Authors: Marilee Brothers
Book 3 The Unbidden Magic Series
Publishing Date: July 2010
Trade Paper 14.95
Junior’s back from Mexico with his movie-star entourage. Beck’s using his half-demon charms to
“heal” a new girl. Mom’s still whacky and now she’s dating Principal Hostetler. High school is still an obstacle course of drama queens, bullies and nutjobs. The Trimarks are still a menace, and the moonstone pendant has revealed even more mind-boggling powers.
In other words, Allie Emerson’s life as the Girl Voted Least Likely To Save The World From Evil has gone from Weird to Super-charged supernatural, and it’s about to get even stranger.
You’re a faery princess. So says the mysterious Ryker, whose handsome talents include turning himself into a hawk. By the way, he and Allie are destined to marry. In faery land. If they can save it from forces even more deadly than Trimarks and high school.
The third book in the Unbidden Magic series plunges readers into a rich other-world of danger, humor, romance, fable, fairytale and magical destiny.
If you thought Allie’s life couldn’t
get any more complicated . . .
As I followed Ryker into the faery kingdom he called Boundless, the ground beneath us began to shake, and a voice that sounded like living thunder boomed, “You dare to bring this mortal into our world?”
I clapped my hands over my ears, frantically looking around for the source of the fearsome noise. Oh, this can’t be good, Allie. I made a move toward Ryker. Strangely, he was grinning like crazy and pointed to the pool and waterfall. “Over there.”
I took a cautious step forward. All at once, something burst from the water, reared back and let loose with an ear-splitting bellow so frightening, I screamed in terror. The ground shook harder. Or maybe it was my legs. I froze in my tracks, even though my brain said, “Run, Allie, Run!”
The creature looked like a humongous black horse with moss-covered green scales growing out of its back, flaring nostrils and water weeds tangled in its flowing mane.
Its mouth was open, exposing large, slime-green teeth.
“What . . .is . . . that . . . thing?” I gasped.
“Allie, meet Uncle Davey. Uncle Davey, this is Allie, ” Ryker said calmly, as if I’d been invited for Sunday dinner to meet and greet the family.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead,) events or locations is entirely coincidental.
Bell Bridge Books
PO BOX 300921
Memphis, TN 38130
Bell Bridge Books is an Imprint of BelleBooks, Inc.
Copyright © 2010 by Marilee Brothers
Printed and bound in the United States of America.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review.
We at BelleBooks enjoy hearing from readers. You can contact us at the address above or at [email protected] Visit our websites – www.BelleBooks.com and www.BellBridgeBooks.com. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Cover design: Debra Dixon
Interior design: Hank Smith
Photo credits: Moon-© Zven0 | Dreamstime.com
girl - © Studiovespa | Dreamstime.com
The Unbidden Magic Series
Visit Marilee at www.marileebrothers.com
To my parents, Ed and Elsie Putnam, who gave me the most important gift of my life, the love of reading.
Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the disheveled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
—William Butler Yeats
I am the Star Seeker, aka She Who Is Destined To Save The World From Evil Trimarks, bearer of the prophecy star in my palm, owner of the magical moonstone pendant, survivor of numerous Trimark attacks, ex-sort-of girlfriend to a Mexican TV star, and current girlfriend to a half-demon hottie. But I bit my lip, and a little yelp of alarm escaped. It was officially time to panic. My panty drawer was empty.
Faye, my mother, was hovering nearby. Actually, she couldn’t have been anywhere else but close by, because our home was a twenty-four foot travel trailer? Sigh.
Long Story. She tapped her forehead. “Well, duh, Allie. It is Saturday . . . laundry day.”
Oops. I’d totally forgotten that my reign as queen of the annual Fruit Bowl Festival coincided with Designated Laundry Day. Geez, can you blame me? It’s not like I’d had a lot of practice being the queen of anything, much less the biggest deal in Peacock Flats, Washington, population 922. I hadn’t applied for the position. Being appointed queen landed in my lap after I became sort-of famous.
After a dramatic sigh of disgust, Faye said, “Too late to buy new ones. You’ll have to wear a pair of my panties.”
“Beggars can’t be choosers,” Faye said.
I followed Faye down the short hallway to her bedroom. Technically, I guess it could be called a bedroom. It had a bed. What it did not have was room. Faye and I were squished together between the end of the bed and a wall lined with built-in drawers.
Faye rummaged around in a drawer and pulled out a tiny scrap of nylon, a gift from her former boyfriend, Brain Dead Roy. Skimpy, bright red and two sizes to small for me.
“Get real!” I tried extra hard to keep the sneer out of my voice. “Like I’d wear something your boyfriend gave you for Valentine Day.”
Faye rolled her eyes and muttered, “Ex-boyfriend. This is my last clean pair. I can’t help it if you don’t plan ahead.”
“Well, I’m not wearing those. They’re too small.”
“Fine,” Faye snapped. “Wear dirty ones.”
“I can’t,” I wailed. “I’m the queen!”
“For Pete’s sake, Allie, it’s not like anyone can to see them under that.”
That was a voluminous, plum-colored gown spread out on her bed. I sighed in defeat and took the tiny red panties. She was right, of course, but I didn’t have to like it.
An hour later, I was combed, curried, brushed and fluffed like a prize pony. Faye even tamed my 259
dark, wildly curly hair, spraying, spritzing and coaxing it into a sleek up-do. I was a real work of art, clear down to my shiny pink toenails. My only accessory was the moonstone pendant, which now hung from a beautiful sterling silver chain, a gift from my elderly friend and mentor in all things magic, Kizzy Lovell.
Before we left for the parade staging area—the parking lot of Fred’s Seed And Feed—I reached under the long skirt of my gown and gave Faye’s panties a vicious tug upward, ordering, “Stay put!”
Faye dropped me off next to the John J. Peacock High School marching band, all twelve of them, and wished me luck.
Strangely, the milling crowd of local citizens was silent. All eyes were on Arthur “Mort”
Mortenson, owner of Mort’s Pizzeria and current mayor of Peacock Flats, who was engaged in verbal combat with Kay Elizabeth Peacock-Tuman. Ms. Peacock-Tuman, the last living relative of town founder John J Peacock, had flown in from the east coast to act as grand marshal for our annual celebration.
I sidled up nice and close, so I wouldn’t miss any of the juicy details.
“Sasha rides with me,” said Ms. Kay Elizabeth Peacock-Tuman. Her eyes narrowed ominously as she stared at Mayor Mort.
The mayor’s brows drew together in a ferocious frown. He scratched his head, releasing a dandruff storm that looked suspiciously like the parmesan cheese he sprinkled on his pizza. I shrank back to avoid the fallout, vowing to never again eat at Mort’s Pizzeria. Mort glared at the object of his displeasure. Sasha, a yellow Labrador retriever, leaned against Ms. Peacock-Tuman’s legs, gazing up at her mistress with adoring brown eyes. Ms. P-T patted the dog’s head and gave her a reassuring smile.
Mayor Mort hemmed and hawed while he pondered the problem. I could almost see the cogs and wheels turning inside his head. It was painful to watch. When his gaze returned to Mr. PeacockTuman, who was clutching an umbrella and gazing anxiously at the sky, the mayor’s face lit up like a kid with a brand new skate board.
He pointed at a long, pink Cadillac convertible, the lead car in the parade. “Ya see, Miz PeacockTuman, this here’s the way we always do it. Front seat—the driver, Captain McPherson, and the grand marshal—that’s you. Back seat—our queen, Allie Emerson, and one other person . . . er . . . passenger. Are you telling me you want that mutt in the car instead of your husband?”
Ms. P-T drew herself up and glared. “Did you say mutt?” Her voice rose to an indignant shriek. I was pretty sure wine glasses were breaking somewhere. “I’ll have you know, Mayor, Sasha is not a mutt. She is a registered British Labrador retriever.”
Her expression clearly said the dog’s pedigree was far superior to Mayor Mort’s. She folded her arms. “This discussion is over. Sasha rides with me. My husband doesn’t mind, so why should you?”
She spun around, led Sasha to the Cadillac and loaded her into the back seat. The car belonged to eighty-eight-year-old Captain Joshua P. McPherson, retired naval officer. Vintage 1961, the Caddy was driven only once a year, in the Fruit Bowl parade. Captain McPherson loved to bark out commands like, “Heave to, sailor. Look smart, now.”
Whatever that meant.
I glanced over at my mother. Faye was talking to Mr. Hostetler, the principal of John J. Peacock High School and chairman of the Fruit Bowl Festival. Last year, we’d had a hostage situation at school. Mr. Hostetler had convinced the festival committee I’d acted heroically that awful day and deserved to be queen, despite my strange brand of super-hero evil-fighting talent. In my mind, he was the real hero. Even though he’d been seriously injured, his actions saved many lives
“Queen Allie! ” Ms. Peacock-Tuman called. “Time to get the show on the road.”
I waved at my mother, who was beaming with happiness. Despite the panty situation, she was acting like a real mom, for once. I loved it! She blew me a kiss and mouthed, “Stand tall. Walk proud.”
Her plan was to see me off, then drive to the rodeo grounds where the floats would be judged. One of my official duties was to hand out ribbons to the winners.
As obedient as Sasha, I trotted to the car, taking care not to trip over my big dress. Admiral McPherson was behind the wheel, revving the motor. He glanced over at me. “Step lively, mate.”
Ms. Peacock-Tuman pulled the front seat forward so I could climb in. I scrambled over the dog—not an easy task since Sasha was sprawled across the entire back seat
—and perched on the trunk, as per my instructions. It was tradition. The queen always rode in the pink Cadillac and waved to the crowd. I fluffed my skirt and tried to figure out where to put my feet. I couldn’t just balance on my butt, or I’d fall out of the car for sure. Finally, I placed my pointy heels gingerly on Sasha, who was now concealed under yards and yard of my plum-colored taffeta.
She gave a loud snort and reared up to a sitting position. Her head popped out from under my dress. Ms. Peacock-Tuman looked over her shoulder and smiled. “Oh, isn’t that just adorable.”
I knew she wasn’t talking about me, since it looked like I’d just given birth to a giant yellow dog. I forced a chuckle, “Yep, we’re adorable all right. Sasha and me.”
I managed to straddle Sasha and plant my feet on either side of her when Captain McPherson shouted, “All hands on deck! Time to cast off!” and stomped on the gas pedal. The big car leaped forward. My head snapped back. Instinctively, I leaned down and threw my arms around Sasha, who picked that exact moment to stand up. I tumbled. Therefore, I began my reign as queen of the Fruit Bowl festival sprawled across the back of a ninety-five pound Labrador retriever.
The sudden movement resulted in Faye’s panties creeping into brand new territory. I desperately wanted to give them a yank, but, come on, I was the queen! How would that look?
I righted myself and tried to wave with queenly dignity. As we traveled the parade route, Sasha and I fought a silent battle for territory. I made sure Ms. Peacock-Tuman was waving at the crowd and throwing candy before I gave Sasha a hefty shove and planted my feet on the seat. She immediately flopped her butt down. It took two more shoving matches to convince her I meant business. Finally, whiskers quivering with indignation, she heaved a huge, put-upon sigh and turned her back to me .
Our territory was evenly divided. I scooted a little to the left. Sasha sat on the right side of the back seat with her head hanging over the side of the car. Her thick, wagging tail banged my knees. I could live with that.