Audrey Coulthurst is the author of critically acclaimed novels for young adults, such as the Of Fire and Stars series and Starworld (co-authored with Paula Garner). After studying music history and composition as an undergraduate...
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Audrey Coulthurst is the author of critically acclaimed novels for young adults, such as the Of Fire and Stars series and Starworld (co-authored with Paula Garner). After studying music history and composition as an undergraduate and earning a Master’s degree in Book Publishing, she somehow ended up leading a double life working in finance by day and writing novels by night. Audrey was a Lambda Literary Fellow in 2013 and a Publishers Weekly Flying Start in 2016. Her debut novel Of Fire and Stars was named to the Kids’ Indie Next List, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and was listed among Vulture’s 38 Best Queer YA Novels in 2018. Audrey grew up riding horses in the Willamette Valley, made most of her best friends while living in Austin, spent five beautiful years enjoying ocean views in Santa Monica, and currently lives in Oregon with her family.
Princesses Denna and Mare are in love and together at last—only to face a new set of dangers.
Mare just wants to settle down with the girl she loves, which would be easier if Denna weren’t gifted with forbidden and volatile fire magic. Denna must learn to control her powers, which means traveling in secret to the kingdom of Zumorda, where she can seek training without fear of persecution. Determined to help, Mare has agreed to serve as an ambassador as a cover for their journey.
But just as Mare and Denna arrive in Zumorda, an attack on a border town changes everything. Mare’s diplomatic mission is now urgent: she must quickly broker an alliance with the Queen of Zumorda to protect her homeland. However, the queen has no interest in allying with other kingdoms—it’s Denna’s untamed but powerful magic that catches her eye. The queen offers to teach Denna herself, and both girls know it would be dangerous to refuse.
As Denna’s powers grow stronger, Mare does her best to be the ambassador her kingdom needs. Her knowledge of Zumorda and its people grow, and so too do her suspicions about the queen’s intentions.
As rising tensions and unexpected betrayals put Mare and Denna in jeopardy and dangerous enemies emerge on all sides, can they protect their love and save their kingdoms?
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to dictate the future by writing with her blood. To keep her power secret, she leads a quiet life as a healer on a remote mountain, content to help the people in her care and spend time with Ina, the mortal girl she loves.
But Asra’s peaceful life is upended when bandits threaten Ina’s village and the king does nothing to help. Desperate to protect her people, Ina begs Asra for assistance in finding her manifest—the animal she’ll be able to change into as her rite of passage to adulthood. Asra uses her blood magic to help Ina, but her spell goes horribly wrong and the bandits destroy the village, killing Ina’s family.
Unaware that Asra is at fault, Ina swears revenge on the king and takes a savage dragon as her manifest. To stop her, Asra must embark on a journey across the kingdom, becoming a player in lethal games of power among assassins, gods, and even the king himself. Most frightening of all, she discovers the dark secrets of her own mysterious history—and the terrible, powerful legacy she carries in her blood.
Sam Jones and Zoe Miller may be on opposite ends of the social spectrum, but they have one thing in common: they both want to escape reality. Sam, an artistic loner, flies under the radar at school and struggles at home to manage her mom’s obsessive-compulsive disorder, wondering how she can ever leave to pursue her dream of studying aerospace engineering. Meanwhile, popular and cheerful Zoe puts up walls so that no one can see her true self: an adoptee who is deeply wounded over having been anonymously abandoned as an infant, and whose heart is breaking over her parents’ decision to place her disabled younger brother in a residential facility.
While searching for props for a play, Zoe is drawn to one of Sam’s otherworldly paintings and asks to borrow it. An exchange of text messages about the painting turns surprisingly personal and, over time, expands into what they call Starworld: an entire universe of inside jokes, fantastical adventures, and meaningful quests that exists only between them. In Starworld, they experience the magic of being seen for who they really are. But when Sam realizes her feelings for Zoe are something more than friendship, will all they’ve built be able to survive the inevitable explosion?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Will there be a third book in the Of Fire and Stars series?
A: Short answer: there is not one scheduled right now. Long answer: I have always known how I want Mare and Denna’s story to end, and there is a third book in my mind. However, it definitely won’t be my next published book–I’m currently working on something else. If you want a third book in the series you can personally make a difference by buying the other books in the series; leaving nice reviews on Amazon, B&N, and other book retail websites; asking your local library to order the book; and recommending it to your friends. Thank you so much for all your love and support!
Q: Will you read or critique my short story/novel/fanfiction/essay?
A: I’m so flattered that you’d be interested in that, but alas, I can’t, for both legal and personal reasons. I highly recommend taking advantage of some of the critique partner matching services out there, or perhaps getting involved with a local or online writing group or organization.
Q: I have a great idea for a book I want you to write. Will you write it?
A: For some writers (me!) ideas are the easiest part of writing. The hardest part is sitting down to do the work of getting those ideas on the page and then revising your prose until the book more closely aligns with the perfection of the idea as it existed in your imagination. If you have an idea, YOU should write it. Nobody will be able to do justice to your idea as well as you can.
Q: I can’t get your book in my country. When will it be translated/available?
A: Unfortunately, translations and foreign sales are not something I have any control over. However, Book Depository ships for free internationally, and is a great place to order a copy if you want one in English. Of Fire and Stars was released in 2018 in German by cbt Verlag as Eine Krone aus Feuer und Sternen. Both Of Fire and Stars and Of Ice and Shadows have sold rights in Brazil but do not yet have release dates.
Q: Will you send me a free copy of your book in exchange for a review?
A: Prior to a book’s publication date, I will generally have some advance copies that I will distribute to bloggers/booktubers/bookstagrammers/booktok reviewers through giveaways on Goodreads or Twitter. The book will also be available on Edelweiss or NetGalley where you can request an e-ARC. Once a book is past its publication date, I no longer have any copies to give away.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I grew up near Portland, Oregon, and then spent a lot of time living in other places, like Washington, Montana, Texas, and California. Now I’m happy to call Oregon home once again.
Q: What did you study in college?
A: I started out as a music composition major (I wanted to compose film scores) and then switched to music history because I wanted to write a thesis.
Q: Do you write novels full time?
A: No. The stability provided by my day job is part of what gives me the comfort and mental health that allows me to write. On the flipside, it means that I’m often busy and tired, so sometimes I am a lot slower to answer emails or to write books than I would like to be. I still love my readers, I promise!