smiled. She died before I was able to complete the typed draft.

20 years later I decided to publish it as a proper book. Unlike some of my other books this never had its own artwork. So I messaged Laura. Can you draw me a picture I can use for the cover of your story?

I sent her a link for a faqs page which showed sizes for books. That was it. We never discussed what the picture should be. But when I saw Laura's drawing land in my phone it was exactly the scene I would have chosen. Magical.

Out of all the children's stories I've written this is my favorite. And now my favorite cover too. Princess Laura and the Unsuitable Dragon Suitors will be available as an ebook and in print form in early June 2023. (And Laura has said she'll do a cover picture for Jamie's story too.)
When the young Princess Laura secretly rescues a baby dragon from her father's hunt the dragon predicts that - one day in the future she will be the cause of his death. When Laura reaches marriageable age her father presents her with a choice of suitors - one from each of the surrounding kingdoms. Laura's chosen suitor must kill a dragon to prove his worthiness to the King.
read a sample

Princess Laura and the Unsuitable Dragon Suitors

Chapter 1 - A Knotty Problem in the Woods

In one way, Princess Laura was just like all the other princesses you read about in fairy stories… She liked pretty new dresses and shiny new shoes. But in most ways Princess Laura was very different to the silly princesses you read about in other stories.

When other princesses got a new pair of shiny black shoes with diamond encrusted gold buckles, they would probably spend all day indoors gazing at their reflection in the shoes and showing their maids how glittery they were.

Not Princess Laura. She didn't care about gold and diamonds. She thought the best way to test new shoes was to find a muddy puddle and splash right in. If her feet stayed dry the shoes had passed the first test. Her second test for new shoes was to run to the woods at the end of the palace gardens and climb a tree. If the shoes were comfortable and didn't fall off or fall apart they would join the pile of all her other shoes in the princess royal shoe rack. But no matter how hard her maid tried to clean and polish them afterwards, they would never be so shiny again.

Princesses in other stories like to stay inside combing their hair all day, looking in mirrors and kissing frogs. Princess Laura liked playing outside, going for long walks alone in the woods. By the end of the day her hair would be all tangled with leaves from climbing trees. Her pockets would be full of worms and soil for making worm custard or stuffed full of interesting beetles and dead butterflies which she liked to study at home in the palace. But she never kissed any frogs.

"Kissing frogs is silly" she said. She did once kiss a frog when she was four. That's how she knew those fairy tales about frogs turning into handsome princes were only make believe.

You may be surprised to learn that just like other princesses, Laura was scared of spiders. But only big ones. If she saw a spider in her bedroom then she ran out and called for the butler to come and catch it and put it out in the garden. It was no use calling the maid. She was scared of spiders too. If the butler couldn't catch it, then Laura wouldn't go to sleep in that room. Luckily, as a princess, she had lots of other bedrooms. She would only move back into the original bedroom if the butler could prove he had caught it, by showing it to her in a glass jar before throwing it out. But she insisted it had to be alive and healthy with all eight legs still attached. And it had to look like the spider she had seen. Once the butler had tried to trick her by showing her a substitute. She didn't agree with harming any living creatures and so became a vegetarian although she did eat fish.

One day when Laura was six, she was deep in the woods by an old pond where she was watching insects and squiggly things in the water. When she put her fingers in the water she liked to see how quickly they all swam away. She had cupped her hands together and scooped out some larvae to study more closely when she suddenly heard a loud crashing and thrashing of leaves and bushes like the sound of an animal being caught in a trap. She often rescued rabbits and deer from the hunters' snares. But this sounded bigger. Carefully putting the watery creatures back into the pond, she wiped her hands on her new dress and set off to investigate.

There definitely was a large creature trapped in a really thick and thorny clump of bushes. But the undergrowth was too tangled for Laura to see what it was without getting closer. She tried to creep quietly but her dress got caught and made a ripping sound.

"Whoops!" she thought. It had been new that morning.

Hush! The sound of the thrashing leaves stopped. Laura held her breath to keep utterly quiet, like she did when she was playing hide and seek and she was in the wardrobe with the seeker on the other side of the door. She waited, counting in her head. When she reached twenty, the struggling noises resumed, so she was able to start breathing again. There was a lot of scratching and hissing coming from the bushes but she still couldn't see clearly because it was a bit misty over there.

"Oh bother!" said a squeaky voice which came from the middle of the tangle. "Bother! Bother! Bother!" There was a whooshing sound and a great cloud of steam. Laura realised this wasn't a rabbit or a deer. They don't talk and they don't breathe steam. She thought it must be a traveller or someone having a picnic in the woods, boiling up some water for a cup of tea. She started moving again and was just about to call out and say "Hello!" when she saw a swishing tail with a spiky bit on the end. It wasn't a person at all. It was a dragon!

At that point she tripped over and rolled down the slope towards the mist.

"Who's there?" hissed the dragon.

Now you or I might be very scared at this point, but Laura wasn't scared of anything. She stood right up and could now see clearly that a baby dragon (as big as a horse) had got caught in a rope net which the royal hunters used to catch dangerous animals. The dragon had got three claws caught in a knot and was lying on its side. As it wriggled to try and get free, it was getting even more tied up and hot and bothered.

"My name is Princess Laura" said Laura, standing up to get a better look.

"Go away" said the dragon crossly."

"You look stuck" said Laura in a calm matter of fact voice. She hadn't seen a dragon before, except in books, and was quite interested to see more. It had three little green horns growing out the top of its head, pointy ears and a red spot on its nose. And it was breathing out steam – not fire.

"I was stuck" replied the dragon "but I'll be free in a minute, and if you don't go away I'll fry you to a crisp and eat you for my lunch."

At this, the dragon scratched at the netting with its one remaining free claw, and then that got stuck too. It rolled over on its back and lashed at the ropes with its tail. Then that got tangled too.

"I don't think so" said Laura. "If you really could breathe fire you would have burned through the ropes by now and would be free. Instead, you breathing steam on the knots only makes them get wet and tighter."

The dragon thought she had made a good point there. He was now totally tied in a ball. But he still tried to look fierce and hissed some more steam. Then, from far away, came the sound of horns and hounds.

"It's the hunt" said Laura. "It sounds like they'll be here soon."

"They've been chasing me for hours" said the dragon. I managed to fly away from them, but this net was stuck to my foot, so I stopped for a bit to tear it off. But as you can see, I just made it worse. I can't fly now. I can't even stand up."

The hunt sounded closer now, and Laura could hear the sound of men shouting, mixed up with hounds barking. Laura knew what she had to do...

that's the end of this sample. The complete ebook was published in May 2023. The paperback will be in June, and an audiobook in time for Christmas..

buy it first on Amazon kindle, (other outlets will have it by the end of May 2023).

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About the story. My sister Anna asked me to write a story for her daughter Laura - after she saw Alexander Woyte and the Goblins which I wrote for my godson Alexander. At that time Laura was only just 2 years old, and that was too young for my style of writing. Also I thought I should get to know Laura better first. Sadly in the summer of 2002 Anna was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and I visited her often during the time upto her death in October 2003. Remembering my promise I wrote and started reading out aloud the Princess Laura story during what turned out to be the last months of Anna's life. I had also promised Anna I would write a similar story for Laura's young brother Jamie. That other story (which I started in 2005 and completed 2007) is called Jamie and the Tree Troll., concept, stories and text copyright © 2000 to 2023 Zsolt Kerekes

This is a work of fiction. All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to actual goblins living or dead is purely coincidental or due to ensorclement beyond our control