The Kingdom of Grape is a classic tale of good vs evil. Set in the middle ages, a common messenger boy named Donnie Drake, has fallen in love with the beautiful Princess Jape Grape. Her father, King Earl Grape, has arranged for Jane to marry the ruthless Duke the Red. Not only does Jane not love him, she despises him. It is up to Donnie Drake to become a hero and rescue his true love from the evil Duke. The Kingdom of Grape takes you on an unforgettable journey filled with miracle healers, ancient magic and a poisonous prince.
Targeted Age Group:: 8-12
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My inspiration came from reading the William Goldman novel, The Princess Bride. I found the story and characters so magical. Later, when I had children of my own, I wanted to write something for them in the same light.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted my characters to share the same personalities we see in our everyday lives. We have the brave, Donnie Drake. The beautiful, Jane Grape. The evil, Peter Grape and the wise, Earl Grape. People and personalities we can relate to.
Donnie’s route always begins with a visit to Lady Gates. One of the most respected and imperial residents of Grape, Lady Gates has a very important responsibility. She is the keeper of the most precious treasure of all, the ancient seeds of Grape. These seeds date back hundreds of years cultivated by the original ancestors of Grape. However, Donnie has a different view of the lady. Her arrogance is a constant reminder of the division in Grape.
“Hello, here are your messages sent with luck, Lady Gates,” Donnie says politely.
“Give them here, boy, and clean yourself up. Those who present like an animal are destined to become one,” she says loudly, so her aristocratic peers can hear. As usual, Donnie lowers his head and continues his route.
In contrast, the finest moment in Donnie’s day is when his deliveries take him to Castle Grape, home of the great King Earl Grape. The castle is a marvel, with giant stone walls soaring to the sky, and endless towers cloaked with the flags and crests of the kingdom. Grapevines grow like ivy, covering the front gates. The bricks are colored with the maroon pigment of the ancient grapes. But, it’s not just the king that Donnie is eager to see; it’s the princess that makes his heart sing, Princess Jane Grape.
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