Authors: Susan McBride
ALSO BY SUSAN McBRIDE
The Debutante Dropout Mysteries
The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club
Night of the Living Deb
Too Pretty to Die
To Ed, my one and only
and living proof that sometimes
the geek does get the girl
Overview of Rules
Ten qualified girls (Rosebuds) will be selected each year, the first week of Pine Forest Preparatory’s fall semester, to comprise that season’s Glass Slipper Club Debutante class.
Debutantes must be in good standing academically and must demonstrate high morals.
Regular meetings will be held the first Monday of each month from September through May. The season will culminate with the Rosebud Ball the last weekend of May.
The debutante class will receive training in deportment and dance, and will attend specially arranged functions, such as teas, luncheons, and philanthropic events.
All debutantes will be daughters or granddaughters of members of the Glass Slipper Club, or will be sponsored by an active GSC member.
Parents, grandparents, or guardians of debutantes are required to make a $12,000 donation to the Glass Slipper Club Foundation.
Each family of a selected debutante must purchase a table at the Rosebud Ball.
Each debutante will select a young man of quality to be her peer escort to the ball. However, her father (or another male family member) will present her.
Debutantes are responsible for purchasing their own ball gowns
and gloves and for the cost of professional photographs. (
In order to ensure that no two Rosebuds’ gowns are alike, prior to the ball each gown will be cataloged for reference.)
During their debutante year, all Rosebuds must dress appropriately, per GSC Selection Committee standards, with no visible tattoos or piercings (other than a single piercing in each ear) and no excessive use of makeup.
Debutantes should exhibit proper etiquette and ladylike demeanor during all GSC events (for example, no chewing gum, eating with hands, etc.).
Rosebuds must maintain a “clean” lifestyle and refrain from using drugs and alcohol.
If a Rosebud demonstrates blatant disregard for GSC standards, an appointed member of the Selection Committee will speak with her. Should said member so recommend, the board will be notified, as will the girl’s mother.
Should the board deem it necessary, a debutante may be removed from the program, and eligible girls on the waiting list will be considered to fill the vacancy.
A Texas dip is quite literally
a to-the-floor curtsy in which
the debutante gets so far down
on her high heels that her dress flares out
around her like a marshmallow.
As the coup de grâce, she lays her left ear
on her lap for a moment. The reason she
turns her head is to prevent getting
a lipstick mark on her virginal white dress.
— Girls on the Verge: Debutante Dips, Drive-bys, and Other Initiations
, by Vendela Vida
Don’t let a man put anything over you
except an umbrella.
No one jerks me around
and gets away with it.
—Jo Lynn Bidwell
Where is everyone?
Jo Lynn Bidwell entered the Houstonian’s Grande Ballroom in a rustle of tulle petticoats and silk. She’d expected to hear music, to see the arch of raised military sabers that she was supposed to walk beneath on her daddy’s arm when she was formally introduced, but the enormous room was dead silent.
Despite her elbow-length white kidskin gloves, goose bumps rose on her arms, and she rubbed them as she wandered around, gazing up at chandeliers that dripped from the ceiling. The crystal-beaded lamps were bare, without the clouds of white dendrobium orchids Bootsie Bidwell had said would be flown in from Hawaii to decorate the room for the Rosebud Ball. Jo noticed too that the tables had no linens, and there were folding chairs parked around each.
Where are the gold Chiavari chairs and the enormous floral centerpieces that Bootsie had specially designed by Lyman Ratcliffe?
They were nowhere in sight.
she repeated, though her voice merely echoed in the huge space. “Is anyone here?”
She glanced around, catching her reflection in a mirror on the wall—then realized it wasn’t
reflection at all. The girl in the silvered glass was at least twice her size, and she was smiling maliciously as she approached.
. It was Laura Bell, wearing the exact same Vera Wang gown as Jo Lynn: a silk satin underlay with a layer of English netting and a silk voile overlay with delicate hand-sewn flower appliqués and seed pearls. Except Laura’s dress was much larger than Jo Lynn’s. Forget her being a debutank. She was more like a debu-blimp, as in
“Surprise, surprise,” Laura taunted her, the sparkle from the heavily jeweled tiara in her upswept blond hair so intense Jo felt blinded. “What’s wrong, girlfriend?” Laura’s square-jawed face leaned close enough for Jo to feel the girl’s hot breath on her skin. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Or is it envy, since I look better in this gown than you? Or maybe it’s because I’ve got the best-looking escort in the room, and you’re all by your lonesome?”