Today, I’m welcoming fellow West Michigan author, Rebekah L. Purdy and her latest book, Cinderella Complex.
Sixteen-year-old Maggie Winters can’t think of anything more exciting than junior year. There’s her first prom to look forward to, she can drive, and most important Connor Prince has finally noticed her. But unfortunately so has the school snob, Katrina Melville, who goes out of her way to make Maggie’s life a living hell. If that’s not enough, Maggie’s grandma has decided to retire, which doesn’t seem like such a big deal. That is until she finds out her grandma is a Fairy Godmother, and not just any Fairy Godmother. The Fairy Godmother, as in Cinderella, pumpkins, and mice. And she has informed Maggie that she’s next in line to become the new Fairy Godmother.
At first Maggie is excited, the whole getting wings, flying (or rather trying not to crash), and a wand that lets her grant wishes. It’s like being a superhero, without all the action, explosions, and spandex. Then she gets her first assignment, Katrina Melville, her nemesis. And if that doesn’t make her want to poof herself into oblivion, she finds out that part of Katrina’s happily-ever-after is Connor Prince.
Life is so unfair. Even worse, she can’t tell her two best friends about any of it and they’re getting sick of her disappearing acts. Then there are the dangerous creatures, called Grimms who will stop at nothing to keep the happy endings from being fulfilled, even if it means destroying the Fairy Godmother responsible. With time running out, Maggie has to make this wish come true or it will ruin the fates of everyone involved, and open the world to darkness beyond imagination. Maggie will soon find out what it truly means to be a Fairy Godmother—and it isn’t all about princes, gowns, and wings, but something much more.
“Oh. My. Maggie. There he is!” Taylor squealed, jerking on my arm.
The prince rode up on his white steed like he’d fallen out of the pages of a fairytale. Golden hair, tanned skin, and a smile that made me want to recite Shakespeare. Sigh.
Okay, so it was Connor Prince, not “real” royalty, and so what if his horse happened to be a white Ford Mustang. I had two words for him. So. Hot.
Taylor handed me her cappuccino while she adjusted her out-of-control curls. “Yeah, right. You say that every year. And every year you walk up to him, open your mouth to say something, blush, and then turn right back around the way you came.”I shielded my eyes from the sun. “I swear, I’m gonna talk to him this year.”
I deflated like a balloon. Ugh, she was right. Talk about hopeless. Come spring, I’ be the only junior without a prom date, not to mention the only girl in the entire school who’ never been kissed. I groaned.
No. I’m not doing this again. Junior year would be my year. I’d be more assertive, more aggressive, a go-getter. Connor Prince and I would exchange words this year—heck, we’ exchange more than words. He’ be my first kiss. Splashing water interrupted my Connor-
laced fantasies. I glanced at the nearby fountain. The large stone otter perched on top spewed water from its mouth. The water crashed over carved stone replicas of footballs, winged shoes, tennis rackets, and baseball bats. Kensington High. Home of the Fighting Otters. Yeah, real scary. It’ been a lame gift from some rich guy wanting his name on the school.
“Incoming.” Taylor tugged her hair up into a ponytail while I stared at Connor.
He smiled as he drew closer to us. My heart thudded against my chest like a construction worker with a jackhammer. Holy crap! He’s stopping.
No. Flipping. Way. He noticed my hair? And I stood there, mouth hanging open like I was trying to catch a trout. But most importantly, Connor talked to me. I’d died and gone to heaven.Hey, Maggie.” He gazed down at me through thick lashes. “Wow, your hair got longer over the summer.” Connor reached out and tugged a strand of it hair.
Taylor elbowed my ribcage and snapped me out of it. I managed a too-wide smile. “S-s-so, I didn’ see you up at the lake much this summer,” I stammered, cheeks growing hot.
His family happened to own the summer cottage next to ours. Let me just say I spent way too many vacations trying to catch his attention by lying on the deck in my bikini. The only time he noticed me was when his football sailed into our yard, almost beaming me in the head.
Connor grinned. “Did you miss me?”
Heck yeah! Okay, stay cool. “Yeah, I definitely missed smelling your dad’s barbeque and hearing you and your brothers playing football.” Great. Here I am talking about stupid barbeques. I don’t care about barbeques. So not cool.
Connor squeezed my shoulder. “Don’t worry, I missed you too. All those resorts and not one girl in a blue and white-polka-dot-bikini for me to stare at.”
My heart thudded as if horses galloped across my chest. Breathe. Now is so not the time to freak! I shifted my feet. As he slid his hand down my arm, rivulets of electricity snapped through my body.
Smiling, he released me and headed toward the school. “I’ll see you around, Maggie. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
“Sure, see ya.” I waved, turned to Taylor, and squealed. “Can you believe it? He remembers my bikini.”
“No—he remembers you in your bikini.” Taylor laughed, and we bounced like a pair of kangaroos hopped up on drugs.
“The guy’s a tool.” Seth, my other best friend, sidled up behind us. His shaggy dark hair fell over his eyes, and he shook his head to get it back in place.
“Jealous?” Taylor snorted.
“Yeah, right. He’s a complete moron.” As Seth tucked his motorcycle helmet under his arm, his turquoise eyes glittered. “Besides, if it took him this long to realize Mags is a girl, then I don’t think there’s much hope for him.”
“Too bad we couldn’t check her off your list.” Taylor gestured as a black limo pulled up in front of the school.The driver jumped to open the door, and out stepped the tall, beautiful, and witchy Katrina Melville. The one girl in the school I honestly hated. Mean didn’t even begin to describe her. If anyone ever got accused of chewing up little kids and spitting them out, it would be her.“Anyway.” I rolled my eyes. “Check talking to Connor Prince off my list.”
A Prada handbag hung on her shoulder, her tight blue top made her boobs look like they’d been inflated by a tire pump. And the tall black boots she wore over her skinny jeans had heels that looked better suited as weapons of mass destruction. I had no idea how she kept from toppling over—although it could be all the kids she trampled on, cushioning her steps.
Every year since fifth grade, I’d secretly hoped she’d move to another school. But she came back every autumn. I seemed to be one of her favorite targets, which stemmed from our days in elementary school when I accidentally whacked her in the face with a bat during gym class. She ended up with two black eyes. Kids called her “raccoon girl” and “Zorro”—nicknames that stuck until middle school. At which point, she filled out in all the right places. Guys forgot the raccoon thing and spent more time staring at her chest. And even though I apologized several times, she still held a grudge. You’d think she’d have better things to worry about. Like dating or putting on make-up or buying a shirt that actually fit.
Katrina shoved through the crowd and slammed into me as if she didn’t see me. Taylor’ cappuccino dumped down my front. “Hey, watch it.” I eyed my stained new shirt with dismay.
I staggered backward. My arms flailed as I tried to regain my balance. But it was too late. My legs hit the edge of the fountain and in I went. Icy water rushed over me, nipping at my skin. I kicked and pushed myself up to the surface, sputtering mouthfuls of muck from my lips. I tried to stand up, but my drenched clothing weighed me down. Seth rushed into the fountain and yanked me out. I stood on the concrete, dripping wet.“Oops.” Her lips turned up at the corners. “Why don’ you let me help you wash that off?”And then she shoved me.
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