Welcome to the Kickoff of the Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons Book Tour presented by Storytellers On Tour! What a glorious mouthful that title is, huh?! Today I’m honored to share with you all a bit about this incredible comedic fantasy tale of manners from author Quenby Olson, as well as something really special. I’m really excited to hear what our tour hosts think of Miss Percy, so stay tuned! We’ve got a fantastic week ahead.
Quenby was kind enough to stop by give us insight into her desire to show older heroines the love and respect they deserve. This piece is absolutely wonderful, one you don’t want to miss. So, keep scrolling to learn more about the book and author and check out the awesome guest post!
We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers and Bookstagrammers to help us feature Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons. This is what we have going on, so make sure to check out each and every one throughout the week for some brilliant content, including reviews and more.
NOVEMBER 17TH – THE KICKOFF
Whispers & Wonder (IG: @whispersandwonder)
Westveil Publishing (IG: @thewestveilarchives)
Sadie’s Spotlight (IG: @sadiesspotlight)
33 South Textworks
Armed with A Book (IG: @_armedwithabook)
Fantasy Book Critic
NOVEMBER 23RD – THE ENCORE
Queen’s Book Asylum
For more info, visit the official tour page at Storytellers On Tour.
About the Book
Miss Mildred Percy inherits a dragon.
Ah, but we’ve already got ahead of ourselves…
Miss Mildred Percy is a spinster. She does not dance, she has long stopped dreaming, and she certainly does not have adventures. That is, until her great uncle has the audacity to leave her an inheritance, one that includes a dragon’s egg.
The egg – as eggs are wont to do – decides to hatch, and Miss Mildred Percy is suddenly thrust out of the role of “spinster and general wallflower” and into the unprecedented position of “spinster and keeper of dragons.” But England has not seen a dragon since… well, ever. And now Mildred must contend with raising a dragon (that should not exist), kindling a romance (with a humble vicar), and embarking on an adventure she never thought could be hers for the taking.
Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of Dragons by Quenby Olson
SERIES: A Miss Percy Guide (#1)
PUBLISHED: October 26, 2021
GENRE: Comedic, Fantasy of Manners
by Quenby Olson
Most days, I feel as though I am invisible. When I was younger, I had potential spilling out of me like a ball of string unravelling, so many things yet to do and to be just waiting for me to pick up the trail and follow. Almost too many opportunities gleaming in front of me. I could do anything. I could go anywhere. I was young and energetic and if books had taught me anything, it was that the world and all of its prospective adventures were shaped for someone just like me.
And now, seemingly in the blink of an eye, I have over four decades of life already behind me. I’m tired, and my health isn’t what it once was. I have a husband and children and a routine that I follow – homeschooling my kids, working, running the household and all of the errands and effort that comes with it – but beyond that, if often seems like I can already see the end of my string, frayed and tattered and just waiting for me to take those last few – and frighteningly predictable – steps towards it.
So who would want to write a fantasy story – or any story, really – starring that someone like me?
I grew up reading a lot of romance novels, a lot of Regency-era romances, and the most attractive women were the ones who were young and healthy and could spit out a dozen or so babies at a rate of more than one a year. The fantasy novels I picked up shared a few similarities, mostly that the women worth paying attention to were the ones who were young and still had decades upon decades of future waiting for them. The ones who could learn to fight and could travel for days without getting sore and balance magic and swordplay and probably a love triangle or two.
The older women – the spinsters, the mother-in-laws, the grandmothers – were usually minor, ancillary characters. They were there to fill out the world, to provide some comic relief, or to only be mentioned in passing. Or in some cases, like so many other fairy tale parents, they were already dead.
All of a sudden, I found myself… well, no longer finding myself. In romance novels, in fantasy books. I might see someone my age turn up as a witch or a crone, someone who spoke their mind and failed to take any crap from anyone and was generally ridiculed or vilified for it.
And all of sudden, I saw a reflection of myself in those women.
But they weren’t the ones fulfilling prophecies or going on adventures. They sat on the sidelines because the world had decided they had nothing useful left to offer. They weren’t young and lovely anymore. They couldn’t have children. They were about as worthwhile as a packet of expired seeds. Or at least that’s what so many stories had led me to believe.
More and more often, I realized I couldn’t relate to the heroines of the books that used to entertain me without any problem. I had no reserves of patience for these young girls who could eat anything without heartburn or sleep through an entire night without having to wake up to pee. They had boundless energy and that innate belief – that too many of us have at that age, I must admit – that they would always be deemed wanted and worthy.
Until they were not.
Hundreds of fantasy books and hundreds of romances (probably thousands, if I really think about it) have told me that my time for love and adventure is over. That it would be wasted on someone my age. I’m married and I have children, and isn’t that how so many stories end? Women are supposed to find their happy ending before they hit round and about age thirty-five, and then the spotlight shifts to the next generation, the ones whose knees don’t pop every time they stand up from a chair.
But that’s not at all where our stories finish. So I began writing romances featuring older characters, heroes and heroines who were firmly entrenched in middle-age, who had wrinkles and greying hair but still deserved as much love and romance (and great sex) as people two decades younger than them. And now I’ve written a fantasy novel starring a main cast of mostly older women and men, the ones who would ordinarily be shunted off to the sidelines, but instead are handed a world-altering adventure they probably would have bungled if it had dropped into their laps a good ten or twenty years before.
I want to write stories that remind everyone the world is not only for the young. Books too often tell us that if our magic letter didn’t arrive at age eleven or if we didn’t pull a sword from a stone in our teens then we’ve already missed our chance. But as a nearly forty-one year old woman, I want to show my children that there will never be a time when they are no longer worthy of love and adventure. I am still worthy of love and adventure.
And so, dear reader, are you.
Meet The Author
Quenby Olson lives in Central Pennsylvania where she spends most of her time writing, glaring at baskets of unfolded laundry, and telling her kids to stop climbing things. She lives with her husband and five children, who do nothing to dampen her love of classical ballet, geeky crochet, and staying up late to watch old episodes of Doctor Who.