NC Literary Hall of Fame



Warren Publishing
$14.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-943258-55-0
November, 2017
Fiction: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Available from your local bookstore or

The first book in the Daughters of the Lost King series, The Borrowed Princess, follows Princess Campanulis, or “Tic” for short. In this alternative historical fantasy, the heroineTic is the seventh and last daughter of Azarule and somewhat of a royal outcast, given her preference for trousers and pony tails. But when Azarule and the northern land of Polaris are challenged by Midloathian, the most aggressive power in the New World, Tic is recruited for a diplomatic mission to Polaris.

She agrees to the mission, led by Azarulian diplomat Count Plumdom, who feels Tic is the perfect choice to help teach the newly-formed monarchy how to manage their government. More delicately, he hopes she might make a suitable bride for the heir of the Polarian throne and help seal an alliance. Plumdom is aided by his son, Plover, a long-time friend of Tic’s who thinks she is a perfect choice for the mission, but knows nothing of his father’s matrimonial ideas.

With the help of a lively cast of characters, including Tic’s quirky friend, Toadie, and her sisters, Pariatamus and Vanawishus, Tic embarks on a daring and whimsical adventure.

The book is illustrated by Judy Siler Boyette of Four Oaks and the maps for this alternative New World were drawn by Shannon MacDonald of Raleigh.

Steve Underwood graduated from UNC-Greensboro where he played a little (“a very little”) basketball. He served as Student Government President and was the Student Commencement Speaker for his graduation. He enjoyed the University so much he returned for two more degrees.

He taught for thirty-three years at the secondary and college level before retiring to become an author. He and his wife live in Sanford with two adopted Plott Hounds. Their real sons live nearby.

When they were younger, Jonathan and Alex went on many excursions to old historic sites. He has told them “You may recognize elements of some of those sites and adventures we had when you read this book.”

As a Middle Grades reader, Steve liked history, fantasy and science fiction. “What I remember most were the Steve Underwood graduated from UNC-Greensboro where he played a little basketball (“a very little”), Classic Illustrated comic books my mother bought for me. I read Shakespeare and Hugo and Twain and dozens of other great writers.”

He hopes his readers get a chance to do the same. Steve has a published novel but this is his first Middle Grades story.

“I wanted to write something funny for my young granddaughters,” he says, “but Tic and Plover took over the story and made it their own.”

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