"Benedict Le Fay will betray you. And then he will die."
Betrayal and deathnot quite the prophecy Selkie wanted about her first love. A half-faerie princess with a price on her head, Selkie Stewart just wants a little normal in her life. Not another crazy prophecy. Besides, she and Ben are a team. They're the two most wanted individuals in the Otherworld, and fated to bring down the Seelie Fairie Court and put an end to their reign of terror. Nothing can come between them.
Until Ben leaves.
And the sun goes out.
And the chiming bells deafen all of Boston.
The Seelies are coming. And only Selkie can stop them from destroying the world.
The Girl Who Never Was (Book 1)
The Boy With The Hidden Name (Book 2)
What Readers are saying about The Girl Who Never Was:
"Utterly charming...echoes of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, of Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock."Erika Koch Utsler, Amazon, 5 stars
"This book surprised me with its awesomeness...the voice and the writing blew me away."AdriAnneMS, Amazon, 5 stars
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"You don't understand, miss," says a little man in an old-fashioned bowler hat who is crawling out from underneath the bench I'm sitting on. "We just really need the book."
To say that I am annoyed is to put it mildly. All I want to do is sit and eat my ice cream cone, and instead I'm getting stalked by supernatural creatures who keep literally crawling out of the woodwork. I mean that: the other day, a carving on a balustrade at Trinity Church started talking to me. We were there on a field trip, and it was difficult to hide.
This is what happens when you find out you are half-faerie princess and half-ogre and then try to pretend it never happened and go back to leading a normal life.
"She doesn't have the book," Kelsey tells the little man, who is now sprawled on his back on Boston Common, legs still hidden under the bench. "How many times do we have to keep telling you? She doesn't have the book."
The man scowls. "She stole the book."
"No, I didn't," I snap. "I didn't steal the book. Will Blaxton and Benedict Le Fay stole the book. I just happened to be there." And then I wince at my slip. I have to stop giving up the names of people I care about. There's power in a name.
The man points at me. "Will Blaxton is always trying to steal books. This is nothing new. He only succeeded because he has you now."
I bristle. "He doesn't ‘have' me. And it was Ben. Ben made the difference."
"Well, where's Ben then?" asks the man politely.
The question of the hour, day, week. And if I knew the answer to it, I'd...well, I don't know what I'd do, because I'm angry at Ben for abandoning me on Boston Common after promising never to leave me, all so he could go in search of the missing mother who might or might not be someone we can trust. I know a lot about missing mothers who might be incredibly untrustworthy, since mine is the same way. Not that Ben listened to me about that.
"I have no idea where he is," I snap. "He's a magical faerie who can jump effortlessly between worlds and into enchantments. How am I supposed to have any idea where he went? And I don't know where Will is, although you ought to try Salem. That's where I was always able to find him. And I don't know where the book is. I'm just trying to eat my ice cream and complain about unreliable faerie quasi-boyfriends like a normal teenager."
The man frowns at me, his eyes narrow in displeasure. "You're not a normal teenager. You're the fay of the autumnal equinox. You're trouble."
Don't I know it, I think.
The man burrows his way into the ground beneath our feet.
Kelsey, because she's a good best friend who doesn't let herself be fazed when supernatural creatures appear and disappear all around us, licks her ice cream cone and says, "They're persistent, aren't they?"
"Here's what I think," Kelsey says the next day at school.
"That Emerson makes no sense?"
"That we should celebrate your birthday." Kelsey looks like she is bouncing with excitement over this.
I stare at her. "Celebrate my birthday? Now? But it's not really my birthday anymore."
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but have you ever celebrated your birthday before?"
"No," I admit.
"So then I think we should celebrate it."
"My birthday triggered the dissolution of the enchantment that had kept me hidden from evil faeries," I point out. "Doesn't really seem like something to celebrate."
"I think we should do something totally normal," Kelsey says as if she didn't hear me at all.
"Like what?" I sigh, resigned, because I don't even know what normal people do. I fail at being normal, and it's so frustrating.
"I don't know. How about a movie?"
A movie. I am astonished by how normal a movie seems. And so simple. Like being normal can really be that simple. "A movie could be fun," I say, because it sounds almost seductively indulgent to do this really normal, simple thing.
"Great." Kelsey beams at me, pleased with herself. "What do you want to see?"
I have no idea what's out. "Flip a coin?" I suggest.
"Great idea if we had a coin," Kelsey says with a grin.
"Oh, I've got a coin." I dig my hand into my pocket, pulling out a dime. "Picked it up this morning on the way to-" I cut myself off, looking at the coin in my hand and thinking of how I picked it up this morning, for no reason, so that it could come in handy at this point. All of the normality comes tumbling down around my ears. How can I pretend to be normal when I do things like this?
Kelsey takes the dime out of my hand, leans forward, and puts it on the empty desk off to the side. And then she says, "No coin toss. We'll do eenie-meenie-miney-moe when we get to the theater."
I am walking through Boston Common at dusk, on my way to meet Kelsey at the theater, when another little man in a bowler hat falls into step beside me. Why are there suddenly so many little men in bowler hats in Boston?
"About the book," the man says.
"For the last time," I grit out, frustrated, "I do not have the book."
"But you do have a black button, do you not?"
I do. And I hate that I do. I grabbed it the other day on my way through the Common, where it had fallen under a bench.
I don't say anything, but he looks at me meaningfully because clearly he knows that I have a button.
"Exactly," he says, as if it proves I am so special that I must have the book. And then he holds up his sleeve cuff, which is quite obviously missing a little black button.
Again with my stupid pack-rat tendencies. I walk on, absolutely refusing to give the little man the satisfaction of getting his button back.
Kelsey is waiting for me at the movie theater, and she notices immediately that I'm irritated.
"What's wrong?" she asks me.
"The usual," I tell her, and try to shake it off. "Let's not talk about it. Let's just be normal and go to a movie."
We do eenie-meenie-miney-moe as planned and end up with a random romantic comedy. Kelsey orders popcorn and soda. I don't feel like popcorn, so I stand a short distance away, playing with a napkin that was left on the counter. When Kelsey's ready, I go to crumple it into my pocket and then pause, realizing what I'm doing, and deliberately leave it on the counter exactly where I found it.
Which means, of course, that when we get settled in our seats, Kelsey promptly spills soda on herself.
"Damn it. I wish I had a napkin," she complains.
I say nothing.