Fantasy, Romance, Suspense
Evernight Teen Publishing ~ 83,000 words
A princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairytale…
Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse. At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years. Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate.
Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late.
If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend.
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A part of me died long ago.
It was the part of me that feels, and it was Calista’s fault.
What happened tonight was nothing new—innocent victims welcomed into our home, not knowing they would never leave. I learned long ago I could not help them, so I stopped trying.
But this time something was different. This time I was awake, burning with a gut-wrenching guilt, as the next victims slept downstairs. This time I knew the victims. And they didn’t deserve what was coming.
It had always been hard for me to make friends. I’d been called loner, loser, outcast, and freak. Even still, I remembered Maggie offering to show me around when I first transferred to their school. Through her, I met Kate and Piper. The three of them were always nice to me, while other kids kept their distance and spread rumors behind my back. I told myself I didn’t care—I wasn’t like them.
But being a loner was lonely.
So tonight when I saw Maggie and her friends here, something inside me snapped. Or, perhaps it was the dead piece of me coming back to life. Now I cared desperately about what was happening in the room below mine.
But there was still nothing I could do.
Calista usually lured in victims from out of town to avoid arousing suspicion. Pregnant ones were a particular favorite—easy prey, she called them. But Maggie and her friends came here all on their own. The opportunity was too good for Calista to pass up.
Everyone thought Calista was my mother, but she wasn’t.
Back in my day, almost four centuries ago, Calista had an alternate method of luring in victims. She and her husband, Theodore, advertised for hired help with their inn. The number of parents willing to sell their daughters into a life of servitude in exchange for a forgiven debt or a clean slate was staggering.
My father was one of them.
By the time my mother found out what he’d done, it was too late. There was no escape. I was bound.
My story was well known in this land, whispered as a bedtime tale to ease children into sleep. But, just like any other story passed down through time by rumors and idle gossip, the fragment that survived was woefully incomplete. It began something like this:
There is rumored to have been (once upon a time, of course) a princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses.
That much was true, though in actuality it was only one mattress, not twenty. The pea was also real, though most would call it a precious stone—an emerald, to be precise.
The gem that sealed my fate was now in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Calista was furious when she found it missing. She thought I’d stolen it until she remembered my limits. The identity of the true thief remains unknown.
Even though the emerald is no longer in our possession, we are still bound to it, as it is bound to us. Admirers of the opulent necklace where it rests don’t understand it. Like me, the gem is a prisoner, struggling against its fate.
Even now, centuries later, I don’t understand all the details of what happened to me that night. But it began with a troubled slumber on a bed of enchanted emeralds.
Top 10/Fav 5 Blog Post
Top 10 Favorite Songs to Blast in the Car
- It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls—My college roomies introduced me to this song and of course it became one of my all-time favs. I mean come on, how awesome would it be if it really rained men?
- Bright Lights and the Big City by the Treblemakers (their final number from Pitch Perfect)—I can’t figure out why I love this song so much, I just do. It *might* have something to do with the cute guys in their adorable blazers and converse shoes. Plus, they’re singing, which is doubly adorable.
- Without You by David Guetta & Usher—When this song reaches its apex, and the sound completely surrounds you, it’s just unbelievable. Go listen to it in your car. Now.
- Shots by Imagine Dragons—So many of their songs are great, but I especially love this one. If you listen to the lyrics, this whole album is really soulful even though the sound is edgier and grittier than their previous stuff.
- Laura Palmer by Bastille—Okay, this is the song I like to end my workouts to. For some reason, listening to this song just makes we want to run faster, push harder, and be better. “This is your heart, can you feel it?” Feeling the breadth of emotions in this song reminds me that I’m alive and that it’s awesome!
- Superheroes by The Script—Oh man, I love this song! Just so empowering. My preschooler loves it too, which is super convenient for me.
- Great Big Storm by Nate Ruess—This is one of my newer favs but I love it because it’s so empowering. “We’re holding our own in a great big storm, it’s a great big storm and we’re holding our own.” Just such a powerful reminder that even when life is stormy you can hold your head up and fight.
- Shut up and Dance by Walk the Moon—this may sound cliché because now everybody loves this song, but I can’t stop loving it just because everyone else does too. I first heard this song on an alternative radio station that prided themselves on being the first to play new music. I went home and played it for my family and made them all dance with me in the middle of our kitchen. It truly is a fantastic song and I can never get enough! Actually, all songs by Walk the Moon are great for blasting in the car.
- Light & Day/Reach for the Sun by The Polyphonic Spree—You may remember this song from the movie trailer for the animated movie The Lorax. I looked it up as soon as saw the trailer because I loved the song so much. This was one that inspired me while I was working on my first manuscript. (You know, the one that never sees the light of day, but gets you excited enough to get better and then try again?) If you listen to this song, it sounds exactly as I was feeling while I worked on that first book. Just happy and carefree—giddy, even. I felt almost magical, like I could do anything and that anything could happen
- A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay—I love, love, love this song. It’s so hauntingly beautiful. It came on once when I was driving home from meeting with my writing group. It was really late at night and the host’s house was pretty far away from mine so I had almost an hour drive ahead of me. It was the beginning of winter and on the drive home, snow began to fall. It wasn’t cold enough out for the snow to really stick or turn into big flakes. It was just slushy snow, but it was so beautiful. I stopped my car on the dark country road and just watched it fall. Illuminated by a streetlamp, it looked like falling stars, and the soundtrack of this song in the background was just breathtaking. Now this song reminds me of The Fairfield Scribes every time I hear it and even in the middle of summer, I can still picture the snow falling that winter night.
Favorite 5 Books worth staying up way too late for
It was so hard to whittle this list down to only five, but here it goes:
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgentern—this is a hauntingly beautiful book and the way the author ties everything together is just masterful.
- This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales—this book combined two of my favorite things, music and reading, into one. What’s not to love?
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater—This author has such a unique, breathtaking style of writing, anything of hers is good. But I really enjoyed this book, and all the subsequent books in the Raven Boys series.
- I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella—ever since the Confessions of a Shopaholic series, this author has been one of my favorites. But this is the first standalone book of hers that I absolutely fell in love with. I’ve read this book several times and it’s just like a mini-vacation every time.
- Splintered by AG Howard—Oh my goodness, if I could crawl inside of this book and just live there, I totally would. I love the world Miss Howard creates and her characters are just stunning. This was one of those books that I lived and breathed and just drank in from start to finish. And when it was over, I went through serious withdrawal. Love, love, love this book.
About the Author:
Teresa Richards writes YA, but loves anything that can be given a unique twist. Her zombie stories ‘Are You My Mombie?’ and ‘The Zombie Code’ can be found in Z Tales: Stories from the Zombieverse by The Fairfield Scribes.
When Teresa’s not writing, she can be found either chasing after one of her five kids, or hiding someplace in the house with a treat her children overlooked. Emerald Bound is her debut novel.
You can connect with her on twitter @BYUtm33 or atauthorteresarichards.com.
Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card