Mira Morganstein: The Pink Lemonade Club 002

mm001The box crouching behind the Danish pastries could only mean one thing: the Pink Lemonade Brigade was back in town.

Mira’s mother hadn’t finished setting the table yet, but the box covered with yellow paper and a gauzy white and bold pink ribbon was all the proof she needed. It wouldn’t be long before the table would be filled with cucumber sandwiches, fancy cakes, and a tall glass pitcher of pink lemonade.

“Mom,” Mira called, gripping the strap of her backpack. “I think I’m going to stop at the library on the way home. There’s, uh, a thing I want to—” She glared at the lacy white tablecloth. No matter how hard she tried to lie, she could never stretch the truth beyond trailing off vaguely and hoping the other person followed what she couldn’t say.

“Is it due soon?” her mother asked, polishing a teacup as she entered the dining room. “Because I’m going to need you home right after school otherwise.”

Mira rubbed the back of her leg with her foot, then shifted her weight from side to side as she tried to come up with a plausible excuse that didn’t fall under lying. Even if she’d had the constitutional ability to speak a lie, her mother’s intense gray stare would burn anything but the complete truth to smoldering ash. There was a reason the sales people at the kiosks in the mall gave them a wide berth.

“The leaves are turning and I want to add to my collection.” She gave her mother a wan smile, promising herself that she’d scour the entire forest behind their house if it got her out of meeting with the Pink Lemonade Brigade this year.

Her mother placed the teacup—another oddity out of the plethora of weird the Pink Lemonade Brigade always inspired—she’d been polishing on the table and pulled another out of her pocket.

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The Faerie Thief: The Ruby Queen’s Garden 002

tft002The daisies had been gossiping again.

Their voices, high and fluting then low and secret. Words cupped behind leaves, sepals curling with glee.

And their eyes.

Bright and knowing. Watching her. Waiting.

Gwyn curled her fingers into her fist, one by one as she stared back. For one breathless moment, she envisioned herself gripping slender stems and tugging upward, hard and sharp. Exposing root to sky, scattering the daisies’ secrets on the wind along with wishes and petals.

But the beastly things were sentient, and she was not a murderess.

Not yet, anyway.

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The Curious Leaf: Voyage to the Moon 002

moonmouse

Kya frowned at the moonscape stretching out as far as her eyes could see. It wouldn’t be fair if they had to leave now, not when they’d only just arrived. But like its earthly counterpart, the moon had its rules and regulations to keep it spinning straight and true.

“I’m afraid we didn’t bring anything with us,” she said, regret weighing down her voice. “We didn’t know we were supposed to bring anything.”

The mouse shook his paw at her. “What sort of guests arrive—uninvited I might add—without a gift for the host?”

Hearthorne strained against the force of her roots keeping her down in one place. Never before had she appreciated the ability to move even a single step to the side. But now that she no longer had any feet to step with, she would have to make do with what she had.

“What offering?” she asked again, her petals spread wide against the coming day.

Kya’s frown deepened a little. Hearthorne didn’t seem at all surprised to hear about the offering.

The mouse straightened, though his nose continued to quiver at them. “A wish or a dream is the usual fare.”

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Secrets of the UnderWhere: Welcome to the UnderWhere 001

SotUcoverThe monsters in the UnderWhere were not happy.

It was one thing, being monsters and all, for the occasional visit up to the OverWhere, also known as The Great Up There. Or, more rarely, the OtherWhere, the ElseWhere, or the NeverWhere. Visits to the EveryWhere were so rare as to never have happened outside of myth, legend, and happenstance, so you really couldn’t count it.

And yet, in light of recent events, perhaps the EveryWhere wasn’t quite so imaginary after all.

“What,” the Lord Mayor of the UnderWhere demanded, “is that doing here?”

A murmur swelled through the gathering of UnderWherians as they shifted uneasily in place. In all the history of monsters, shadows, and nightmares, the UnderWhere had never before been breached by a child.

Until today.

This very moment, to be exact.

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Mira Morganstein: The Pink Lemonade Club 001

MMCoverIn which Mira celebrates her Eleventy Year, acquires a fairy doll of dubious origins, meets a changeling, and learns that she is to be the next Queen of the Nearly Dead Fae.

Preliminary Report by Bodkins A Hatpin to Her Majesty of the Realm

Subject: Mira Morganstein a.k.a Our New Queen In Potentia

Topic: The Subject’s Fascination with the Number Three, Glitter, and Fancy Dresses.

Your Majesty,

As per your request, I have studied the girl in question. While the magic is in her blood, I am still not settled as to whether or not her personality is compatible with her future duties. My findings are below.

Mira Morganstein has always wanted to be a princess.

If it is pink, frilly, or sparkles, she wants one. Two is better, and three, perfect.

Mira always does things by threes if she can help it—which will be both a strength and a hinderance.

So far as we have been able to ascertain, she believes three is a special number that is, at its heart, the direct opposite of what it says it is. An odd number, yet it is made of two half circles stacked one on top of the other. It has three points aimed at the left, but always looks forward. It is an unfinished letter “B”, and its number of points odd and its curves even.

She is the sort of person who finds comfort in a number that is more like a metaphor than a simple symbol used to denote the space between two and four. Her math teacher, Ms. Simmons, a mortal fraught with reality, despairs of ever getting Mira to write a three without flourishing it somewhere.

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