by Sierra Dean
“Hello, my name is Secret McQueen, and I’m a princess.”
“Hello, Secret,” the room chants in cultish unison.
I reclaim my seat in one of the plastic folding chairs and cast a glance around the room at the other princesses. It’s kind of hard to remain anonymous when most of them are dressed in giant poofy ball gowns and wearing glittery tiaras. I feel out of place in my jeans and leather jacket.
Next to me is a girl with long black hair wearing blue harem pants. I thought those were long out of style, but she has paired them with little curl-toed slippers.
“Where’s the magic carpet?” I ask, chuckling.
“Aladdin has it,” she replied without skipping a beat, then offers me her hand. “I’m Jasmine, princess of Agrabah.”
“Where is that?” I’m certain I’ve never heard of a country called Agrabah, but she isn’t flinching, so either I wasn’t paying attention in Geography, or she’s nuts.
Before she can reply a girl in turquoise sequined leggings and a purple bandeau crop top gets to her feet, looking as awkward as a baby giraffe. Her long hair is so red it has to be salon color, because no human was ever born with red that… red. “Hello, my name is Ariel. First I was a princess in my father, King Triton’s underwater sea kingdom, but now I’m married to Prince Eric, so I guess I’m a princess twice over.”
“Hello, Ariel,” the crowd drones.
Beside her a girl in a giant yellow ball gown pats her hand.
I’m starting to feel more and more out of place. We’re sitting in a church basement, but I have a feeling it’s more likely a secret underground mental institution and now that I’m here there’s no getting out.
Why did I take my sister Eugenia’s advice on this? She seemed convinced I needed to talk to other princesses to get my head around what it meant to be royalty, but I have a hard time thinking any of these women would understand what it feels like to be a werewolf pack princess.
I listen to them all rise and tell their stories one at a time. The cute girl with the black bob haircut spent most of her life living with seven dwarves before her stepmother tried to murder her. I could relate to the last part. It was a relief to know I wasn’t the only one with a homicidal maternal figure.
The blonde in a blue ball gown was forced to be her stepmother’s maid, and ended up so crazy she befriended the rats. She was also wearing clear shoes that looked like stripper-formal, though in her case the Lucite was so shiny it might have been actual glass.
The pretty African-American girl had fallen in love with a frog, while another blonde had been cursed to die on her eighteenth birthday.
Maybe I was underestimating these girls.
The more I listened, the more I realized my princess plight was actually one of the easier aspects of my life to swallow.
“What about you, Secret?” the thin, tall Aurora asked, her dress shifting color from blue to pink as I watched, before shifting back.
“Um… I’m not sure I’m ready to share.”
“We’ve all shared. You’re new, you have to share,” Jasmine insisted.
“What is this, Fight Club? If it’s your first night you have to fight?”
“Who’s fighting?” Ariel asked, glancing up from the fork she was using to comb her hair.
“Well, see, mine is a bit strange?” I warn them.
“Because ours are so normal?” Aurora asks. “We won’t judge you Secret.”
I take a deep breath and steel my reserve. They’ve been so nice so far. What was the worst that could happen?
“I’m the princess of a werewolf pack. My uncle is the king-”
“Werewolf?” the girl in the yellow dress, Belle, looks startled, her already wide eyes growing enormous. “You’re a werewolf?”
“Yeah, but only half,” I try to say.
It’s too late. Belle screams and topples her chair over rushing for the door, bellowing something about wolves. The rest aren’t far behind, plastic chairs tumbling to their sides and Styrofoam coffee cups dropped onto the tile. In less than a minute I’m alone in the basement, staring at the empty circle of seats.
So much for bonding with other girls.
I guess manicures later would be out of the question.
Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.
Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.
She’s also a book lover (of course!), obsessive collector of OPI nailpolish and the owner of way too many pairs of shoes.
Want to read more from Sierra Dean?
Available March 19, 2013 from Samhain Publishing
About this Book:
Sometimes a secret goes to the grave. Sometimes Secret puts you there.
It’s been a hell of a year for Secret McQueen, and the last thing in the world she wants is to get caught up in werewolf drama. But when her former fiancé Lucas Rain shows up asking for her help, she knows there’s no easy way out.
After making it known she wants nothing to do with him, Secret agrees to help find Lucas’s wayward sister Kellen. After all, how much trouble could one socialite get into in the city that never sleeps?
Unless that socialite has been spirited away by fairies.
Trying to track down a missing girl in an alternate reality is just the start of Secret’s problems, though. Someone appears to be killing teenagers, and the MO looks eerily similar to something for which the half-fairy oracle, Calliope, might be responsible. Throw in a rogue wolf pack claiming allegiance to Secret’s mother, Mercy, and she’ll have miles to go before she rests.
Warning: This book contains a promise fulfilled, sex that’s out of this world, and more heartache than one hybrid assassin can handle.
Click here to read an excerpt
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