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New fantasy novel features lead character with gluten intolerance and chicken allergy

Why did I write a young adult fantasy novel with a gluten-free heroine? Here's a blog post going into a little bit more detail about one of the ways Shulamit's gluten and chicken problems play into the plot. Mostly, though, I saw it as an interesting opportunity to put our issues into the exciting world of dragons and magic potions that I love experiencing through fiction. I've got milk problems, myself, but mostly this stuff affects our lives through my gluten-intolerant spouse. Anyway, Shulamit's allergies/intolerances play an important role in the plot of the book, as well as her frustration with people's disbelief and skepticism about what she's going through. I hope you'll check out her story.

The Second Mango, by Shira Glassman (Prizm Books; available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback)

Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody think she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately.

Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that’s okay — Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior’s willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer.

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