If our brushes with death don’t define us and teach us resilience and survival, I don’t know what does.

When you hear the name Queen Elizabeth, you think of the sumptuous dresses with giant skirts and ruffs around the neck. You think red hair and jewels. You think Shakespeare. You think Virgin Queen.

Image for The Armada Portrait

(The Armada Portrait, attributed to George Gower, c. 1588. Link.)

But no one knew any of that when Elizabeth was a 13-year-old girl—declared illegitimate by parliament, called bastard and whore by everyone else, and on her 4th stepmother. No one knew that one day this smart, lonely girl was going to one day lead England through a golden age for 44 relatively stable, peaceful years.

Elizabeth I when a Princess

(Portrait by William Scrots, date unknown but suspected 1546-1548.  Link.)

But she almost didn’t. Turns out being a princess doesn’t protect you from people who want to cut off your head. If anything, being a princess just might put a big, glowing target on your back. THE PRINCESS’S GUIDE TO STAYING ALIVE is a YA novel about the Lady Elizabeth, demoted from Princess when her mother was executed, and the true events of those years that nearly got her charged with treason.

The novel is written in first-person narrative with images and transcripts of primary sources interspersed throughout.  Fans of CODE NAME VERITY and the novels of Ruta Sepetys will enjoy this.